Monday, December 19, 2011

Gestation periods

It takes a while to have a baby.

Loving parents, or otherwise, conceive.  Many moons later, there is a precious bundle in the world.  For us humans, that gestation period is nine to ten months, a few weeks longer if the baby is like my kiddo and in no rush to leave the warmth and comfort of a well nourishing environment.  I hear elephants take up to two years.

Oh.  My.  God.

I couldn't handle that if that was my body, but many writers have gestation periods this long, or years longer, with novels.

AMONG DRAGONS and MEN is my oldest WiP.  Been working on this project for years.  It's had a couple of working title changes but I'm liking this one best of all.  Right now, no progress to report.


SEAMLESS (formerly NO COUNTRY FOR FAE FOLK) has some progress.  This is my newest baby, now at 12,800 word count for its rewrite.

UNCOMMON is only slightly older than SEAMLESS.  I've made a little progress with it, now at 3,700 word count for its rewrite.

What about you...have any WiPs that have been around for a while?  If so, how long and do you have any plans to go further with them?


  1. When it comes to gestation, all baby books are different.

    The idea for True Believers percolated for over 20 years, but only because I never considered publishing it. One day, I decided to make it happen.

    I kept the characters but discarded the original story and wrote a new story in only a few months.

    Touch Of Fire took exactly five weeks. I wish all my stories were that easy to write. :)

  2. I had one I'd started and roughly outlined but it sat untouched for decades. Pulled it out a few years ago and completely rewrote the story. (And it became my first published book.) So yeah, it can take a long time!

  3. Sendek took eight years to percolate and grow into itself. The sequel is currently 50K--unfinished--and most likely to be completely rewritten. It's been around for a year.

    Faerie Wings the idea has been around for a year, but on paper has only been since Nov. 1st. It's 30K--unfinished--and needs extensive tweaks after I finish. The good news is I don't think it will need a complete rewrite.

    I plan to finish all of them. Eventually. :D

  4. The first several books I wrote went fairly quickly. The fourth took a year. My oldest is the one getting published. It took me ten months to write, and another ten to fully revise before querying. Apparently I write slow.

  5. Maria - I agree. I wish all my stories were as easy to pen as Touch of Fire was for you.

    Alex - That's the beauty of keeping ideas even if you don't act on them immediately. You came back and got that story published.

    Charity - Sounds like you're following the same plan I am :-)

    Peggy - Doesn't seem you write slow at all. You write with purpose.

  6. Some people spend ten years on book, but I don't have that kind of patients! I've never fully revised a novel so here's hoping that the one I'm working on now will go well :)

  7. Well, my Project #1 was started in 2004... but, I work on it sporadically. Like, when I went back to university to finish my degree, I didn't even open the file for 2 years.

    I had to move on and write something different because overtime I went back, it felt claustrophobic. I had to stretch my *writing muscles* with a new story (or two or three) and improve.

    Eventually I will go back (it needs almost a complete re-write) but not yet. Not until the characters and world start screaming at me and keeping my up at night ;)

  8. Yes, I have lots of WIP that are just sitting around waiting to be worked on. It's time for me. Time and procrastination.

  9. All of my WiPs go full term, so they're all finished. I did have twins once, with a novel and a short story at the same time, but other than that I push 'em out one at a time.

  10. J.A. - You can do it. And I look forward to finding out things go when you've finished.

    1000th.monkey - I've heard of writers having a story started but coming back to them and making the story better after spending time on other projects.

    Clarissa - Ah. Procrastination. Visits me much more often than I care to and darned if I can't seem to properly turn it away :-)

    CN - Steady story generating. Sounds like a good plan to me.

  11. I think this is a dangerous road to go down! Apparently I've been gestating multiple babies for upwards of 7 years! :)

  12. I have a couple of shelved books, but I think they should stay there. :) My debut novel just released today. Thank you so much for stopping by to congratulation me. It meant a lot.

