23. How long does it usually take you to complete an entire story—from planning to writing to posting sending out?
Well, the first draft of Fie Eoin took me three years to complete (keep in mind that I was not seeking to write for publication at this time – I wrote cause I was a bored, procrastinating college student). Five years later I’m working my way through the third draft (I took a very long break in the middle), with plans to do another major go-through-and-edit-and-maybe-rewrite-again once that is done (I learn so much about writing between drafts that while this one is good and probably even publishable it’s not as good as it could be, and I finally figured out how to make it that good). Fie Eoin is probably the longest project I’ll ever work on, but it’s the first one and I love going to Fie Eoin, so I don’t mind 🙂
Most of my recent stories have been written during NaNo, so I’ll get the first draft done in a month (or finish it shortly after NaNo ends) and then put it away for a while to simmer. I like to re-read them during this simmering time, just to get a feel for what needs to happen. I thought for a while Phooka Tales would just need a little bit of editing to make it ready to go out, but like I said: I learn a lot about writing between drafts. I’m currently re-writing the majority of it and sending that to my writing group to edit. Happily, I think it won’t need a heck of a lot of major changes, so once the re-write and editing are tight I’ll start sending it out and see what kind of feedback I get (I’m hoping to start doing this by next year). If I can get to that point next spring it will have taken about three years (I started planning it the year before I wrote it for NaNo). Hopefully I can do the same with Apollo – he’s got the same minor problems as Phooka Tales, and even fewer of them, so it shouldn’t take long to get him re-written, edited, and out.
Note: I crossed out “posting” above because I post chapters as I write them for my online writing friends to read and review as I go (this saves a lot of time in re-writes, since they can catch problem things before I make it part of the whole story). As you have seen if you’ve tried to click through a link to one of my story’s LJ pages all of these scenes and chapters are password protected and if you don’t have the password you can’t see them. You probably wouldn’t want to anyways – they are a confusion of out-of-order scenes and story notes.