How I Wrote a Book in 14 Days, Part IV

This is the final installment of this four-part series.

Quoting from my old blog, 2012:

Tired of showing pictures of my notebook, so here’s one of my 2012 desk window.

Tired of showing pictures of my notebook, so here’s one of my 2012 desk window.

70,083 words on Day 14!

I’m done. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself. I delivered the second half of the manuscript today to the jet-setting El Jefe. I hit 70,000 easily this AM, did a spell-check and packed the sucker off for a read.

Are we done? Far from it. The contract asks for 80,000, and I’ve written 70,000. Experience has taught me that when the titular authors read what you’ve given them, it sparks their creatvitiy and you will always hit your numbers. They are adders, not subtracters.

To think of another way: I supplied 7/8 of the book; our man in the sky will supply the other other 1/8, whether in the form of actual copy or by suggestions. He’s already written given me 4,000 words to be sprinkled here and there throughout the book. (I’m not counting those yet, preferring to quote you just the words I created during this marathon.)

I’ve got a week before he gets back into town. Time to turn to some personal projects. A magazine article that needs changes. Some edits to short stories I’ve been dying to submit. And after that, I may just be helping my wife ghost a project she needs to get done.

The weather has warmed up here and I’d really enjoy going out for bit.

2019 Commentary:

Well, younger me seems very pleased with himself, and who can blame him? He did all this work in a short period of time. He came close to ruining his health by sitting in a chair for 18 hours a day. But he got the book written. Yay him. But he’s still down 10,000 words from the contracted figure.

But here's the thing. I just went back and looked at the final manuscript. It stands at 78,393 words, which means that El Jefe and I managed to come up with another 8,400 words before the book went to the copy editor. That’s awesome. Great comeback, and a great illustration of how these collaborations work.

I will say that though he fought us during the process, he was ultimately blown away by the response of readers who were fascinated by the emotional power of the book. They saw a side of him that they didn’t think existed. From that moment on, he was more comfortable openly discussing those aspects of his earlier life in interviews. That wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t done a book.

He just didn’t know that the lion’s share of the writing came together over 14 days.

If you missed any part of these posts, you can follow the progress here.

How I Wrote a Book in 14 days, Part I

How I Wrote a Book in 14 days, Part II: 55,000 and Counting...

How I Wrote a Book in 14 days, Part III: 66,000 words and One Day Left

How I Wrote a Book in 14 days, Part IV: 70,083 words on Day 14

This post first appeared on my old blog in slightly different form on Feb. 21, 2012.

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