How much paper does it take me to write a book? A bunch, it turns out.
I wrote the rough draft of A Marble Heart by hand, as I have my previous books. Unlike my previous books, however, the process took at least ten notepads.
Following this, I typed a copy, making changes as I typed. When that was completed, I waited a few months to get some distance on it. Then I read it over again and made a bunch of changes.
Then, I retyped the entire thing. Flow is important, and it’s possible to lose the flow of a book if you just cherry pick the parts you think aren’t working. Reading it entirely gives you the proper context for those changes, and sometimes you realize they are not necessary.
When that version was completed, I printed it again, and gave it to former English teacher Ruth Sarar (who proofed my previous book) for her input on what worked and what didn’t.
After her work was finished I read the entire book again and made more changes, incorporating some of suggestions and adding some ideas of my own. At this point I considered the book complete.
All told, the process took about a year and a half, with maybe a year of that involving actual writing and editing. It also killed an entire forest of trees, which were used to make the paper on which I wrote.
Whoever said writing isn’t work clearly never tried to write a book.