IT GENERALLY TAKES awhile to write a novel. Although there are authors who can write a quality book every year, they’re the exceptions; it’s more typical to spend three, five, or even seven years to complete a draft. If you’ve never attempted to write anything of a novel’s length, imagine having a friend or relative visit you for roughly that length of time, for three or five or seven years. Imagine a person, a person with whom you are not enjoying anything like traditional sexual congress, leaving their little hairs and toenail clippings in your sink, sprinkling their droplets of pee on your toilet seat, cluttering your surfaces with their weird pocket stuff, sticking things in the wrong cabinets, being underfoot and distracting you constantly for three or five or seven years. Let’s be honest: even if it was your favorite cousin, and even though you sort of invited him, after a year or so, you would owe it to yourself to give, at minimum, tacit consideration to murdering this person. This is the unique affliction of writing books: the endeavor is such that you can never entirely stop thinking about it. Picture the houseguest that is your novel, day after day, chewing cereal with his mouth open, his butt cratering the seat of your favorite armchair, and you will begin to understand. — Owen King Yeah, what he said.