Well, of course I can. You're not going to jump through the screen and throttle me, after all.
IS OUT IN STORES AND YOU SHOULD DROP THE SPATULA AND LET THE HOTDOGS BURN ON THE GRILL AND GO BUY IT
Okay. Got that out of my system.
Forbidden Rose is not actually 'out' yet. That is, it has not yet let down its hair and made an official bow to society and gone to its first ball and got permission from the patronesses of Almacks to dance the waltz.
It's more like Forbidden Rose is leaning over the stair rail and sneaks down to dance with her cousin and everybody smiles nostalgically and looks the other way. That kinda 'out'.
So Forbidden is in some stores, but not in others, depending on who was stocking the shelves and whether 'release date' means anything to them or whether they are just wild-eyed anarchists. Forbidden won't really be 'out' till Tuesday.
So you can go ahead and carefully deal with the Memorial Day hotdogs if you want.
But I digress.
Anyhow . . .
I was talking about what annoyed me. I mean, besides leaf-blowers on Saturday morning and heavy perfume in places where I am trying to enjoy a meal and squirrels.
I am annoyed by people who write with the speed of lightning.
I suffer from envy of the most unattractive sort.
Envying people who write fast, not envying joggers
because I don't actually envy joggers, I just think they are going to have no cartilage left in their knees when they are fifty. I say this having near-and-dear who jog.
But back to writing fast.
Once in a while, somewhere in the back of my mind, I find myself thinking, "How dare people write faster and better and more easily than I do?"
It is unattractive of me, I know.
But I'm weak.
So, anyway, I was thinking about how fast or slow I write and figgered I'd lay the reasons down and look at them and generally say how the process works for me.
If you are not interested in a leeeengthy disquisition of writing process,
having better things to do like floss your teeth or go after the waxy buildup in the corner of the kitchen floor . . .
this is where you turn aside and go visit Word Wenches here where Cara Elliott is talking about Art in the Regency Period right this moment.
But if you are still sticking with me, (the way folks sit past the end of 'Bones' and form an audience for whatever the network slots into the nine o'clock program hour,) then I will finally get to the point.
My own method is to throw down a very rough draft for the whole manuscript. This 'first rough draft' does indeed approach lightning speed.
But I then go through the manuscript in successive redrafts -- Drafts Two, Three, Four and Five. The transition between Draft One and Draft Two is the most time-consuming. It's the hardest. Draft Five is sent off to the publisher.
How long does it take me to produce the 'finished words' that appear in the book?
(WARNING: DULL CALCULATIONS AHEAD)
I write 100,000- to-115,000- word manuscripts.
I do book in a year and a bit.
A year is . . . rounding madly everywhere . . . a year is 260 working days. I work six hours a day. So that's 1600 working hours per year.
-- One third of those 1600 working hours is devoted to research; gathering resources; fact-checking in original source material; setting up charts of moon phases, weather, historical events; making sure words and phrases are historically accurate, and allthatkindastufflikethat.
-- Two or three little percentums goes to the planning, outlining, and structuring of the manuscript.
-- Ten percent of the total working time goes to the requested editorial changes at the publisher, the copyedits, galley proofs and so on.
Do you know how long it takes to proof-read 400 pages?
Just a hellacious long time.
-- Five percent ends up in various sorts of promotional activities -- blogging, attending conferences, book signing, website maintenance, mass mailings. I'm going to count a goodly time spent trying to make the computer work.
Because that has to fit in somewhere.
You know, if chefs began to cook and the stove just turned blue and stopped working and it took days of analysis and cloning the burners and restarting from an external oven, chefs would be far less jolly than they are now.
People who make computer viruses are evil and should be used as villains in Contemporary Romance. They should be ASHAMED of themselves.
what with one thing and another,
the actual sit-in-the-chair-and-write-the-bloody-manuscript time is about 50% of the theoretical working time. Comes to 800 hours/year maybe.
When all the plaster dust is swept up and the blood staunched and the hogs are driven back into the pen and the lawyers have taken their briefcases and decamped
. . . when ALL of this stuff above is added in . . .
I'm creating maybe 140 final, polished, published words an hour.
Or approximately 850 words-a-day.
Or a little more than three book pages a day.
We got Picasso Woman with Book, lightning strike is public domain, and TerBorch Woman Writing a Letter