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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Why It Takes So F#%&!^g Long To Write a Novel

A fan at my BEA book signing said she had been waiting a long while to get The Lost Prince, the sequel to Awakenings. She's right. And though I've written about the real-life challenges of trying to write novels while holding a day job and promoting one's book, the other part of that delay is the work (i.e. minutia) involved with writing a coherent, well-thought out story. Many literary writers (my favorite being Jonathan Franzen) go years between books, but we seem to expect a faster turnaround from genre writers. The delays go beyond plot, narrative, character arcs, and story development, although those too are time consuming. What I'm trying to bring to light are small moments that pull a writer aside from the bigger picture. A lot of you can read a paragraph in less than 30 seconds, but are not aware of how many hours it took the writer to make those four or five sentences ring as true as can be.