Today I found myself writing one additional paragraph in my novel, The Bartello. I don't know if I should be embarrassed or proud to say it took me the entire day to get it right; and I'm not sure it's perfect yet so I'll sleep on it tonight.
That brings me to the question I have been asked most often. How long does it take me to write a novel? I know my answer has been about three to four months but that's not entirely true. There are several elements to a novel, one of them being the actual writing.
To begin with, the story has to come from somewhere. That can be a dream of mine or maybe something real happened. Nine Lives was a perfect example of something that happened to me and an idea came to me but I didn't actually write that story until maybe fifteen years later. I made a layout of the story which maybe took another couple months before the actual writing actually began. Once I started writing the actual story, it flowed from me very quickly; three months to be more specific.
I posted on my blog before about how long it took after I finished the novel to "really" finish the novel. The editing process alone has taken between three to six months to complete.
Writing is a funny thing. I can sit down and write for hours on end and forget what time it is or I can be totally frustrated writing one paragraph, as I did tonight, trying to make it absolutely perfect.
Tonight I wrote one paragraph and I'm proud of it. I was frustrated with the beginning of my new novel, The Bartello because I felt the first paragraph just wasn't enticing enough for the reader. I felt it needed something better for a novel that is truly amazing. Yes, I just patted myself on the back and it felt good.
Last night I dreamed of rewriting my first paragraph, in my book, The Bartello. I woke up early this morning and started writing down ideas immediately. I keep a notepad at my bedside in case things like this come to my head, which they often do. I went to work, playing around with different ways to write it but the opening sentence came to me immediately. After that, it was just getting everything else to work together, kind of like a symphony. By the end of the evening, I was extremely happy with my work and realized, this was exactly what I was missing.
The point I wanted to make is this: Writing is fun but it takes time to make it right. Sometimes things may just flow and pages upon pages can be written but it's the most beautiful of all writing that can take days or weeks to accomplish. I believe I have accomplished that. Hopefully, you will be able to read what I painstakingly wrote in my book, The Bartello.