How long does it actually take to write a novel? I'm not just talking about the time to sit down and write a first draft from beginning to end. I'm talking about the time spent writing an outline or jotting down notes and the time spent editing and revising and editing and revising again. I wonder how long it really takes.
I've been trying to figure this out for my own writing. And it's kind of hard to do. My first book took a year to write, but I was learning a lot during that year and probably wrote twice as many words as actually ended up in the book. My second book will probably take about five months to draft, but then I imagine I will spend another month or two editing. And I'm sure I'll probably edit a few more times in the future. I'm not a super speedy writer like many of you are, but I'm also not the type to spend my entire life on a single masterpiece. I think my average will end up being about nine months for one completed,edited novel, with some overlap between novels.
What kind of writer are you? I've noticed many of you write books in a matter of a few weeks. I'm curious, do you spend a lot of time editing them after? Are they pretty well developed at that point? Do you set them aside and come back to them? Do you find that you have to cut a lot, or do you add to them? What's your personal writing strategy and timeline?