Lynn Lovegreen: The Writing Process – Every book is different.

I have
written drafts for four novels and a novella for my Gold Rush series. Two are
published, and a third is in the editing process with my publisher (Prism Book
Group) now. One thing I’ve learned is that every book or project is a little
different. Like many things, generalizations about writing are just that, and
each experience varies.

My first
novel in the series, Fools Gold, was
started in 2006 and published in 2013. Like I said, it was my first, and it
took many years to learn how to write a novel (with some time off–I didn’t work
on it the whole time). Many rounds of critiques and revisions, over time,
helped turn it into a book that a publisher might be interested in. Then, once
the publisher got involved, it took three rounds with a content editor and two
with the editor-in-chief to get it ready for publication. Those rounds were
important for the book and for me as a newbie author; I believe they made the
book stronger and I learned a lot about writing.

The novella Worth Her Weight in Gold, started as a
short story prequel for Fools Gold
that I suggested might work as a freebie on the website. It took me about three
months to research, then I set it down for a while, and took a few weeks to
write the short story. One of my writing groups critiqued it, and I revised
before sending it in. The content editor read it and said, no, this should be a
novella, could you rewrite it? I said, sure, I’ll give it a try. I expanded it
from about 800 words to about 10,000 words in about five days. Then we ran it
through three rounds of editing before it was ready for publication. (Notice
that’s fewer rounds than the first one–hopefully that means my writing had
improved, but maybe the novella was just shorter and easier to work with.)

Now we’re in
the midst of editing the second novel, Quicksilver
to Gold
. That one took me about two years to research, critique, and write
to final draft. My content editor is working with me on it now, and I expect
it’ll go through a few rounds but we’ll see how things work out.

My point is
that I can’t tell you exactly how much time it takes me to write a book,
because each one varied. I got faster compared to the first book, but each one
took a different mix of research, writing, critiquing, and editing. Some I set
down for months or years, then refined before I got the contract. I had the
advantage of building my craft over time before I found a publisher, so I had
manuscripts ready to submit as a series, when many writers submit single
titles.  Another quirky detail: I have
had one editor-in-chief but three different content editors so far, so even
within the same publisher things vary. Each author probably has a different
experience to share, maybe for each book.

My advice to
newbie writers is to listen to others and glean any advice or ideas that help
you, then throw out the rest. Don’t expect your writing experience to match
anyone else’s, because each writer’s journey, and each book, is different.
You’re unique, and that’s okay. 
Celebrate those differences! 

Featured author Lynn Lovegreen grew up in Alaska, and still lives there. She taught English for 20 years before retiring to make more time for writing. She enjoys reading, hanging out with friends and family, and hitting targets with a cowboy action shooting club. Her young adult historical romances are set in the Alaska Gold Rush, a great time for drama, romance, and independent characters. See her website at You can also find her on Facebook, Tumblr, and Pinterest.

1 thought on “Lynn Lovegreen: The Writing Process – Every book is different.”

  1. It's always helpful and inspiring to hear about the writing and book publishing process from others. thanks.

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