Monday, 23 July 2007

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.

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