Saturday, June 13, 2009


I have 325 pages of horrible drivel completed. It is missing scenes and characterizations, the plot really sucks, and my grammar....well lets just say my former College English teacher would shudder in horror at the plight.

But, it's done!

This is a HUGE thing for me, and for every other writer out there. This is a step that has taken me far longer than it should have (a year and a half--the agony!). Squirreled away in binders, folders, and drawers I have dozens of half finished stories and manuscripts--I have so many beginnings and even some middles....but no endings.

One day I will finish those other stories. Right now, I am going to work on editing and revising the finished story....and think about the next one I have to write. Which one to start next? I probably should finish the trilogy I started....but did not really plot.


So I finished it. Now I have to fix it.

What was the first story you finished? How long did it take? How fast can you do a rough draft now?


Christine said...

Mary: YOU FINISHED!! I am so happy for you. My first book took me about 6 months. I wrote 2 pages a day, 4-5 days a week, and I edited it (but I didn't really know about revision hehe). The next book took about 6 months and the third is in it's fourth revision. I've been working on that bad boy for about 1.5 years (due to move and you know the rest of the story). I know I can write a first draft in a week. And I plan to do it again. On Monday I start revising it. I hope all the lessons I learned in revising the third book will help me increase my revision speed. We'll see.

Congratulations again!!

M.V.Freeman said...

Thanks Christine!
Your encouragement and celebration of my finishing has meant a lot.

Now I have to finish Revision Hell, (It is a class taught my Candace Haven)

I am looking forward to the next book....

And, what book are you contemplating next?

Christine said...

The fourth one--you know the title.

M.V.Freeman said...

It will be awesome!

Karen Beeching said...

Mary, congratulations! That's wonderful and a huge accomplishment. My first book took about 6 months (and was not worth saving). Now 80k of polished manuscript takes me about 4 months to write.

I feel so much better about this writing thing than I did 20 years ago. :)

M.V.Freeman said...

Thanks Karen,
It was hard...more difficult than I thought! But, like you the more I write the better I feel about writing. Granted, I'm not sure how well I do write... But I am pressing on.

Louisa Cornell said...

CONGRATS MARY !!!!!! YAY !!!!!!!
There are so many people who SAY they are going to write a book. Most of them never do it, but YOU have done it and you have every right to be PROUD!

My first book LOST IN LOVE took me almost a year to complete. The second one took about 8 months. I hope this third one takes a lot less time! It is so hard to write AND work a full-time job at Wal-Mart.

It does get a bit quicker each time AND you end up writing a better, more concise book each time which is always a good thing!

Carla Swafford said...

My first book took years. I didn't have a lot confidence and only a typewriter - I hate White-Out. The same with my second one. My third took one year. My fourth took six months. My fifth took around nine months. Then my sixth, seventh and eighth I wrote in 3-4 months each in the same 12 month period. My ninth one, I started at the end of January and hopefully will finish soon. That one was interrupted by editing my sixth one.

The first four books will never se the light of day, but I plan to use the plots and write new books.

Congratulations, Mary. It's a good feeling, isn't it? When you finish a book, you feel like you can do anything.

Carla Swafford said...

And, oh...I have a full time job that normally requires overtime during the summer months.

M.V.Freeman said...

Thank you Louisa!
I love your perseverence, and you have finaled twice in the Golden Heart, what a FANTASTIC thing! :-)

I totally understand about soul sucking jobs, and you know I think its the writing that saves us all.

I certainly am glad things get more concise, because at the moment, my revisions are going to be painful...LOL

M.V.Freeman said...

You are right, after finishing a book you feel like you can accomplish anything...(again those revisions are what I am aiming for!)

And you started with a typewriter!? Wow! I tried that many, many years ago. I can type, but lets just say Computers are a saving grace for me...and yes, I was the white out queen.

Ah...and those jobs that require over time are evil...!

Paula said...

I started with a typewriter, too. Now, I can't imagine how I did it.

I can usually write a 60-65K book in 2 to 2 1/2 months now, and I also work full time. I set a page count per day to do, extra on holidays and weekends. My finished draft is usually very close to my final draft.

However, my first few books took anywhere from six months to three years. You get better and faster with practice.

Cari Hislop said...

I don't actually remember how long my first book took to write (at least a year) but I had three story ideas in my head at the time so I kept forgetting which story I was writing and it showed in the book. It wasn't good, (the whole first half was as stiff as a corpse) but I finished it and that was a fantastic feeling!!! I never thought I'd ever finish a whole book either. Congratulations on your first finish...that's really wonderful. For me it turned out that books one through four all had to be completely rewritten. Still haven't finished rewriting the first one, but I think when it's done it'll be my favorite. I hadn't yet learned to listen to the characters so I kept forcing them into what I thought should happen next. That always irritates them and they then pack up and go on holiday and leave me sitting here banging my head against the desk. As for speed...gosh, the fastest I've ever written a book was in 6 months, but that was miracle. Normally it's been about 2 years from start to finish (I normally work on multiple projects) but I can't even imagine writing a whole book in three months...and going out to work...that is AMAZING!

M.V.Freeman said...

You are a better woman than me...a typewriter!

And outstanding on getting a book done in 2 1/2-3 months! I am hoping this next one I am planning on doesn't take a year. *sigh*

M.V.Freeman said...

I cannot tell how my characters just decide to head for the outskirts of siberia when I try to force them and not listen to them.

I just wish they would just TALK more. LOL

How many projects do you tackle at a time? I used to think I could write more than one book at a time...*cue the hysterical laughter* :) Not any more...

M.V.Freeman said...

Ok Cari, I should have previewed before I send the last post...
I mean--I can't tell you how many times My characters have run for...etc

*sigh* long day.

Diane Richmond said...

I remember the first book that I finished and the great way that I felt. It was so wonderful and there is no feeling like it. Congratulations.

It takes me approximately 5 to 6 months to do a first draft on a book. It is almost another 5 months to get it to final form. I used to be faster, but I think I am now better. Tell me, please, that's progress.

M.V.Freeman said...

I think it is progress. I am in the midst of my revisions...and lets just say it isn't pretty.
Plus, you learned what works for you! I think that is one of the best things you can learn. :-)

I have so much to learn....