That’s the short answer. Some write very quickly, some writing genres come more easily than others. I would argue that fantasy writing is harder than some other categories and can take significantly more time. The reason for this is because you have to invent a lot of what you take for granted in other types of writings such as crime or thrillers, depending on how much you make up in the story.
In fantasy you have to invent a whole new world and you will inevitably come across massive plot holes simply because you forget things that aren’t possible. You have to re-write the Laws of Physics about the sun, gravity, time travelling, magic, nourishment, social norms, etc. It can be incredibly time consuming and you will often realize half-way into writing something that suddenly something doesn’t make sense anymore or is impossible because they don’t adhere to the rules you have defined.
In my case it took me 7 years to write When Colour Became Grey. As I advanced in the plot I wanted to include more characters or change the way the story evolved, the tone of the story, what the focus should be on, etc.
You should always have a rough time frame in mind and work towards it, but you should also not beat yourself up if you don’t meet your deadline. In my case my book became so much better because I took the time to re-write it, and re-write it, and re-write, and then re-write it some more, touch-up and check common plot hole mistakes, and finalize.
I have only written in various fantasy sub-genres so far (urban fantasy, epic fantasy, low fantasy) so my opinion is solely based on writing that type of story.
What was your experience? How long did it take you to write your first book? Did it take you more or less time to write afterwards? Drop a comment in the comment section below.