Is there an ideal time to take between writing novels?
Look, as an author, all I can do is be me and follow the process that works for me. You have to be you.
When I finish the first draft of a novel, I immediately turn around and go through the manuscript again, editing. (No, I don’t type “The End.” To my knowledge I’ve never bothered to type that and I’m always a bit bemused by people doing the full blown Joan Wilder thing…I have my Joan Wilder moments but typing 'The End' isn't one of them...but enough snark on that!) After that I do my pass for finding and eliminating my particular set of “lazy words”. I had a list of twenty five originally, topped by the word ‘that’, which is my own nemesis. I’ve added a few more words in the last five years, including ‘half’, when my beta reader pointed out I liked to have characters do things in a ‘half’ way – half turning, half smiling, etc. Some of the lazy or bad words I used to sprinkle on the WIP like confetti, I’ve managed to train myself to NOT use, so it doesn’t take as long to clean them out as it used to. But still probably two full days…
Then I send the book off to my developmental editor. Her process invariably takes a month. No matter what she does or I do, it takes her a month.
During that month, I turn to my next book and dive in. Now I have found that I seem to need about three days in between sending the WIP off to the editor and starting words on the new story. Even if I’m eager to write it and have the plot pretty much in my head, my Muse seems to need 72 hours to really clear the decks and want to write. Then I work on this new book for the time until the editor returns the previous one, at which time I put aside the newer story to make the fixes and changes, and get the book to the copy editor.
Ideal? Shrug. Eighteen or so published books into this career, I’d say the process is working. One lovely aspect of being an independently published author is that there’s no one way to do things that works for everyone. Do your own thing!
A small plug here, as June is Audiobook Month, I do have five audiobooks out there! Plus two of my Egyptian paranormal romances that Carina Press did as audiobooks. Here’s the link to the page on my blog with sound samples and buy links: https://veronicascott.wordpress.com/audiobooks/