Skip to main content

A Novel in Two Weeks.

And now for something completely different (and not Monty Python either). A quote from my favourite dystopian writer, J.G. Ballard:
The one thing I wanted to do was to be able to give up my job as an editor of a scientific magazine so that I could write a decent novel, to think about where I was going as a writer. We’d moved to Shepperton in 1960, and I had this tremendously long railway journey in the evenings, coming home from work; there were all these small children running around, I was absolutely exhausted. The future looked extremely dismal, professionally speaking; I’d been writing short stories since 1956 but I felt I was getting nowhere. I needed a break. I didn’t want to begin lowering my sights and begin churning out novels that were partly serious — you know, money spinners. I had two weeks’ holiday — I think my wife suggested it: why don’t you, just for the hell of it, write a novel in two weeks? I’d always been intrigued by the idea of writing a novel very quickly and I still am. I’d like to be able to write a novel in three days. So I sat down and wrote The Wind From Nowhere, in literally I think 10 working days. I set myself a target of something like 6,000 words a day, which I kept up for 10 days. I didn’t make very much money from it, but I made enough, straight away, to be able to give up my job. Soon after I wrote my first serious novel, The Drowned World.
Taken from The Corridor interview with J.G. Ballard, posted up at The Ballardian.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

HOWTO: Get Rid of Silverfish

The bane of every book collecting person: the Silverfish. DUN DUN DUNNNNN!!! How to get rid of them? If one book has been infected, place it inside an air-tight plastic bag along with some silica gel desiccant. The silica gel is important to get rid of moisture, because you will now place the sealed plastic bag with the book in it inside the freezer. Leave it in there for a couple of days so that those bugs catch their death of cold. If you're feeling particularly paranoid, (like I usually am) feel free to leave the plastic bag in there for a week. If they're not dead, then you might likely have an infestation of zombie silverfish , which is out of the scope of this blogpost. But what if a whole colony of silverfish decided to invade your whole bookcase? Then you have to make sure you're ready for war. Place a generous amount of silica gel (or if you can find it, diatomaceous earth) behind your books at the back of the shelves so that moisture levels remain low.

Hitting 1000.

Last night Sharon quoted Raman of having said to writers when they bring him their manuscripts for publishing, "How many books have you read? Have you read a thousand books? If not, get out and go read a thousand books, then come back with your manuscript." His point being, you've got to have read a lot if you want to be a writer. And I thought to myself, a thousand books isn't so bad. I've probably read more. Er...Wrong. After some quick calculations, we determined that if a person read a book per week, it would take around 20 years to reach a thousand. I'm a slow reader. I'm only 25. There's no way I've read 1000 books my whole life! When I got home I counted the books in my house. I estimate I own around 300 books, probably another 300 left at my parents's house. That's only around 600 books that I own... and a lot less that I've read! So with that number in mind, I have resolved to start keeping track of my book reading. I ne

The Water Tower.

Back in February, I heard that local publisher Silverfish was accepting submissions for their new short story compilation. I've always wanted to get into some serious writing, so I sat down and wrote The Water Tower . Then I rewrote it again for another six times. But alas, the story was rejected. Oh well. Here it is anyway. I present to you, my first short story. Enjoy! ( Please? ): Suresh once asked what I loved so much about exploring. “Seeing new things, new places. Seeing what kids in the other neighbourhoods do in the evenings,” I had said. “The kids elsewhere do the same thing other kids do lah,” he replied. “No, sometimes they have different activities. What they do depends on what’s around them. And what’s around them is what I look forward to finding when I go exploring.” “What do you mean, around them? Like what?” “Like the airport. The kids in that neighbourhood play different games than in other housing areas. I think it’s the noise. Or the planes.” “The airport!