Initially I published my long chaptered fanfic stories as novels; Nothing Ever Happens, Morning Report, The Night Porter, Stolen Dreams and Chance to be King. Nothing Ever Happens took me about eighteen months to write, Morning Report about eight months.
Now I haven't got the luxury of that time frame. I have to produce a story every month to generate income to survive. For those of you who turn your nose up at the one-a-month club, let me suggest you think of the reality. No large advances mean we live on our royalties. It takes time to build a readership, and every new book generates more readers.
I've seen a fair amount of criticism of the authors who produce a story a month, rushed stories, lack of imagination yada yada. I can't speak for other authors, but let me talk about the way I produce a story. I think most of my stories take from six months to over a year from initial ideas to actual publication. The initial idea for Hairy Harry's Car Seat was from a conversation well over a year ago. The story took two weeks to write but the actual plot took a lot, lot longer to think about. Tumbling Blindly took over a year. I wrote the initial scene on Matt hiding in his bed and then left it until I had a plot. It was written and rewritten. What about The Isle of... Where? Shorter, maybe four months. However the germ of the idea was eight months before on my summer holiday on the Isle of Wight. At the moment I'm writing the sequel to The Isle of... Where? Four months, four starts and Sue going bald in frustration.
What I'm trying to say, is that it's not so simple as churning them out. I read a similar post from another author about how she works. It's not dissimilar to me. What goes on in my head takes a long time to translate to the page. I don't care if you're getting a short story, or a long story from me, it goes through the same process. Very few stories just spill out onto the page. It is mulled over during dog walks, talked about endlessly with Faith Ashlin and Lisa Worrall. Yes, I produce a story a month, but that's because I'm working damn hard to get them out.
If I had the luxury to take a year with each book... God, what the hell do those authors do with their time? I'm writing romance, not a theology textbook. Having said that I remember two of my lecturers describe publishing their books. There was no snobbery about it. They produced the books to increase their income, and they didn't have the time to muck about.
Since the start of 2013, I've published five books: Tumbling Blindly, Hairy Harry's Car Seat, Louis Hates Valentine's Day (in an anthology), A Tale Told in Darkness, and Summer's Dawn. Next month, The Sky is Dead comes out, followed by Holding Together and Turning Over. Five of those were written last year. Now I'm writing a novel, then two more novellas. I have another three stories planned after that. All of them being thought and planned until I am ready to write them.
I comfort myself with the thought of Charles Dickens, a prolific writer who was always working on new stories. He had a huge number of kids to support, I have my kids' huge bills to support. That man didn't flounce about in the meadows dreaming of writing books. He got on with it, and so shall I.