Michael Crichton, for example, took 20 years to write his novel Sphere.
Meanwhile, other writers are setting land-speed records in NaNoWriMo, clocking in at just one month.
But there’s a happy medium, and it’s one year.
This is just what the 365-Day Indie Author Challenge is all about, and here are the reasons I argue it’s better to take your time when writing a novel (especially if it’s your first):
1. It’ll just be better. I suppose you could write your first draft in a month-long frenzy, but it’s risky. What you end up with could be difficult to work with, as many writers have found out. By putting more time into fleshing out your ideas, learning why story structure is so important, and taking care with the words you put on the page, you’ll have a more solid foundation to build on.
2. You’ll come up with more ideas. By spending more time with your story and your characters, new ideas will come to you. Perhaps as you’re writing, one of your characters will take you on a side adventure that you’ll decide should feature in the main plot. Your story just got better!
3. You’ll get to know your characters. As you write a novel, you’ll probably find, like many other authors have, that your characters take on a life of their own and become real to you. Sometimes they’ll even speak to you! Let them lead the way at times and see where they take you.
These are the discoveries that await you when you put time into your novel. In the 365-Day Indie Author Challenge, we spend the first 30 days just writing our first chapters, and the first six months creating our first drafts.
Come learn with us, and get ready to become a published author this year!