How To Write A Novel In Three Days


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Thread: How To Write A Novel In Three Days

  1. #1

    How To Write A Novel In Three Days

    I thought I'd put this out there as a point of interest and perhaps inspiration for couch potatoes. Presenting:The Moorcock Method (or, How To Write A Novel In Three Days).

    Full details:

    http://www.ghostwoods.com/2010/05/ho...ree-days-1210/

    I think this is interesting, particularly for those who have a well-formed idea but don't consistently have time to write each day. The author in question, Moorcock, is a decent and fairly influential Fantasy author and certainly wrote like this for a lot of his career.

    While 20,000 words a day might be difficult even for the most committed, I think the basic idea of not over-complicating or over-thinking the process, putting down the porn and/or Facebook and getting the crap churned out are fairly sound. Worked for Moorcock anyway.

    Any thoughts? Any experiences with a similar pace? The peanut gallery is always welcome to chime in, too. No stopping 'em anyway
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

  2. #2
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

  3. #3
    Mentor Dluuni's Avatar
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    Three days of drafting followed an extensive plotting process. I don't do anything close to that amount yet, but I'm learning how to. "just doo eet" isn't at all what I read there, not when the outline was 10% of the length of the book (about how much my outlines weigh in these days, if you are curious)

  4. #4
    Thanks for posting this. I plan to come back and give it a closer looking over when I have more time. Definitely an interesting concept!

  5. #5
    Three days is phenomenal, and Moorcock must have done something right; I've read a few of his books and never disliked one yet. I particularly enjoyed Warlord of the Air, but I was easier to please back then.
    I'm not a fast typist but if I had a basic plan, either written or in my head, I might be able to manage three weeks. Earning a living gets in the way.


  6. #6
    I can't type anything coherent at more than 1K words per hour. So even for the short novels mentioned in the article, I'd be looking at three 20 hour days, one right after the other... I don't think I see the point. Is there an advantage to writing in such an intense burst? I suppose it would make it easier to keep track of plot points, etc, although after two nights of only 4 hours of sleep I don't think I'd be keeping really close track of anything.

    I don't think this approach is for me. Does anyone else write this way?

  7. #7
    The best I could do in a three-day writing frenzy would be a crappy draft that would need to be torn apart and completely rewritten in order to make it something worth reading.

    But I do believe there's a sort of magic that one can tap into when writing quickly—a sort of fast and loose mental state where good writing can slip out—though I've only ever experienced it in short bursts.

    In those cases, I believe the state of feeling uninhibited is the key; you're more likely to try different things to see what sticks, and you're less likely to bog yourself down with self-editing. It's probably why Stephen King liked to write drunk.

  8. #8
    Michael Moorcock has published over 20 books, and likely written the equivalent of 30 books. So we are talking about a very experienced writer who understands the process intimately.

    Hence, this is an impractical approach for the rest of us. It would be like me assuming that because I have a pilots licence that I could hold my own against a pilot like Chuck Yeager. Hell, I couldn't even outfly Jenna Yeager.

    It's a nice article, but for people in this forum, it is strictly a theoretical discussion.


  9. #9
    When I think of prolific authors, Nora Roberts immediately springs to mind. She's published around 300 novels to date, and has been churning them out at a mind-boggling pace of around one novel per month, for the past 40 years.

    Her method is quite simple: she sits down every day and writes, writes, writes, from morning to mid-afternoon, treating it like a job. No going backward or self-editing. Just constantly moving forward.

    I believe she said she only pauses for holidays, special occasions, and a one-day break between each novel.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Rotten View Post
    Michael Moorcock has published over 20 books, and likely written the equivalent of 30 books. So we are talking about a very experienced writer who understands the process intimately.

    Hence, this is an impractical approach for the rest of us. It would be like me assuming that because I have a pilots licence that I could hold my own against a pilot like Chuck Yeager. Hell, I couldn't even outfly Jenna Yeager.

    It's a nice article, but for people in this forum, it is strictly a theoretical discussion.

    Actually, Moorcock used this technique with his early books. http://thepulparchvist.blogspot.com/...novel.html?m=1 So he wasn’t exactly experienced at that point. Most writers are more prolific when they are younger, so it makes sense.

    I am not saying this is the best approach for everybody, or even anybody, only that it’s an option.

    Say if you have a strong idea you have been working on “mentally” for years and yet have got nowhere with due to time pressures and/or general dithering? Say if you really can’t spare the time to write consistent on a daily or even weekly basis but can take three days off work on PTO? Say you have great work ethic when it comes to your marketing job or whatever but not with your writing and it’s because you need to feel the pressure of a deadline? Say you don’t need more than a few hours sleep?

    This seems like a potentially good workaround in such cases.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

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