I don't understand how some authors are able publish a new book almost every month. It's been bugging me for a long time, so I decided to look into it and follow the posts of some of the most productive writers I know on Facebook.
They've been posting updates on their lightning-fast progress, which always amazed me, and I have to admit, also made me a bit jealous.
I'm going to mention just one writer's notes, the fastest of them all:
March 1: "I started my new historic romance novel."
March 10: "Yay! 25K words done."
March 20: "Coming along nicely, 40K words."
March 29: "First draft is done, 62K words."
April 1: "Published! Get your copy!"
I was stunned, because I kind of expected a few more notes such as what the beta readers thought about the story or how the editor is progressing, but when I saw that it took her just 3 days from first draft to publishing, I was stunned and I thought,"What? How? When? She must be a history major, otherwise she wouldn't have time to do research and write so fast! Wow! I have to find out who her editor is. How could she have done everything so fast? She's done it though. It must be me, I must be the slowest writer out there."
I had to conclude, that I'm most likely as fast as a snail when it comes to writing.
Okay, I admit, I'm slow, it took me over a year to finish the first draft of my Ancestors's Secrets series. The story was okay, but not even close to perfect. Then I went through it a few times (maybe 8-10 or more times), added new ideas, changed some events and livened the characters a little more.
It was still just okay, so I rewrote some parts again, and again, and again.
Finally, I thought the story was complete and the characters were alive, and it was ready to go to the editor. Well, she pointed out some inconsistencies, bad choices of words or cliches that a professional could notice in a heartbeat, and it would be noticed by any reader as well. As the author, I've been through the story so many times by then, that instead of noticing those mistakes, I kept skipping over them.
So, I rewrote the story, again, and after the second editing, again. When the book started to sell, the readers pointed out some mistakes that the editor and I missed. I tried to read the book as a reader would, and I realized that the story still needs some tweaking and while I was reading, I had some new ideas as well.
I decided to un-publish it and work on it some more.
After about 2 years, 3 editors and a few beta readers later, I published the series, again. At this moment, I'm satisfied with the story. It flows well, I love my characters and the story line. The most important part of writing and publishing a book, according to the great reviews, the readers like it too. However, I would not be surprised if two years from now, I would rewrite some parts or add new ideas.
You know what? I'm okay with being a slow writer. When a reader tells me or write it in a review how much they enjoyed my writing style and the story, it was worth every minute I spent writing and rewriting it. I want my readers to enjoy every page, grow to like the characters and when they finish the books, I hope the story and characters will stay with them for a little while.
I'm not going to change my speed or writing style to be more productive or to become a super fast writer. I started writing my next romantic-historical fantasy book, and I'm going to take my time and write the best story I possibly can. That's a promise!
-Erika M Szabo
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