As the author of 55 books, King explores a little bit of the snobbery prolific writers face and whether quality drops when the words flow so easily. This sums it up for me:
"No one in his or her right mind would argue that quantity guarantees quality, but to suggest that quantity never produces quality strikes me as snobbish, inane and demonstrably untrue."
I wonder - does it boil down to jealousy?
Are other writers jealous because someone has the ability - and possibly even the time - to write quickly and efficiently?
I'm not sure, but I do subscribe to King's belief that a book can be written in a season - three months. Maybe not a book per say, but a Shitty Rough Draft as Anne Lamott calls it.
On Sept. 29 I'll have published four books in 15 months so I'm a bit sensitive to snobbery about the quality of these books. I will say that I find writing a series book much faster than a stand alone. The world is there, I pretty much sit down knowing exactly what is going to happen and then just put it on paper.
But looking at my back story - I really ended up writing a book every six months, so not exactly as it appears having them published in a 15-month-period. For instance, when I got my book deal I had the first two books in the series ready to go. Then I had six, very tense tight months to get my butt in the chair and write my third book. As soon as I turned that in to my editor, I had another fast, furious five months to write the fourth book.
I did it, but let's just say I think I'm going to slow down for one simple reason - something that King apparently recommends here -
"20. When you're finished writing, take a long step back.
King suggests six weeks of "recuperation time" after you're done writing, so you can have a clear mind to spot any glaring holes in the plot or character development. He asserts that a writer's original perception of a character could be just as faulty as the reader's.
King compares the writing and revision process to nature. "When you write a book, you spend day after day scanning and identifying the trees," he writes. "When you're done, you have to step back and look at the forest." When you do find your mistakes, he says that "you are forbidden to feel depressed about them or to beat up on yourself. Screw-ups happen to the best of us."
Can a novelist be too productive? I say no.
What say you?