Monday, 13 July 2009

Speed writing – a new definition?

As a creative and professional writing student, I am interested in what goes on in the real world of journalism and book production. Michael Jackson died just over a fortnight ago, but already publishing houses are racing against each other to produce hardcover biographies. Harper Collins is hoping to be the first

How did they do this so quickly?

Well, Harper Collins are said to have tasked a freelance writer with the job of producing 10,000 words in 48 hours. This is a mind boggling feat, and the writer must have been totally knackered at the end of it.

The book, Michael Jackson – Legend, Hero, Icon, will be released for sale on 17th July.


merciless said...

I doubt this will be very good. It'll be completely hashed together with possibly poor reference points. In a sad yet snobbish way it's a shame to see the art form of books pandering to the big business ideal. However this will be more universally popular than a book by, say Donald Barthelme, so the less literature friendly could have a slim chance of finding an interest in books.

Sue's Blog said...

I agree, I expect the sort of people who buy this are more interested in the pictures, not the text. I was horrified at how quickly the writer was expected to knock out 10,000 words - when you think of Gustave Flaubert labouriously pondering for weeks over every sentence!

The Plashing Vole said...

The only exception to this is the pulp writers of the 30-70s, who regularly produced this much as they were paid by the word. Amongst the dross was a surprisingly good amount of quality writing, mostly because precision and concision are acquired skills - especially in crime and SF pulp.

Sue's Blog said...

Having to churn out 10,000 words in two days takes some doing, despite the wonders of modern technology.
The writers in the 30s-70s did not have that luxury - they must have been good typists!