Realities of writing
Assuming a typing speed of 100 words per minute, it takes 16.67 hours to write 100,000 words.
That’s without stopping to eat, sleep, use the facilities, flex fingers, or fidget in the writer’s hot seat. It doesn’t include the time needed to come up with a character’s history, their personalities, or their quirks; the antagonist’s driving goal; the overachieving plot of a story; or, most importantly, to do the research that fills in the tiny gaps and makes the narrative more tangible and believable.
Let’s not forget the required rewriting, copy-editing, beta-reading, and polishing to whip a piece into shape.
A novel-length story written in 16.67 hours is most likely going to be a piece of absolute rubbish in the shape of a train-of-consciousness narrative, run-on and endless sentences, self-contradicting two-dimensional characters, unbelievable deus ex machina solutions, and, plot holes that a long-haul truck driver can drive a 24-wheeler through, with plenty of room for the oversize clearance load rumbling along behind them.
I know this because I have evidence in my file folders. Let me tell you, the smell coming from those file folders is well past downwind sun-warmed rotting fruit and well into bloated-body decomposition while floating merrily along the river. Nobody wants to read that shit.
Writing isn’t a race. It’s not a matter of how many words are written per minute, how many chapters are finished per day, how many books are completed per week. It’s getting the story written, which is work, pure and simple. Like any other job, for it to be done well, the writer has to put in the time.
And it takes time. Time to come up with believable main characters, relatable evil protagonists, plots that appeal to the heart and outcomes that warm the soul. Time to sit at a blank screen with a blinking cursor, in search of the battery charger when the laptop power dips below 10%, and to make the life-sustaining tea that’s going to go cold when a moment of inspiration hits. Time to live life while thinking on how to finish a chapter, to overcome insecurities about a scene, and to find the confidence to release the story into the wild for others to capture and read.
It could take years before a story is finished and shared with others. It could take a month. It might never be completed, because the writer broke themselves trying to get to the end.
This is the reality of being a writer, whether it’s published fiction or fan fiction. Yeah, someone could, in theory, write a whole book in less than 24 hours. Does that mean it should be? Is it a book that people would want to read?
(No. Trust me. Save yourselves.)
Support your favourite writer with encouragement and patience. Pushing for more, faster, right away? It only guarantees your favourite writer will burn out, and you’ll never find out how the story ends.