  13. Do you mean gestation for the first draft -- or until you have a version worthy of being shared publicly? :D That does make a difference!

    It might take me anywhere from 3 years to 3 months to complete a first draft. Revising said draft might take 9 more months or 2 years ...

  14. I do have a couple WIPs that have been around for a while. And they will never see the light of day. MWAH HA HA HA HA! (no really...they are terrible!)

  15. I had some projects pre-serious writing that ewre like...YEARS work that I had no intention of ever seeing the light. otherwise, I have a WIP (first book I finished) that's marinating. and one WIP I'm on draft 4 :) it's exciting, isn't it?

  16. I have two shelved novels and one shelved outline. Not sure if I'll ever bring them back. Maybe!

  17. My first novel needs another revision ... siigh. I set it aside for now.

    My second is still in 1st draft phase.

    Both will stay where they are for awhile. I started new projects which seem to be going faster. I think we learn about how to put a novel together better as we go along.

  18. I can't believe that I have been working on my novel for two years now but it is almost finished. I took several months off in the process, so all together I honestly have been writing it for some eight months or so. And it definitely feels like my baby! :-)

  19. I love that title! I want to read it just from hearing that.

    I do have a baby that I've held onto for the equivalent of a child graduating high school. I love it and am re-writing it with plans to finally allow it out into the world in 2014. Eeekk!

  20. LOL Susanna! You've been a very busy mommy :-)

    Ciara - Glad to share in your debut. Very awesome indeed. I've got one novel that is sitting in my cyber shelf. Not sure if I'll ever do anything with it. Hmmm...

    Dianne - From conception indeed :-)

    Alleged - You are too hilarious. Honestly, and don't tell anyone, but the one WiP I first completed eventually made it to the other side of the recycle bin lol!!! Yeah, needed way more help than I could muster.

    Lydia - Sounds like some material to fall back on, great for those days when you need a break from whatever you're currently working on.

    M Pax - You are SOOO right. I'm getting better, I hope, as I read and revise.

    Angela OP - birthing a novel is quite the process lol!!!

    Heather - Oh wow! I look forward to hearing more about your novel. Awesome!!

  21. Jessica - Got to share...AMONG DRAGONS and MEN has had two full drafts and this rewrite will make number three. I can SOOOOO understand where you're coming from :-)

  22. I have one contemporary that has been sitting around for two years. I'm determined to finish it in 2012. I'll be kicking that baby out the door!

    I did at shudder at the idea of elephants with their long gestation. The babies are cute though.

  23. Shelley - yeah, read something about elephants a long time ago, around the time I was carrying Chipmunk. She's 7 now, so yeah, that scary little nugget about elephants stuck with me.

  24. I have three lined up like cars waiting for the valet to find the keys. Eeenie Meenie Minie...

  25. Next year, Doorways (my main WiP) will be five years in the making. But I decided it's time for it to see the world. Come hell or high water, next year it will be queried or published.

  26. That's awesome Leslie. It's always great to keep words on hand...particularly when you're a writer :-)

    You know, Misha, when I first started getting serious about writing, I would have thought 5 years a long time. Now...hmmmm...5 years doesn't seem long at all.

  27. @ Maria, your red-headed step child :) Love that you made True Believers happen.

    Let's see, oldest is a story and its sequel that I started probably 20 years ago. I recovered some of both from a forgotten print out but have lost to technology changes at least 1/2 of one and 2/3 of the other. No idea at this stage of the game if I'll revisit them.

    I've only taken my writing seriously in the last 3-4 years so I have nothing terribly old...yet :) The oldest finished MS, waiting on edits, is about 2 years old. Definitely plan to finish that up in 2012.

  28. I hope to accomplish one of two things in 2012, self-publish one of my works or get it picked up by a house. I didn't set a specific goal for 2011 so giving it a go for 2012.
    First, have to get the draft done :-)


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