Or At Least Some of the Introduction…
I might cycle back and add stuff to the introduction for the book. But for now, a day ahead of the challenge starting, I’m going to write some of this introduction. It is below.
So many of you will have heard some of this on the ramp-up to this challenge. But I have to put it all in the introduction to the book, so hang on.
Also, still two spots left in the follow along to the challenge, where I send you a letter every night and you get to read whatever I manage to write way ahead of it coming out, in uncorrected proof form. That’s right, you will see my actual draft after Kris reads it. I will have WMG run it into epub for easier reading, but besides that, it will be what I wrote. Mistakes and all.
Honestly, can’t believe this didn’t fill in a day or two. I would have given just about anything to follow closely along and read what a major professional writer was doing on a daily basis. Guess I was wrong. Or maybe that attitude is why I am here with 200 novels behind me and 40 years of career. But anyway, eight folks are going to enjoy it, I promise. And learn a ton in the process. Two spots left.
So here we go with the public face of all this for the book. Got a hunch in 100 days I will do about twenty blogs total (2 per novel). That will make this nonfiction book 20 chapters, a decent size.
Nifty cover, huh?
INTRODUCTION to Living At Pulp Speed Five.
This is a book about the process of writing ten novels in one hundred days. Yup, that simple and that crazy.
This book will take its original shape in blogs on my website and I hope to add a bunch more to the book in the final form once the one hundred days are complete. But the origin will be on my blog as the one hundred days goes along.
And as I write this introduction, I have no idea at the outcome, if I will be able to write ten novels or not. I am writing this introduction the night before the first day. This is a challenge for me, one that actually worries me as I start into it.
But if you are actually reading this introduction in a book, you know I managed to do it.
So I hope you get the sense, as you read this, of the fun and the pressure of this challenge. I have no idea what books I will be writing. I will think about what the first book might be tomorrow, on the first day. I have done no outlines or any prep work beyond trying to get some business projects done and out of the way.
During the one hundred days, I have at least one trip planned, a full week of a workshop to teach, my birthday, a marathon to run, and Thanksgiving holidays. And I work a lot of hours each week as the CFO of WMG Publishing, plus teach online workshops. And I exercise at least three hours a day on top of that.
In other words, I am going to do this with my real life going on.
What is Pulp Speed?
Pulp Speed comes from Star Trek Warp Speed and is a way to sort of shorthand the speed that old pulp writers used to write at regularly for years.
Pulp Speed One is 1 million words per year or about 83,000 words per month. So if you write 83,000 words in a month, you wrote at Pulp Speed that month.
Pulp Speed Two is 1.2 million words in a year or 100,000 words per month.
It goes up by .2 million words per year from there for each speed. So Pulp Speed Five is 1.8 million words in a year. Or about 150,000 words per month.
My challenge to myself is to write ten novels in one hundred days.
I count any words that will be consumable, as a friend of mine called them. So here is the math.
I tend to write 40,000 to 50,000 novels. I will be averaging a novel finished, final draft, every ten days. Plus my blogs that I will combine into this book will add up to over 150,000 per month or Pulp Speed Five.
The title Living at Pulp Speed Five comes from the fact that in each chapter I will detail out some of my life and the ups and down of the writing.
Many writers, as they are coming in and learning and writing around families and jobs, can manage about half pulp speed, or about 40,000 words per month. That’s a great amount.
One more thing I need to get clear right now. I am a horrid typist. I manage about 1,000 words per hour, often slower. So writing like this is nothing more than spending more time, more hours every day, in my writing chair. I also produce finished copy and with every word, every book, I do the best I can do.
And considering that I have over 23 million copies of my books in print now, readers seem to think my best is pretty good.
What Do I Hope To Accomplish By Doing This?
Besides getting ten novels and a non-fiction writing book to sell?
Part of why I am doing this is simply to have a decent year writing when it is all over. My wife, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and I had a sudden move to Las Vegas this year for health reasons. Dealing with over twenty-years of stuff in a large house on the Oregon Coast cost me almost half of the year. So if I actually can complete this, I will be back to a pretty normal year of writing with about 14 novels and about fifty short stories done.
Yes, that is a normal year for me.
Second, I hope to push myself, and my fear of this challenge tells me I am pushing myself to the edge of my limits. A good thing. I also hate thinking that age might limit me. I will turn 68 in the middle of this challenge, so this will also prove that age means nothing. I like that.
Third, I hope to learn a ton about writing and the process as I go along. Each book I will be practicing something, each road-block or set-back will be a challenge to climb over and to learn from.
The next one hundred days will be anything but smooth, but I got a hunch they will be fun.
Grab a seat, buckle up, and hang on for the ride. And maybe you too can learn right along with me how to write ten novels in one hundred days.