When I’m not reading books or watching movies about Hating America by America Haters that promise to teach me How to Hate America Better*, I’m getting some writing done.
In an ideal week, I stick to the following:
- Write one hour a night, two nights a week. This produces between 1500-2000 words each night.
- Write one or two nights a week, 1000 words each time. I can usually bang this out in 40 minutes.
I do this as many nights as I need to to produce 5000 words a week. If I gave up jiu-jitsu, a job with health insurance and a social life** I could probably do more. But I think this is a fair pace.
My initial goal was to write a 60,000-word manuscript. I just wrote my 20,000th word tonight, though, and the story feels, at most, a quarter done. So I may clock in at closer to 80,000. Considering I’ll probably need to lop 5000 to 10,000 words off the top to make it saleable, that’s a good target to aim for.
As with all my writing projects, this one requires some interesting research and speculation. Asked and answered so far:
- What sort of court records could a person find just by walking in and asking at a city courthouse?
- What’s a half-assed but survivable way to disarm someone who’s waving a knife at you and shoving you with his free hand?
- What sort of clue could someone plausibly find if they only had thirty seconds to ransack an office?
- If you have injuries that require stitches but are conscious and lucid, will the paramedics immobilize you before carting you off to a hospital?
- Hell, would they even put you in an ambulance, or would they say, “Drive yourself; you’re fine”?
- Where would a middling Boston attorney (in practice on his own) take his family on summer vacation?
- What sort of information would cops withhold from the press about a murder in order to validate a legit confession?
- What does a photographer for a city paper do most of the day?
- What’s a survivable but incapacitating form of gunshot wound to the head?
- What does it taste like when you bite someone’s ear hard enough to tear it?
I came up with answers good enough for a rough draft. But if you have theories of your own, please shout them out.
* They all begin the same way: “Step 1: Subscribe to The Guardian.” Couldn’t make that up.
** Because heaven forfend I give up this vital weblog.