Tempus fugit

While everyone was having fun at RWA I’ve done a little quiet celebrating myself. This past Friday, I finally completed the 2nd draft of my mess-in-progress. 🙂

This may not sound like much but it’s huge for me, because it means the plot and characters have evolved from the primordial ooze of the 1st draft into something that promises to be a story.
It’s the most difficult part of my process. I still have a load more research to do (my plots always twist, requiring new areas of research). I have a lot of rewriting to do, but I am a very good rewriter.

Still my inner demons remind me it’s been about 2 years since I started this story. And…sigh…I’ve heard readers forget authors if there’s a gap of more than a year between books.
I can’t really do anything about that. I’m not a fast writer. This particular story is taking longer because I’ve also worked on 3 other stories at the same time and struggled to locate my errant muse. But even at my best pace it takes time for me to understand my characters. I don’t know if I’d ever be able to write more than one book a year–not a book I’d want my name on, anyway.

This isn’t to imply that taking longer on a book necessarily ends up in a better read. I have read some books that had great concepts but which I thought needed more development. On the other hand, if the concept isn’t workable, no amount of polishing will fix it.

Nor am I saying prolific authors can’t produce quality. We all have different processes. But I have this feeling that the sort of stories I most enjoy require maturing time. Many of my favorite authors take a year or more per book. In the case of those who write more quickly I’m willing to bet the stories were already percolating in their minds ahead of time.

I’m also not sure I buy the whole reader forgetfulness thing. I know I will pounce on the next Judith Ivory or Laura Kinsale whenever they come out. Now *blush* I am not implying my books are anywhere near as memorable as theirs. I’d just rather like to think a few readers will remember me kindly by the time my next one comes out!

So anyway, what do you think about the relationship between the time it takes to write a book and its quality? Do you think the average reader does forget authors after a year? Are there authors you’ll wait for?


About Elena Greene

Elena Greene grew up reading anything she could lay her hands on, including her mother's Georgette Heyer novels. She also enjoyed writing but decided to pursue a more practical career in software engineering. Fate intervened when she was sent on a three year international assignment to England, where she was inspired to start writing romances set in the Regency. Her books have won the National Readers' Choice Award, the Desert Rose Golden Quill and the Colorado Romance Writers' Award of Excellence. Her Super Regency, LADY DEARING'S MASQUERADE, won RT Book Club's award for Best Regency Romance of 2005 and made the Kindle Top 100 list in 2011. When not writing, Elena enjoys swimming, cooking, meditation, playing the piano, volunteer work and craft projects. She lives in upstate New York with her two daughters and more yarn, wire and beads than she would like to admit.
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