This will flag comments for moderators to take action.

What do folks in England eat for breakfast?  How do you milk a giraffe?  What types of cases go to the Supreme Court?  Can you break a car window with a thermos?  Use this Q & A forum to help supply your characters, plots, and settings with a dose of reality.  Someone, somewhere, has the answer.
Posted: 2/3/2011 4:22 PM PST

Beruthiel
When you talk about how long a book takes, it is important to consider how much time per week someone has to devote to writing. Very few unpublished writers have the luxury of writing full-time. Many people take years over their first novel, simply because they have demanding paying jobs. Once (& IF) they become successful enough to become full-time wrtiters, the pace picks up. (e.g. Charles Dickens?) If however, you have the time, but it goes slowly because you don't have the drive, or the inspiration, or find the necessary 'polishing' tedious - then maybe writing is not for you.
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 1/15/2011 10:50 PM PST
DON'T GIVE UP. BE PERSSITANT. DON'T GIVE UP, YOU GOT THE TALENT AND PASSION FOR IT, SO JUST BE TOUGH, STAND STRONG, KEEP AT IT AND YOU WILL GET THERE.
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 4/12/2010 5:08 AM PDT
While I do agree with the others here who recommend never giving up, there is, however, a bit of reality that everyone should pay attention to because it will make or break you... First off, if it takes you many years to write one book, do you honestly think this is something you can make a career of? Too many people look at publication as a stroking of the ego...their entire self worth becomes rooted in publishing a novel. But in all the time spent in worrying about whether they COULD, they forget about whether they even SHOULD. Writing is both a business and a career. Obviously, you're never going to make a career of writing if it takes you years to write 1 book (not unless you're one of those rare talents that writes a Pulitzer-Prize-winning book your first time out...or a book that gets turned into a movie with a 7-figure deal). Writing and editing your work doesn't become easier just because you finish a single novel. Secondly, forget about writing some massively long manuscript or multi-volume story for your first work. From a new author, publishers (and agents) want a stand-alone book of roughly 70-80,000 words max. And don't think you'll just chop a huge work into 3 separate books. With a new author, publishers know there's no guarantee their work will sell. Therefore, it's HIGHLY unlikely they'll commit to a multi-book deal straight off. Write 1 solid, salable work of proper length and breadth and leave the masterwork for later. So while I don't want to discourage anyone, it's important to be realistic...and save yourself some time (and agony) in the process.
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 4/5/2010 5:07 PM PDT
Come on man, hang in there. Rejection is a part of every artist's life; you just have to push through it and keep working at it. I'm not going to pretend to understand your frustration, but please, keep going. We're all here for you!
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 3/31/2010 3:21 AM PDT
Look it, There was once a great scientist that was disregarded, and told 'off' but today he is on of the best scientists that ever lived, Albert Instein. You may get rejected, but who give a f***, honstly, just keep trying
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 2/27/2010 11:57 PM PST
Don't give up just yet. Some of the worlds best authors, artists, composers and so on were regected heaps of times before making it. Really you need to find the right person to publish your work. And that may seem like it's taking forever but in the end it's worth it. Keep trying.
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 2/6/2010 10:51 PM PST
I started writing THE STARCHILD back in 1996. I got an agent rep in 2001 and 2003, but never got past the editing stage for the novel. It's 2010 now--14 years *after* I started writing the novel. 14 prototype versions of it, 3 major rewrites and a lot of headaches in between. 100+ rejections from all over the agent/publisher spectrum. You think you have it rough? Try standing in my shoes for awhile. I don't have it any easier than you. But while I have given up the dream of becoming mainstream published, I haven't given up my dream of *becoming* PUBLISHED. Doing it my way, of course. I have other ideas, other plans, other *avenues* to seeing my work in print or as an e-book--whichever is more cost-effective and profitable. And I don't mean *riches*. I mean, "something better than living on $339 a month"-kind. My advice to you is to smooth out the rough edges of your book. Get it polished, possibly go over it with another rewrite or two. Whatever it takes to make your book more presentable. But giving up...? IS NEVER AN OPTION FOR WRITERS LIKE US. Sky
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 12/23/2009 4:57 PM PST
Hey, I would strongly consider listening to all those who said don't give up. I HATE seeing people give up just because they don't catch a break. Makes me want to quite becuase of a lot of my frusterations. But your break will come! The Harry Potter series got rejected for 10 years! or something close to that. Twilight was rejected by 6 different publishers. Listen I've had mild dislexyia for almost my whole life and I can tell you there's nothing more frusterating than dealing with that and writing a book. But it's something I take passion in and I am not going to give up, and neither are you. Sometimes it's not as easy as you think it is, but if you truly enjoy this than the frusteration and anger will all be worth it. (By the way I'd LOVE to read your book. Always keeps me motivated when I read other's works. I'll give you my honest opinion. I promise.) PLEASE DON"T GIVE UP! Keep your chin up Nicolette Christiansen =)
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 12/20/2009 9:39 PM PST
Okay, my job here is to help motivate. I am 56, started my first book at 49, it took 6 years and ended up at 425,000 words; no publisher is going to touch such a thing from an unpublished elderly author, with a ten foot barge pole; I don't care. I thoroughly enjoyed the project, even the tough times. My latest effort is a piddling 97,000 worder, maybe, maybe not. The point is, if you are writing merely for success then I can see why there is so much frustration, but if you can swing to writing because you want too, then the whole process switches from work to passion. How do you make the swing; you must choose a subject that inspires you to put pen to paper, you must reclaim the initial excitement that incited you to tell a story in the first place, you must love the pain and the effort. Forget writing for others, write for yourself. Don't give up, perhaps one day you may actually complete that best seller, the one you wrote because you wanted too.
