Suspend Your Disbelief

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The ten-year story

How long would you work on a piece of fiction? We’ve talked before about the ten-year novel, and FWR contributor Margaret Dean shared her story of the “long hard slog” from MA thesis to published book.

But okay, those are novels. How long would you work on a single story? The Grub Daily, which was our Thursday Morning Candy a couple weeks ago, recently featured this essay by Amin Ahmad in which he describes working on a story for a full decade:

Had it really taken me eight years to write it? Thinking back, I realized that it had actually taken longer. Maybe ten years.

The story—which New England Review had just published as “A Taste of Revolution”—had predated the birth of my now ten year-old son. It had survived my divorce, my years in the wilderness, my re-marriage, and what I now think of as my rehabilitation as a writer.

What’s the longest you’ve ever worked on a story?

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