East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Fast can be done


The bit about writing a novel in 14 weeks caused a certain amount of excitement among my friends on Facebook.
But it’s not that short a time, really.

11a40922f35bc7197956dda433747908--mickey-spillane-printingConsider – Mickey Spillane wrote I, the Jury in barely nine days.
It’s been said Spillane’s writing is nothing to write home about, and that I, the Jury is pretty thin for a novel.
And yet, it’s a milestone in both “pulp and hardboiled history.
(and it always had a definitely pulp style to me, despite being first published in hardback as Lloyd pointed out in the comments.)

Or consider A Study in Scarlet, written by Arthur Conan Doyle in three weeks.
The debut of Holmes and Watson.
Not bad, right.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote The Gambler in 26 days, to pay for his debts.
I can relate to that.

And now out there there’s somebody saying

“Wow, the guy is comparing himself to Spillane, Conan Doyle or even Fyodor Dostoyevsky, what a n a#hole!”

They say it takes one to recognize one.
But that’s not the point I’m making.
I’m not saying I’m in the same league as those giants.

I could throw in Anthony Burgess, too – because A Clockwork Orange, too, was written in three weeks.
And Ian Fleming Wrote Casino Royale in two months. That’s 8 weeks.
And it took only two weeks Robert Louis Stevenson to write The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde… and he even cut out the naughty bits, if we must trust a recent article I read somewhere this past weeks.

KingSolomonsMinesFirstEditionBut I am not comparing myself to these giants.
I am only saying that writing fast is possible, and it’s been done in the past.

Henry Rider-Haggard, whose work is highly regarded hereabouts, apparently wrote King Solomon’s Mines in six weeks, on a wager withhis brother.
Of course, he had the advantage of a first-hand experience of Africa.

412917e9f3a365f55be041d202200f69And finally, Lester Dent did write about 200.000 words per month. Ditto Walter B. Gibson and Norvell Page and a few other pulpsters of old.
And Michael Moorcock, that remains one of my all-time favorite authors, has his own formula to write a book in three days. And he wrote the ten times wonderful Gloriana in six weeks.

So there.
It can be done.
It’s been done before.
I can do it.
I will do it.
Live with it.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

2 thoughts on “Fast can be done

  1. “I, The Jury” isn’t pulp (“milestone in both pulp and hardcover”), especially if it was out in hardcover first. Also, real pulp authors like Walter Gibson and Lester Dent wrote a novel a month –for decades. In fact, Gibson wrote two a month!
    Lloyd Cooke


Leave a Reply to Lloyd Cooke Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.