23. How long does it usually take you to complete an entire story—from planning to writing to posting (if you post your work)?
This varies so widely that it's really hard to make any kind of definitive statement about it. It depends on so many factors: If a story is for an exchange, or I'm otherwise on a deadline, that will speed up the process a lot; with sufficient motivation, I can write a short story in a week or even less. Sometimes a fit of inspiration will do that, too, but if I don't have any kind of external pressure, it usually takes much longer. Often months, sometimes years ("Aftermath" being the most obvious example of the latter). But when I say a story has taken me months or years to write, rarely am I working on that story non-stop -- I'll start it, make some progress, set it aside, work on other things, go through a slump, ignore it for awhile, perhaps even forget that exists. Usually, in the end, I'll pick it back up for some reason and then finish it in a rush. I am not particularly fond of this pattern, however, because it means that stories moulder in my WIP file for far too long. There are gems in there that have never seen the light of day, and may never do so. Finishing up these kinds of WIPs has been one of my goals for this year of writing; more importantly, I've been trying to force myself to work on stories in progress rather than setting them aside when I get bored/frustrated/distracted so that they don't get relegated to that WIP file in the first place. I haven't always been successful, but I think I've done better than the last couple of years at least.
30 Days of Writing: Complete list of questions
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