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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Writer's block? No time.

Who knows how prolific a writer can be when he applies himself? The author of the Shadow knows..heh-heh-heh

I don't normally talk about writing but came across something I thought the writers who stop by could appreciate. In 1931 Walter Gibson signed on to write four 60K word novels for a new detective pulp called the Shadow. Seems like writing four short novels a year would be a big task, but then the first two proved so successful the publishers decided to make it a monthly magazine so now Gibson (who wrote under the pen name Maxwell Grant) had to come up with twelve 60K word stories a year and this is on a type writer don't forget.

One would think that Gibson had absolutely no time for anything else but he actually finished the dozen stories ahead of time, which worked out well because by the end of the year the magazine, now uber popular, went twice-monthly. So for the second year he had to crank out twenty-four novels. 24x60k = 1,440,000 words a year, and he did this for a number of years.

Over the course of the periodical's eighteen year run he wrote 282 Shadow novels. Wow. I suspect writer's block wasn't in his vocabulary, nor could he have waited around for the correct mood to hit.


Lisa Rosner said...

Hi Pat,
Your readers might be interested to know that Walter Gibson appears as a character in a great recent novel, The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril, by Paul Malmont.

Pat Downey said...

Hi Lisa,

Thanks for the tip. I checked the book out on Amazon, looks fun.

Alana said...

Nice! guess he has his own magic formula.

Pat Downey said...

I think the chemical makeup of his magic formula consisted mainly of a simple compound called Ass Glue. That and throw in a little hard work and determination.

Alana said...

oh yes that always might have new side venture there Pat in between writing gigs. If anyone could sell Ass Glue you could. Hard work and determination not included in the package.