Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Writing Update 2/19

Desperate times call for desperate measures. As some of you know, I've been mired in a slump since about the end of July last year. Oh, I've had some good stretches here and there, but overall my production has steadily dropped. I'm only doing about 80% of what had been my normal pace for the past few years. So here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to bore all of you, and myself, by bringing back the daily page count here on the ol' blog, in the hope that fear of being shamed will keep me productive.

Actually, today was a pretty good day. I wrote 22 pages, which is a little over 4000 words. I don't keep an accurate word count, but when I've checked my estimates in the past they're pretty close, a little on the conservative side if anything. I need to be doing just about that much every day, and if I don't, I expect some of you to hold my feet to the fire. These books won't write themselves, you know.

As for what I'm working on, well, I can't tell you, of course, other than to say that it's a big thriller that should clock in at about 90,000 words. I'm past the two-thirds point and closing in on three-fourths. There'll be a lot of action from here on out, so I'm hoping that will help things move along at a faster pace. Action has always been fun for me to write. When I get caught up in a big battle scene, the pages just fly by. Oddly enough, sex scenes are usually the same way, although I'm not writing anything these days that has sex scenes in it. But when I was doing a lot of Adult Westerns, I always liked the chapters that included both a gunfight and a sex scene, because I could do those suckers in a hurry!

I've told this story before, but one time an editor called me up and asked me to write a book in a week for him. I said I couldn't do that and talked him into giving me two weeks. I started this book with no outline and only a vague idea of the plot, but I figured if I could manage to put a gunfight or a sex scene -- or both -- in every chapter, the book ought to go pretty fast. I didn't quite hit that goal -- four of the 21 chapters have no gunfight and no sex scene -- but I wrote the book in 11 days and was very pleased with the way it turned out. Anybody who wants to know what the book was, you can email me and I'll tell you, but I'm not going to post the title here.

That's it for this episode of Adventures of a Hack Writer. (And you don't know how tempted I am to use that as the title for this series of posts, but I'm not actually that cynical in real life. Yet.)

11 comments:

Bill Crider said...

Nobody who writes 22 pages a day is getting any sympathy from me. I'm averaging about 22 words a day.

Peter Brandvold said...

What Bill said. The most I've ever been able to write is a little over 2k a day. In a pinch I can write 3k, but not for long.

That said, James, you need a shave. But I like your typewriter!

Charles Gramlich said...

Even in your slumpiest days you make me look like a piker, man.

Parker seals said...

Thanks for the info.

Keith said...

I've averaged about 22 words a week lately.

Ray said...

I've never kept a count of the number of words that I have written. There are the words I see on my blog, in the short stories that I scribble and toss away - and the ones that I write in my head. Numbers are irrelevant compared to the finished product. (50 words)

Peter Brandvold said...

You scribble stories AND TOSS THEM AWAY! And only write stories in your HEAD?!

Is Mum paying the bills?

Cap'n Bob said...

You may be on the edge of burnout. A day off isn't a crime, you know. I take about 25 days off a month and I feel fine.

Cap'n Bob said...

Oh, and can you e-mail the name of that book?

Ray said...

The answer to Peter Brandvold's questions are 'yes', 'yes and no' and 'no'.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Mr. Reasoner, I see your work as nothing less than a big inspiration for wannabe writers like me. That said I enjoy reading about writers at work.