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25 June 2008 @ 03:13 pm
Ah, fickle muse.  
The YA idea continues to unfurl in my head. I can see the two main characters very, very clearly. Part of me thinks Shit, I don't need another project to write. And part of me thinks But this would fun. Fun, shorter, less complicated than space pirates. And then the angel on my other shoulder says Finish McClairen's book, instead. To which the demon muse says But no one wants werewolves right now. Werewolves are passe. So are vampires. And the angel says But McClairen is HOT - you know you want to write him... And I do, I really do. But his book would be undertaking another 100K project. A YA will be 40-60K. That's a HUGE difference.

These are the sorts of conversations I'm having with myself today. And, of course, Consort simmers somewhere in the back of my head as well.

In somewhat related discussion, lit agent Nathan Bransford posted about writing a book a year today, and invited comments. Scrolling through them, I was absolutely SHOCKED at the number of people who seem to believe that writing a book a year, or in their opinion even worse, more than a book a year, automatically means the quality suffers.

*boggles quietly*

Most of the writers I know routinely produce multiple books a year. One is minimum, two is much better, and three approaches hair pulling stress/scary times. (When I say 'writers I know', I'm mostly talking about those I keep track of here on LJ, whose processes I actually follow via their journals.)

Okay, your average writer isn't on the NYT list. That is like the Holy Grail of author-dom. To make any money at this writing gig, to have a snowball's chance of semi-supporting yourself via writing, the scary truth is, you almost have to be able to produce at least a book a year. Two is even better, but one seems workable. If you write slower, if it takes you four or six years to perfect every opus you produce, then you probably don't support yourself writing, and that's fine. That's your pace, the process you're comfortable with.

But I seriously do not see this as the norm. If you're writing every day, if you're at the level of publication, with contracts to meet, chances are good you can produce a 100K novel in a year without trouble. I think that's average, from what I've seen, not just based on my own personal experience. We'll say, six to nine months is actually a closer spec. Sure, there are writers who can churn out an epic fantasy in just 18 days, and other authors who couldn't possibly take less than two years to produce a book, but I hardly see either one of those as the norm. And I really don't think the pace an author is comfortable working at = better or poorer quality.

I just don't. I wrote Nemesis in four months. I took seven to complete Dark Vision. Now, I love them both to pieces, but if I'm being honest with myself, I really believe Nemesis is the better book, even written in almost half the time. And that's as it should be. The more you write, the better your craft and skill, ergo, each new book you produce should, logically, be an improvement on the last.

I am baffled by this idea that however long it takes to produce a book determines the quality of the end result. I just don't agree with that assessment at all. Now, if you were to say the amount of effort that went into it, the amount of attention and craft, well then, that's different. But I think every writer works at the pace comfortable for them, and no one method is "more right" than someone else's - it's just more right for that particular author, maybe.

Anyway, I can easily see producing two books a year for myself. I don't that's an unrealistic pace. And I don't think the quality would suffer by being written in a single year instead of taking two.

On a lighter note, I leave you with some gorgeous pics my friend Paula sent me today.

These are of the Portuguese soccer team, and man, *fans self*, it's almost enough to inspire me watch sports! Or move to Portugal. If I wasn't happily married, of course. *saves pictures for possible character portraits at some later date*
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
"Connoisseurs of Difficulty": Girl Talkkistha on June 25th, 2008 10:34 pm (UTC)
it's almost enough to inspire me watch sports!

This cracks me up.

And, totally AMEN on the time thing. Dude. I'd be inclined to believe that some people have the "special snowflake disease" but bad.

rhienelleth: sark dark - weareromanticsrhienelleth on June 25th, 2008 10:44 pm (UTC)
I do not watch sports. Like ever.

But yeah. Smiling cutie in pic two reminds me of Brad Pitt. And I've always had a weakness for his charisma, those blue eyes, that grin and, ahem, body. There is just something about him, regardless of how famous he is or how often he's voted Sexiest Man Alive (which normally, I'm not a fan of, necessarily.)

Him and Johnny Depp are my go-to Hollywood guys for HOT. Which is a complete digression from the pics. You see what mental state these put me in.
angharaanghara on June 26th, 2008 12:34 am (UTC)
"But his book would be undertaking another 100K project. A YA will be 40-60K. That's a HUGE difference."

My three YA books are roughly 80K, 95K and 98K respectively.

You were saying...?
rhienellethrhienelleth on June 26th, 2008 01:01 am (UTC)
LOL - while maybe you can get away with that, little ol' unproven me probably should stick to the "suggested word count" everyone says YA is supposed to be.

Of course, I tend to run long, so who knows how easy it will be.
J.K.Richárdneutronjockey on June 26th, 2008 07:46 am (UTC)
I am under the same opinion you are that a book in a year seems...er...verrah slow. Most of my writing projects take place in less than a month (not including revisions etc).

I think if you're wanting to write in a professional (as in writing is your sole profession) capacity, unless you're writing the next commercial blockbuster a BiaY is not going to cut it.
rhienellethrhienelleth on June 26th, 2008 04:12 pm (UTC)
Yes, exactly!
rianeficmusings on June 26th, 2008 01:58 pm (UTC)
I had a writing point I wanted to make, but then I saw the pics. And now, I am rendered incoherent. Yowza.

*fans self*

Ahem. I don't write professionally - not yet, am working on my first manuscript, eep, wish me luck! - but yikes, a book a year sounds awfully slow. How do you even support yourself if that's all you do, right? Bills need to be paid.

Have you ever posted about your first experience, being published? I'd love to know more about it. I'll look through your archives first :)
rhienellethrhienelleth on June 26th, 2008 04:12 pm (UTC)
I know, those pictures are hella distracting!

And sadly, I have not been published yet! Well, okay, so there was a short story sale a couple of years ago. But not in novel form as yet. *fingers crossed* Hopefully that will change sometime in the not-too-distant future, at which point I promise to post all about it. :)

And good luck! You are a great writer! (I wish more fic writers would turn their hands to original work.) Do you plan to post about your progress? writertopia.com has some great progress word meter things to track with.
rianeficmusings on June 26th, 2008 07:46 pm (UTC)
Awesome! I'm sure that you'll be published real soon :)

Aw thanks Rhein. A compliment like that, coming from you, is worth its weight in gold ;) Yeah I'll post about my progress to help me along. I'm working on a semi-autobiographical fictional spiritual memoir. What a MOUTHFUL. ha.

Thanks for the website!