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 11/23/2009 2:26 PM PST
Something to consider is the ending. How does the book end? I've done a lot of searching on the web and one fact remains consistant no matter who you ask or where you look: you book has to have a beginning, a middle and an end. As the others have stated, you have to have an ending. Even if the book is over a thousand pages, it eventually has to end. Every story does. Another possibility: Your book my be more than one book. Consider that as you try to determine how the book ends. You could chop it up into a trilogy, or a series. Find a good point for the first 'book' to end and just let it end there. It'll pick up in the second and then the third, ect. I found one story online that would have been about three feet thick if printed as a paperback. When I looked at it from the perspective of multiple books though, it read extremely well and fast. So don't give up on your baby.
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 11/14/2009 8:09 PM PST
Some of the best authors in the world were rejected over ten times. JK Rowling was rejected over ten times and now look at her (no matter what your opinions are of the books, you can't deny that that is a great story). We all think that our books are bestsellers. That's our jobs as their authors. Hell, if we didn't care about them, who would? They're our babies. You really need to work on editing and refining your story. You are trying to sell your book to these agents. Would you buy a used car from a shifty dealer? No, and an agent wouldn't buy an unfinished and unpolished work. I'm sure your book is spectacular. Most of the stories here are. The point of this website is to get that editing and polishing help so that agents will love you. Remember that your story is your baby - if you give up on it, it will never get a chance. I've been writing one book for five (eh, probably closer to six) years now too. And I'm not done. Well, technically I've moved onto the sequel, but it's one long continuous narrative that could change at any time, so I never definitively finished #1. I've found throughout all these years that I've really gotten to know the characters. I've been told that my character development is some of the best on webook. Sometimes writing for a long time can be a good thing. Sometimes it just takes some people longer. There is no shame in taking a while to finish. :)
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 11/4/2009 8:28 AM PST
Exactly.
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 11/2/2009 7:07 PM PST
Don't give up. We all suffer fear that no one wants us or our work. But writing and acting require the same effort, which is to keep going, keep trying, learn all you can and then learn more, and practice, practice, practice. You wouldn't take a martial arts class and think after just a few lessons that you could whip everyone's ass, would you? The way to overcome the fear and the anger is to love your work and keep working. Hang with those you love and respect and when it all gets to be too much, let go for awhile and do something else. Listen to music. Eat chocolate. Watch a movie or a play. Read a book. If you want to be a writer, you better be a book reader else you're in the wrong field. Just like if you want to be an actor you have to watch other actors. You can do it. We all can. We all just have to be strong, be brave, and tell the world to f*** off sometimes. We're all here for you!
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 10/31/2009 12:37 AM PST
Your problem is in your post. Agents (and publishers) don't want "rough around the edges" if you have never been published before. You need your manuscript as close to perfect as you can get before you submit. Maybe I'm not reading your post right, but are you still finishing the actual writing? No publisher will touch an unfinished fiction work. I'm not trying to be discouraging, but those are the facts of your troubles.
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 10/30/2009 4:55 PM PST
I'VE BEEN WRITING MY BOOK NOW FOR ALMOST FIVE YEARS WITHOUT ANY END IN SIGHT!!!!!!!!! I SIGNED UP TO AGENT-INBOX IN THE HOPE THAT MAYBE PEOPLE WOULD SEE THAT WHILE DUSTY AND A LITTLE ROUGH AROUND THE EDGES MY BOOK IS A BEST-SELLER! BUT NO! I GET REJECTED BY THEM ALL. EVEN WHEN THEY READ THE F***** THING! SOD IT, I THINK IM DONE!
Sign-Up or Login to Reply