Melodee's Rules for Authors — Number Sixteen

Number Sixteen

Good Books Take Time

This is an important rule and it applies 100% of the time.

The question is, “How much time?”

Well, that part gets a little fuzzy.

The real answer is that a good book takes as much time as it needs. Not a moment less, and not a second longer.

Yes, I can see your face with that, “What you talkin’ ’bout, Willis?” look.

Let me try to explain…

When writing your book, you should never rush things. Well, almost never, but that’s another story. No pun intended. Take as much time as you need to get the mechanics (spelling, grammar, etc.) right. Make sure the plot is solid and moves forward. In other words, get it right.

But…

It can be FAR worse to take too long. See also Rule Number Twenty-Five. The longer you mess with your story doing endless revisions and tweaks that seem like a good idea, the greater the risk that you will ruin the book. This might take the form of actually damaging the plot or flow, but it is more often a case of the market no longer being interested in your story because you waited too long to actually move forward and publish.

I have published books that took me three years to write. I have also written books from concept to release in less than a month. I even have some books I have been working on for a decade or longer and may never publish.

It all depends…

The trick is to know how long to play with your story, and that can be rough. Some writers spend their entire life writing a book that they never even submit. What’s the point in that?

So, keep moving forward…a huge part of this forward motion is getting the book published.

As the old saying goes, just do it!

Keep Loving!

2 comments

  1. I do agree. Each book takes as long as it takes. It’s like the old saying that babies come in their own time, not ours.

    Like you, I have written some books quickly. I did a 3 book trilogy (The Lost Song Trilogy, books 3, 4, and 5 of the Bowdancer series) in three months! And my last book, Ruins Legacy, took 5 years! Yes, you read that right. I had the idea and sort of what was going to happen. It was book three in another series. BUT I had to do research on horses because most of the story took place on a ranch with horses and I knew absolutely zilch about them. So, I interviewed vets, horse trainers, horse whisperers, horse therapists (using horses as therapy), massage therapists for horses, professional female cowhands, female rodeo riders and wranglers, horse owners, and horse riders. I got curried horses, fed them, got out in corrals with one or two horses, and wandered among a herd in an open pasture. I learned a lot.

    BUT the story started to morph into something other than the straight little thriller I’d planned. It turned into resolving some niggling little parts of the other two books that my main character hadn’t dealt with but could now that she was older and lived a bit more with some truths. Other things impinged on my original story, fleshing this one out, and introduced new important characters. So, when I took a month to write the book, it all just flew from my fingers onto the page once more.

    That book sparked a fourth book that I am researching as I write and it should be done by the end of next year–or sooner if I have pauses in my editing business.

    So, yes. Each book takes as long as it takes. Happy Writing!
    Janie Franz
    Empowered Women Characters

    1. Isn’t it funny how you sometimes think, “…I have this idea for a book, but it just isn’t a big enough idea for a series…” then you write that book as a one-time stand-alone story?

      Then, somehow, the muse gets the idea that this actually SHOULD be a series, and next thing you know, there are a dozen books in the universe.

      Yeah…been there, done that.

      On a regular basis.

      Usually daily.

      Keep Loving!

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