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A matter of speed

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  • A matter of speed

    Talking with some friends about the "Hawkmoon feat" when Mike wrote 4 books in 3 days(?!?) came to me...

    How fast do you write Mike?
    Words per day I would say,because as far as books ar concerened,well,I can see your bibliography!(And it's quite impressive one has to admit)
    It seems impossible to write the Hawkmoon saga in a few days...How come?

    Oh,others can speak about their speed perfomances I guess...

  • #2
    Mike definitely didn't write all the Hawkmoon books in three days. In an old interview in Vortex magazine he claims to have written each book in about three days. He also stated he wrote the novel version of The Eternal Champion in three days and the original story version in eighteen hours(!). I've also read somewhere that each of the Michael Kane books were written in a couple of days. In the same Vortex interview, Mike says he was exhausting himself and so slowed down to 7-10 days per book. He has put the speed of his writing in the past down to his journalistic background and having to work to deadlines. Only a few days ago I read an interview with Mike where he said he was writing so fast that Langdon Jones who was copy editing at the same time couldn't keep up. Can I find the interview now? No. But when I do I'll clarify what he said, although I think it was a one-off occasion.

    p.s. I think Mike's output, as generous as it is, has been eclipsed by other writers, such as Robert Silverberg.
    'You know, I can't keep up with you. If I hadn't met you in person, I quite honestly would NOT believe you really existed. I just COULDN'T. You do so MUCH... if half of what goes into your zines is to be believed, you've read more at the age of 17 than I have at the age of 32 - LOTS more'

    Archie Mercer to Mike (Burroughsania letters page, 1957)


    • #3
      Marca, I think this may be the post which caused the confusion. From this thread.
      You see, it's... it's no good, Montag. We've all got to be alike. The only way to be happy is for everyone to be made equal.


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      • #4
        Yeap,that's the thread...I had lost it.Thanks,dude!
        I got confused...but 3 days..or just 2 as Mike says are also ...some hours in order to write a whole book.Although of course each one of the Hawkmoon books are not very big.And probably the whole plot was in his mind after enough brainstorming.His typing seems pretty fast too!


        • #5

          I think we all agree that, whatever be his actual speed of writing, the number of books he has written and their quality make him deserve respect!!

          Very few writers can boast for having written such impressive number of books... moreover in different kinds of book.


          • #6
            I did write the Hawkmoon books in three days EACH (not all in three days!). But the Corum books did take about a week a piece. Silverberg and I used to correspond about this. He had the same sort of pace in his earlier work and indeed was originally responsible for helping get the Kane books published in the US. It has to do with a sort of inate sense of structure. Knowing instinctively how to structure a certain kind of story is the root of the ability to write books quickly. Bob would, I'm sure, agree with me that more complex books do take longer. Gloriana, for instance, took six weeks and Byzantium Endures took six months. I still write quickly, compared to most, but as my ambitions grew more complicated I found myself taking longer. Mother London, for instance,probably took the best part of a year to write and the later Pyat books took quite some time, too. Even the later Elric books took longer as I deliberately raised the level of ambition in technical terms. I have said elsewhere that the way to keep certain tensions in a novel, especially one about a familiar character, is to try to do things with it which one hasn't done before. It's also my view of how to keep a good rock and roll song going -- never quite knowing how it will turn out.

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