Recently, Michael Larsen ( of the Larsen-Pomada Literary Agency) wrote an interesting post, entitled “8 Reasons To Write Your Book Fast”. One of the reasons includes the possibility that you may not be the only person with the idea or there is also the economic reality that the sooner you finish the project, the sooner you are able to get paid.
However, before everyone decides to finish their novel over the coming weekend, it should be pointed out that in his follow-up post, Mr. Larsen, informs his readership of six good reasons why you can’t write you book fast. Confused? Then maybe the best solution is to flip a coin.
In reality, I imagine Larsen wrote both pieces with the intent of being taken seriously on each account. Moreover, the writer will have to extract useful info from each approach and then steer his course from there. I think in general, most authors lean heavily towards writing slowly.
Still, you might be interested to know of some case histories, where writers have finished a manuscript in record time. One of the most notorious is the case of Jack Kerouac, who after totally discarding his rough draft, wrote On The Road in three weeks. Not only that he typed the manuscript on one continuous sheet of paper. This scroll now has a home in Indiana, property of the proud owner, Jim Irsay , who just happens to be owner of the Indianapolis Colts.
Another interesting case is that of the great Russian writer, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, who wrote “The Gambler” from start to finish in 26 days, while also working on his more noteworthy literary effort, Crime and Punishment. Reportedly, his main inspiration for such a ferocious work pace was a shitload of gambling debts.
And don’t forget Ray Bradbury, who is his book on writing, entitled Zen and the Art of Writing, claimed to have written the rough draft of Fahrenheit 451 in nine days on a typewriter that he rented at the LA Public Library for 10 cents an hour. According to Ray, his great inspiration was the financial responsibility of having a wife and brand new baby boy to take care of.
From here the list goes on, but it is a rather short list. For those who might interested in learning more about this subject you might check out this link, here. Not surprisingly, it goes to the National Novel Writing Month website.