When Your Book Takes Forever to Complete21:49
Writing is an amazing, magical thing. When you write, you create new worlds, become friends with unique characters, and have the ability to share your amazing stories with others. But at the same time, writing can also be one of the most frustrating pastimes. I’m not even talking about rebellious characters, unexpected and devastating plot twists, or even writer’s block. I’m talking about the sheer amount of time it takes to bring the book from initial concept to finished product.
The whole process starts with finding an idea. This can be as easy as it popping into your head while you’re doing the dishes, or as difficult as hours spent brainstorming ideas about were-rabbits in space searching for a usable idea. Then, once you have your idea, you need to develop it into plot strong enough for a first draft. Depending on your idea and process, this might include months of research and outlining before you can even get the first words down on paper.
Then you start writing, and things get worse. Each draft takes months to finish, and no matter how many times you edit the book, it always needs just one more draft to get it right. It might take months, or even years before your book is polished and perfected enough to even think about sharing it, and sometimes, after weeks of editing, it’s still difficult to see if you’ve improved the book at all. It’s enough to make you want to throw their hands up in the air and swear off writing for the rest of your lives.
But please, don’t.
It’s true, books take a long time to finish. From first concept to final draft, some books can take years to finish. Editing can seem like a fruitless, never ending task. There are times when you’re going to b tempted to give up, especially when people keep asking you if you’re publishing your book soon, or when they can read it. I know exactly what that feels like. I’m actually about to dive into my sixth round of editing on my fantasy novel, so I’m certain I’ll be feeling like this again soon.
But here’s the truth. Yes, writing takes a long time. But it needs to. When you write, you’re not just smashing words onto a computer screen. You’re creating an entire world. Even if it’s based on the real world, you still have to recreate the real world inside your pages, and that’s no small task. You’re bringing your own people into existence, with all the personality, conflict, and life of a real human being. When you write, you’re creating a whole other universe. And there is no way to rush the birth of a new universe. All those hours you spend slogging over edits, wrangling with descriptions and characters, filling in plot holes and researching details, they’re hours spent crafting a world and people that are real.
The book may be taking a long time to write, but worlds and characters are complicated things, and they need that time to grow and develop into their true potential. That magic you’re weaving on the page, it needs time to build into a rich, vivid story that readers can not only read, but experience. There are few things more amazing than being able to give a reader a story you have written, and have them get drawn in by the characters, the story, the world building, all those beautiful things that need those hours of hard work and sweat to perfect.
So maybe your book is being stubborn. Maybe it feels like the process will never end. But don’t give up. Because your world, your characters, your plot and your words worth taking that time to get right. Sure, it takes a long time, but you’re weaving magic there. Trust the magic, and give your book the time it needs, and deserves.
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