Thursday, October 12, 2006

Graham Greene, Harry Crews: The 500-word-a-day plan

Following up on an earlier post ...

Graham Greene probably mentioned his 500-word-a-day fiction writing habit on several occasions.

But one of those occasions was during an interview with the New York Times, for a Sept. 21, 1971 piece titled "Graham Greene at 66," written by Israel Shenker.

"In the old days, at the beginning of a book, I'd set myself 500 words a day, but now I'd put the mark to about 300 words." Did he mean that literally- a mark after every 300 words? Precisely. With an x he marks the first 300 words, 600x comes next, 900x after 900 words.

Harry Crews' own 500-words-a-day habit, inspired by Greene, is referenced in a recent Gainesville Sun story. "Crews at 70: Still Fully Charged" was written by Ted Geltner and published on May 7, 2006.

Here's a snippet from that story:

"Today, at age 70, despite annoyances like constant debilitating pain and deteriorating health, the drive to create remains alive in Crews. His first work of fiction in eight years, a novella titled "An American Family: The Baby with the Curious Markings," will be released this month. He's halfway through another novel, methodically turning out 500 words a day, which he hopes to complete this summer."

No comments: