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Dan Salvato who was going to college at that time, had been working on his first novel project for a while now.

I actually came across this sentence and I don't understand what "for a while now" means here, does it refer to he was already working on this project before he went to college or he did it while he was in college?

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for a while now is used to indicate an unspecified amount of time. It may or may not refer to the time before he was at school or during that time. A while is a purposefully vague description of time. For a while now refers to the unspecified length of time before or up until now.

https://www.startswithy.com/for-a-while-sentence/

or better

https://www.grammarly.com/blog/idioms-about-time/

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    In the context quoted by the OP, "now" refers to the point in time that "that time" refers to. So Salvato might already have started working on it before starting college, or might have started while at college. The sentence quoted by the OP doesn't enable us to tell.
    – Rosie F
    Commented May 11 at 5:50
  • So you're saying they added "now" here to indicate that he was doing it while he was in college?
    – Sans 1
    Commented May 13 at 12:55
  • And I also have one last question: Could "for a while now" mean that he has been working on this project up to the present day?
    – Sans 1
    Commented May 13 at 13:00

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