Michael Moorcock: How to Write a Novel in 3 Days

Great post! Tips for writing quickly, and demystifying the writing process.

Interesting Literature

Ever fancied writing a novel, but don’t have oodles of spare time to set aside for such a thing? Michael Moorcock, a hugely influential and prolific writer, has the solution. Those of you who like the idea of #NaNoWriMo (or National Novel-Writing Month), but would rather set aside a few days to write rather than a whole month, may like ‘the Moorcock method’.

For over fifty years now, Moorcock has been a significant writer in a number of genres, notably fantasy, science fiction, and horror, although he’s also written more ‘literary’ works, such as Mother London (1988). Here at Interesting Literature we’re avid fans of his work. Moorcock is famous, in writing circles, for being able to write a book in three days. He wrote many of his early fantasy novels at such high speed. (It goes without saying that he wouldn’t have time to do much else in those three…

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Snippets #9

A. Lee Martinez-In The Company of Ogres

The homunculus droned on for hours. His squeaky voice grated on Ned’s ears and stood his hair on end. The demonic bookkeeper chanted his depraved dirge to the powers of infernal accounting, and an evil spell settled on Ned’s office. The scroll unfolded, filling the floor with line after line of cost cutting and expense trimming. The walls melted. Cruel imps cavorted in the shadows. The hourglass on the desk ran backward. And Ned could almost hear the distant howls of the damned.

The homunculus grew. The demon fed off Ned’s suffering and his agonizing boredom fed the homunculus well. By the end, he’d grown a foot taller, his skin had turned a brighter shade of red, and his tiny horns and curled into into impressive ornament. Ned hunched in his chair, drooling, with debits and credits poking at his brain with wee pitchforks

Snippets #7

R.S. Belcher- The Six-Gun Tarot

The old man’s beard was white, like sunlight reflecting off ice. It fell almost to his knees and stood out in stark contrast to his silk robe of shimmering emerald. His eyes spilled out into the shadow, black water moving under a moonless sky. He was Chinese and the four men who ringed him all bore tattoos like Jim’s pursuer. They held hatchets in their hands, low at their sides, emerald ribbons fluttering.

What can you #write in Ten #Sentences ? #heywriters

“One don’t talk to me like that,” he said. “Two, you put that that money back in your purse, and shut it up there. The women held the three things clumsily, the five grand, a phone, and here small purse.
“LIsten John,” she said, “you been bugging me for five months for this cash. Now I give it to ya, and you eighty-six it?”
“Listen Carol, you and Mike have owed me money for the last Twenty years, all right?”
“Mikes, been in the hospital seven months, after five of those, I started hearing this all.”
“Carol, lets be reasonable you take twenty-five hundred, and then you just give me a four or five dates, all right?”
“You got me once John,” Carol said, “leave it at that.”
“How about the hundred grand I put in that house?” She grabbed her pack of cigarettes out of the purse and fumbled and dropped four into the cup holder. John picked up one and sparked it.

Snippets #6

Shirley Jackson- We Have Always Lived in The Castle

I still could not see him clearly, perhaps because he was a ghost, perhaps because he was so very big. His great round face, looking so much like our father’s, turned from Constance to Uncle Julian and back, smiling and opening its mouth to talk. I moved as far into my corner as I could, but finally the big face turned at me.
“WHy, there’s Mary,” it said. “Good morning, Mary.”
I put my face down to Jonas.
“Shy?” he asked Constance. “Never mind. Kids always take to me.”
Constance laughed. “We don’t see many strangers,” she said.

Snippet #4

Jeff Vandermeer- Annihilation

Half-hidden by green filaments, most of these creatures were translucent and shaped like tiny hands embedded by the base of the palm. Golden nodules capped the fingers on these “hands.” I leaned in closer, like a fool, like someone who had not had months of survival training or ever studied biology. Someone tricked into thinking that words should be read.