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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
According to Monday's episode of PAWN STARS, the "average" novel takes 475 hours to compose.

So, now we know. ;)

I mean, it was on the History Channel, folks... that settles it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Assuming the standard 2,000-hour word week, we should all therefore be "averaging" just under four novels a year.

Which I guess means that the highly-respected John Irving, who takes years between new novels, is a complete slacker... ;)
 

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I tend not to trust the History Channel when it comes to non-Hitler programming (But for fuhrer-based entertainment, they can't be beat), so I have to assume they're neglecting the hours that go into a book that aren't the actual writing process:

100 hours of research
150 hours of reading unrelated Wikipedia articles while doing research
50 hours of staring at empty word processor files
80 hours of trying to come up with names for things
700 hours battling self-doubt
1 hour of genuine pride and self confidence
29 hours of power naps
41 hours of  non-power naps
20 hours of telling people you're an author at parties.
60 hours of telling people you're and author at coffee shops.
35 hours deleting 75 hours of writing because it just doesn't click anymore.
18 hours getting bored of the blank word processor profile and trying ASCII art.
40 hours of feng shui to make your study 'conducive to writing.
90 hours fighting imaginary ninjas.

Incidentally, 450 pages works out to 8.6 pages a week to write a novel in a year. I crank 15 a week. Too bad it's across seven different projects...
 

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I saw that tonight. Funnily enough, based on how quickly I write (about 1k an hour, so a 75k novel takes me about 75 hours to complete) I figured they WERE taking into account all the slacking, editing, more slacking, more editing, starting over because it sucks, and self-loathing.
 

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The most I can hope for after factoring in my day job, is 3 novels a year... 4 if I give up the whiskey and cigars, and I'm NOT giving those up.   ;D
 

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ChristopherDavidPetersen said:
The most I can hope for after factoring in my day job, is 3 novels a year... 4 if I give up the whiskey and cigars, and I'm NOT giving those up. ;D
Really? With the two day jobs I have, I can hope for one novel a year. I'm a slow writer. Well, actually no. I average 1k in 1h, but then it takes me a long time to edit and trim, and sometimes it takes me weeks to write myself out of a plothole. ;D
 

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Vaalingrade said:
I tend not to trust the History Channel when it comes to non-Hitler programming (But for fuhrer-based entertainment, they can't be beat), so I have to assume they're neglecting the hours that go into a book that aren't the actual writing process:

100 hours of research
150 hours of reading unrelated Wikipedia articles while doing research
50 hours of staring at empty word processor files
80 hours of trying to come up with names for things
700 hours battling self-doubt
1 hour of genuine pride and self confidence
29 hours of power naps
41 hours of non-power naps
20 hours of telling people you're an author at parties.
60 hours of telling people you're and author at coffee shops.
35 hours deleting 75 hours of writing because it just doesn't click anymore.
18 hours getting bored of the blank word processor profile and trying ASCII art.
40 hours of feng shui to make your study 'conducive to writing.
90 hours fighting imaginary ninjas.

Incidentally, 450 pages works out to 8.6 pages a week to write a novel in a year. I crank 15 a week. Too bad it's across seven different projects...
I love every single word of this. But you left out hours spent KB cruising when your novel wakes you up at 5 am from a perfectly respectable sleep.
 

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nadinucca said:
Really? With the two day jobs I have, I can hope for one novel a year. I'm a slow writer. Well, actually no. I average 1k in 1h, but then it takes me a long time to edit and trim, and sometimes it takes me weeks to write myself out of a plothole. ;D
Yikes! TWO day jobs? That's a whole lotta working going on there. I wouldn't feel so bad about that one book a year figure you mentioned. It's not necessarily about quantity as it is about quality ;)
 

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Sara Rosett said:
Don't forget the .5 hour of doing laundry/dishes instead of writing. :)
and getting the food from the grocery store to the fridge and then from the fridge to the table.
Unless I'm the only one who eats, but then I don't drink and I don't smoke anymore.
 

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ChristopherDavidPetersen said:
Yikes! TWO day jobs? That's a whole lotta working going on there. I wouldn't feel so bad about that one book a year figure you mentioned. It's not necessarily about quantity as it is about quality ;)
Yeah... One job is online as a university ESL teacher. The other job is managing a language school. The good thing is that I have tons of free time at work and access to a computer. ;) Guess where I'm writing from now.

But yes, I'd put quality before quantity any day. The fact that I'm working on editing my DEBUT novel might also have something to do with my slowness... ;)

Comparing my Book 1 to Book 2, I realized something. In one month, I wrote about 46k words for Book 2. The quality is not the best, but it's not that bad either. It took me SIX MONTHS to reach that word count for Book 1.

Ah, what's that thing they say about practice...? ::)
 

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A conservative estimate puts mine right around 4,000 hours to compose. So, my mind works about 1/10th the speed of everyone else. I can buy that.
 
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