One (I Hope) In 2021 (That Will Be Nearly Two Years In The Writing)

Nothing like being a writer on Twitter and what you see from some other writers. I had to look at this tweet twice. This is a strange question to ask:

Because WHY does it matter? Writing is about quality not quantity. Better to publish one book in five years if that book is excellent than push out “five” books in a year if they are rubbish. You do not win extra “author points” for the numbers of books published each year.

[My first three novels, a series written from 2012-2015, here in their 2018 single volume compilation. (Available in paperback only.) Photo by me, September 2020.]

In fact I think if readers see hordes of books appearing in a tight timeframe, they will smell a rat. As a reader too I can feel the same. I know if I see “too many” books churned out too quickly (in my opinion) I tend to assume the novels are either ridiculously short (“150 pages” is really the minimum for “a novel”; fewer is really a “novella”) or just not very good.

So while I highlighted that here, I tend to scroll by tweets like those without saying anything to the tweeter. More often than not such tweets are just about the tweeter looking to attract @s. For getting as many replies as possible ups their engagement, leading to Twitter’s algorithm shoving more of their tweets at the rest of us.

Novel-writing is NOT about numbers. Do not allow anyone to lecture you (or even imply to you) that because you did not write “7” books last year, you are not writing “enough.” For example, recently I spent I don’t know how many days – possibly the better part of a week – drafting (I am still not finished with it) a single chapter, which includes these three paragraphs:

[From as of yet unnamed follow up to Tomorrow The Grace. Click to enlarge. Copyright 2020.]

Important historical facts in my novels always get double-checked. (I am an historian. It may be fiction, yes, but I do not want to mess up any major actual happening. My former university employer would go nuts. LOL!) Every sentence gets read carefully for flow. That above may be “only” three paragraphs, but it takes a lot longer to write three paragraphs like those than it does to read them.

Never forget, Jane Austen published five or six or seven novels (officially, depending on how you count). Five-Seven… over her writing life.

F. Scott Fitzgerald published four novels fully during his lifetime.

Margaret Mitchell published one novel. ONE. (You know the one, I’m sure.)

I did not create this web site until December 2013 – which was after I had published my first book: I believed I had to have stuck my neck out fully before I could offer reasonable opinions on writing and authoring. Having created an “author Twitter account” in August 2019 – after four* additional books, and nearly six years since that first – and observing what I see on that platform, I detect some tweeting writers are full of (to be polite) hot air. Be wary too of those who tweet and retweet all sorts of “authoring advice” but evidently have themselves STILL not yet published anything.

Happy Monday! 🙂


UPDATE: *Tomorrow The Grace – the fourth – was then nearly finished, and released in October 2019.

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