I started on 2/11/11 -- and finished tonight - 3/25/11. I wrote an entire book in 42 days (it's a Lost number and the meaning of life, coincidence?).
Let me get this straight - I didn't intend a rush job - nor do I think it is one. I didn't think, when I began, I would EVER get a book written in a little over a month. And I have to say (sort of echoing one of my characters and not without a bit of shameless self-promotion), it's pretty darn good. I'm pretty critical of myself, and I think this is some of the best stuff I've written. I know for sure it is the most FUN I've ever had writing a book.
There are authors out there, at least so I've read, who have talked about books spilling out of them - writing themselves almost. I never experienced that before - but that's kind of what happened with this one. Despite working full time teaching, I managed to average a little under 1,000 words a day - a number which is pretty good for me. I tend to write in spurts - 2,000 one day, 100 another. That's pretty normal for me. Somehow, this book just was there.
I learned something about my writing from this book. With Before White I had a vague idea of where I was going. Although that book was densely plotted, it took a lot of time outside of writing to sort through my thoughts. For something like that, it worked. Goodson took me ten years to fully develop. It's hard to measure that one. Sparks took me several months to write. I had an even vaguer idea of where that was going than Before White (I had the concept, but the actual plot was kind of made up as I went). This book, which, by the way, I'm tentatively calling Bye, Bye Connie, came to me almost fully formed. I knew the characters, I knew the basic plot, I knew what the final scene would be almost immediately. Sure, details changed, but the basic plot stayed the course. The jokes and humor came as I wrote - and not to toot my own horn, but I think the book is funny - and that was more fun than almost anything else to write.
Caitie's making me wait a week to revise. I'm so gung-ho on this book, I want to jump in and do it now, but she's right. I have been penpals with a pretty well known theater columnist for years now - even met him twice - and I asked him to read the book for me when I finished. He VERY enthusiastically agreed, so the impetus to get this out is even stronger. I know of an agent already who is looking for a book along these lines.
Maybe I'm overreaching my hopes - but unlike Han Solo, I kind of have a good feeling about this.