Friday, July 1, 2011

A Book That Took Altogether Too Long To Write

We're just babies, making up a game...

Controlling drones mapping the surface of a forgotten Earth is a pretty sweet gig, especially since Ernie Centrifuge can work from the comfort of his computer room on the floating city of Megalopolis...but when he takes a job to survey a mysterious island, he finds himself entangled in a deadly competition for a lost and priceless treasure! With the help of his sister (a psion), her husband (a pilot), and a sarcastic lady he meets in a car accident (a police inspector), Ernie races to find out who's who in a world where no one really knows what's what.

A technological thriller with a double shot of humor and romance: Play-world, a science fiction short novel by David Barron. (Smashwords) (Amazon for Kindle) (Barnes & Noble) (Other1)

OK, have you bought it already? Pretty awesome, right? Good. Now that I can't scare you away, I'll roll into  Lessons Learned Time.

This Book Took A Long Time To Get Written Down

Well, that's not technically true, in that this 20,000 word, 21 chapter short novel was written in about 15 days of basic effort (i.e. ~1200 words in a day). But those 15 days were scattered throughout a nine-month period, during which (admittedly) I wrote a whole crap-load of other, equally awesome stuff. It's not like I was thinking about the plot of this book all that time, either. I had a full bracket-outline after day 2, and it didn't change the whole time I was writing. My point is, if anybody asks me if I worked real hard on this book, I'll say "Yes!", but in the same way as I say I ran a marathon over the course of a few months, with frequent rest days and side journeys to look at cool forts.

But, I now know my "Resting word-count"
Yes, with no effort whatsoever beyond forcing myself to actually type, I write 1200 words in about 4 hours (henceforth referred to as a Writing Unit because I like making things up). Considering that a Writing Unit is about the amount of time I can make free in a day with absolutely no effort (beyond not sleeping 10 hours a night) we can call that the Resting Daily Word Count, but we don't have to.

That's pitiful, but that's not the point. I can now theoretically schedule out a book based on minimal effort. So, say I'll write a 40,000 word book should be done in 34 Writing Units. This is known as "Quantified Business". Take notes.

Books are Fun to Write
Well, one would hope so. They're just longer stories, and stories are fun to write.

This Book was Fun to Write
It was cool! There was a laser! And most importantly, now that it's finished, I never have to look at again.

Until I Write the Sequel
There's a sequel?

Sure, why not?
It IS a pretty cool setting...

Anyways, this is all the promotion I'm going to do for this book. (I'm busy.) So enjoy!


  1. Thanks for sharing the thought process behind the writing. I find that sort of thing fascinating (and enjoy Dean's quips about his challenge writings too). I've started collecting my backlist of short stories (mostly flash fiction) into little collections and posting them on Smashwords and Amazon as well and sometimes include the microfiction seed from which they sprang. Fun to see a story progress from idea to sketch to short story...and maybe one day, for me, a novel! :) Keep up the good work.

  2. I'm planning to put together a more in-depth article about "How I Write a Book" in the near future. Fortunately, it's not that hard, or I couldn't do it.


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