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Writing Books/Can you help me?


I don't know if any of my questions have already been asked, and I'd appreciate it if you could answer them regardless. I'm an aspiring author, and any help would be wonderful, as this is my life's dream.

- Do you have any deadlines that must be met? If so, who sets them and how much time do they normally encompass?

- How much time do you send writing on a daily basis? Do you set working hours for yourself?

- How long does it take you to finish a whole novel? How long did it take you to finish your last novel?

- Who do you work with in terms of people? Do you need an agent, or can you work without one?

- What's the hardest part of your job, aside from writer's block?

- What does a normal day in your job consist of?

I wanted to thank you for your help. It's nice to now things like these before you try to go professional. ^o^


This must be a common school assignment, because I've answered these questions (or ones much like them) several times over the past few years... including just yesterday!  But here you go:

1) All of my deadlines are self-set, as I'm not currently under any sort of writing contract.

2) I spend about 12 hours per week writing (four days out of the week for 3 hours each day).  As I also have a full-time job, this is a pretty hefty amount of my spare time.  And yes, the hours are set, though on weekends, there's a lot of wiggle room.

3) My last novel took about 5 years for me to complete, although (a) I was working full-time through much of that period and (b) I was also editing my previous novel during that time, too.  That previous novel took about 8 years (but it was triple the lenght of the second.  My plan for my next one is to have it finished inside of two years.

4) I'm currently not working with anyone; I have no agent, though I'd certainly welcome one.

5) Actually, writer's block isn't even remotely one of the hardest parts of my work.  My most frustrating thing is dealing with the business side of writing, e.g., marketing, distribution, etc.  That alone could easily be a full-time endeavor... and, in fact, should be.  But then I'd never get any actual writing done!

6) My normal day... well, as I said, I work a day job, too, so a weekday consists of getting up, exercising, going to work, coming home, taking care of mundane matters, spending 3 hours writing (if it's Tuesday or Thursday), and going to bed.  I also spend three hours (currently; that may increase) on Saturdays and Sundays working on my writing.

Hope that's helpful!

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Vincent M. Wales


I am a speculative fiction novelist (fantasy, science fiction, and so on). While I may be able to answer questions on non-fiction, my specialty is fiction. Please keep that in mind when asking questions.


For four years, I taught a series of fiction writing classes in Sacramento, CA.

BA in fiction writing.

Awards and Honors
My 2004 novel, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, won BEST FICTION in Fresh Voices 2006, BEST FICTION and BEST YA FICTION in the NCPA Book Awards, and placed as a finalist in BEST BOOKS 2005. In 2002, my novel WISH YOU WERE HERE won awards for Best Fantasy and Best Fiction/Drama in the 8th Annual SPA Awards. My latest work is a trilogy titled THE MANY DEATHS OF DYNAMISTRESS (a superhero memoir). The first book, RECKONING, was released in 2013 and won the SF category in the 2014 San Francisco Book Festival, took second place in the 2013 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards for the SF/Fantasy/Paranormal category, second place in the SF category of the 2013 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards, and was finalist in Foreword's 2013 Book of the Year Awards, Fantasy category. The second book, REDEMPTION, will be released in early 2015 and the final book, RENAISSANCE, is scheduled for release in late 2016.

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