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How to write your romance novel in two months

Sign of the Rose romantic fiction novel
Black Rose of Blaby - coming of age in a Leicestershire village

Simple steps: writing your novel

The Missing Years in the saga Love Should Never Be This Hard

I spent 18 years in publishing at a time when it took up to two years from blank page to published copies.

Now, thanks to Kindle Direct Publishing, I reduced that time to two months.

Actual writing time was six weeks, including copy-editing.


As a new romantic writer, how did I do it?

Write on five to six days out of seven

Writing blogs say you should write every day. That's right but, to be realistic 'budget' for less.

Don't over-power your own ambitions. Set a modest target on days that 'you just don't feel like it'. Very often, once you start writing on those 'off days', you exceed your own expectations anyway.

Being realistic? Overcoming writer's block is not always as easy as some people make out, but there are some remedies in my Blog.

How many words per hour can you deliver?

Find out. I can write up to 1,000 words per hour but 600-700 is more realistic - before copy-editing. I just write and write. Then I re-write - as many times as it takes to polish to an end result with which I am satisfied.

Again, don't over-power yourself by inflicting impossible or onerous targets on yourself. After all, it's meant to be a pleasurable experience, not a burden.

And it's not a competition. If you write more slowly than others claim they do, so what? What you lack in quantity (by hour) maybe you make up for with the quality of your writing.

At the end of the day, that's what's most important.

Finding Rose (>>>) is over 50,000 words

This is considered a minimum. Anything less falls into a 'novella' or a short story. Between 60,000 and 80,000 is better.

And remember, unless you are writing to an imposed or agreed brief, you may start out with lower ambitions (again). Set yourself a simple goal to write a short story where you dictate the length.

Some short stories end up as full-length.

How long does it take to  write a novel?

This depends on how many words you can write per hour. At an average of 600 words per hour you could write your book in 90-100 hours.


If you write for three hours per day that equates to 30 days.

Job done! (Almost.)

As a self-publisher, marketing yourself may prove harder than writing itself. Amazon provide author's their own page to display all their books.

Here is an example of AuthorCentral

Well done! You've written a book in five weeks

Except that you haven't.

It still needs to be copy-edited (by someone else), then corrected (by you), then re-written (by you - as many times as it takes) until you feel your reading audience will be satisfied.

You are half-way there but the copy-editing ensures that your writing is checked and double-checked, including Spellcheck, so that it is grammatically correct but also reads well and flows, ready for the market - your reader.

Some say that you should read your novel out loud to prove that it is easy to read. I have never done that, but it doesn't hurt to practice 'reading it silently in your head' as it were.

Finding Rose - by romance novelist John

"Above is my first novel ever written - in a matter of weeks, after which I completed a series of four within the year.

I began in the early days of the first Covid 19 lock-down, which may have helped.

Since then I have been less industrious - breaking my own rule of writing every day.


However, After one of my novels, Those Italian Girls, received a terrible review, I rewrote the book totally.

Ironically, I found the exercise really enjoyable and fell in love with the book all over again. In fact, without fail, I find reading by own novels months later a real joy. Whether that is a good sign, it's probably not for me to say!

Writing in other genre or other disciplines - such as short stories and verse - is also one way to avoid becoming one dimensional.

READ MY SHORTS features poems and short stories, which I built up over the year alongside the main novels.


It's a great way to introduce variety into your routines."

                                         - John Morey

Read my shorts - poems and short stories to delight and entertain

How to FINISH your novel in two months

So far we have discussed writing 50,000 words. Consider that just a first draft. Now allow for the following before you can even attempt the get the final manuscript formatted ready to 'Publish'.

* Copy-editing
Yes, you can embark on this yourself, initially. The value of this is that you can spellcheck, smooth out any stylistic issues, and correct grammar.

You may even engage in a bit (or a lot!) of rewriting where you spot deficiencies in pace, plot, characterization, or dialogue and description.

However... this should not replace passing the manuscript out for someone else to copy-edit!

There are 'professional' copy-editors - who charge - or use someone you trust who is literate and objective; i.e. don't use someone who may just be out to please. Hypercritical is better than hypocritical!

Allow 40% of your initial writing time - in this case 40 hours - as a guideline.

* Re-writing

After the copy-editing and correction processes, hopefully (!) you will only need to re-write part of the book - unless you want to! 


But as we have said before, you may need to complete this process by re-reading the whole book - twice. 

Note: Copy-editing earlier parts of the book can take place while you are continuing to write later chapters, i.e. 'feed' your copy-editor as you write.

This enables your copy-editor to make suggestions on how to improve your novel before you get to far!


What writing software should you use?

I guess there are so many out there that it may all boil down to what you are already used to.

This author uses Textmaker - a free version of what is generically called 'Word'. The point is, you don't have to invest in expensive software.

If using KDP by Amazon for creating an eBook or printed versions, you can output your final manuscript as required - e.g. as a PDF or an RTF file.

With writing, copy-editing, re-writing completed, proceed to self-publishing

Write regularly
Write on five to six days out of seven
How many words make a novel?
write your book in 90-100 hours
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