Stephen King on productivity

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Prolific writers must not be bothered by spending all their time focused on writing. To me that would be like a kind of prison.

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Guy’s way too defensive about his 1:10 signal to noise ratio. Kill your darlings, Steve.


Or like a job.


I can guess you’re not a creative.

Hey, Phil might be a dancer.

Then he wouldn’t focus on writing and would appreciate the compulsion :wink:

Probably. I do get your point. But I can imagine being someone devoted to an all-consuming creative endeavor (painting, music, sculpture, whatever) and having a hard time reconciling that particular kind of creative obsession with staring at a sheet of paper in a typewriter (or the screen of a word processor) all day. I’m a writer in my spare time, and I know how the hours can fly by unnoticed when I’m hammering out pages inspired by a particularly fruitful creative inspiration (hey, I didn’t say I was a good writer), but I also know how it looks from the outside: like Bob Cratchit endlessly poring over his ledgers by candlelight without even a window to gaze out of.


The Running Man is a short novel. Anyway Stephen King doesn’t hold a candle to Robert Silverberg as far as output is concerned.

I dunno. 317 pages is a fairly good-sized novel, if you ask me. Kinda hard to imagine the first Harry Potter book being written in a week. At least, not without lots of childcare and caffeine.

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I remember it as a short read. I have a PDF of dubious origin that shows 94 pages. Word count is somewhere around 900,000 which is an amazing output on an hourly basis, even if all you’re typing is “ALL SLEEP AND NO PLAY MAKES JACK A DULL BOY” over and over again.

I taught Elaine how to dance

Never mind the quality, feel the width!

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I sometimes think about writing, but it would end up being all anecdotes about people I know. And I don’t know how many stories like The Guy Who Dieseled A Pizza, or Smoked A Garbage Bag of Shake Instead of Ether I have in me.

In my The Bachman Books omnibus edition, The Running Man is 202 pages.

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Yes, but I was talking about Robert Silverberg. Dying Inside holds up to any of King’s best works.

Isaac Asimov. Prolific and good. Boom.

I thought to myself, as one does, “What an unusual pictuOHJESUSCHRISTWEALLFLOATDOWNHERE”

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It does go quick, but I can never gauge a book’s length by how quickly (or slowly) it went past my eyes. I read King’s IT in two poolside days at my aunt’s house, all 1,138 pages of it. I don’t think I’ve ever been gripped by a page-turner so thoroughly before or since.

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