Tuesday, February 28, 2006

35 Days

35 days after I began, DIRTY MARTINI is complete at 72,044 words.

I need a beer.

41 comments:

Heather Brewer said...

Huzzah! Fantastic, Joe. Congrats! :)

pam said...

Wow! When you say 'complete', are you referring to all drafts, or your first draft? Either way, I'm in awe. How many hours a day, on average did that take?

:) Pam

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Holy smokin' keyboard! Congrats. :)

James Goodman said...

Congrats! Can't wait to read it.

tambo said...

Congrats!

Wish I could write a 72k book! ;)

And you still had a day to spare!

Carol Davis Luce said...

That's my question too. First draft finished, or fini?

melodyann said...

Well, how about this? I read your first book on the advice of a girl at Waldenbooks. She said I'd love it and I did! But you know what? All this time I thougt you were a girl!

Oops!

Folklore Fanatic said...

Congratulations! Ditto on the drafts question as well. I'm not in your genre, so I have no idea whether it would be easier to write a mystery than a thriller--regardless, I still don't think I could do it unless I was cut off from all life for the entire dureation, and that isn't going to be possible any time soon. ;)

Jean said...

Congrats!

Justin R. Buchbinder said...

Congrats!

Just send me a copy of the word document, and we should be good.

Jim Winter said...

35 days. I hate you.

Jeri said...

Congrats, Joe! Is 72K a typical final length, or will you add to it in later drafts?

Now dare to break your own rules and take the night off to celebrate.

Steve said...

Congrats Bro!

William G. said...

Awesome.

Barry Eisler said...

Congratulations, Joe! Can't wait for my sneak peek. Is there a sex scene?

:-)
Barry

HawkOwl said...

On the one hand, congratulations, and on the other hand, with all the whiskey references in your writing, "beer" is not the word I expected in that sentence. :)

Jude Hardin said...

Leave Joe alone, now.

He's drinking beer and watching TV and going out to eat and reading a book and surfing the internet and having sex (tandem or solo) and sleeping more than 8 hours and...

Hey! He DESERVES it.

Congratulations, Joe!!!

You're an inspiration to us all.

Carl Graves said...

Whoa!!! Congrats Joe!! I know what that moment means to you! 3 down and on to the next. Extremely exciting!! Proud as hell! Can't wait man.

Carl Graves said...

P.S. You are the best!!! You've come a long way!!! Best wishes for Dirty Martini and the rest of the next 3

Kim H said...

Holy shit!

Congrats! And I hate you. :)

Give your poor hands a couple days off or I'll start calling you Mr. Carpal Tunnel.

Mark Terry said...

Are your books getting shorter?

JD Rhoades said...

Congratulations, Joe! I'm impressed.

JA Konrath said...

Wow, thanks for the kind words everyone.

Pam (and others): This is about the fourth draft. I averaged about ten pages a day, but every day before writing I'd go back and rewrite the previous 20 pages. Then I also revised the first half and the second half on two seperate days, to make sure it read straight through okay.

My agent will have suggestions. A writing friend of mine will also offer some very good input. I'll incorporate that into another rewrite, and send the book to my editor, who will ask for changes. Then I'll rewrite it again, get notes from the copy editor, and rewrite it a final time.

Carl Graves (he's the guy that drew the FOUR PACK OF JACK design on the right) email me!

Jeri/Mark--72k is typical for me. Whiskey Sour was 67k, Bloody Mary was 72k, Rusty Nail was 77k. My books typically take place over a period of a week or so, and there is a lot of action and dialog. A lot. That means a lot of white space, so it winds up being a 300 page book even though the word count is on the short side.

A word about length; a book should be at least 65k, but shorter is better for first time authors. Shorter means less money to print and to ship, which is attractive to a publisher. Shorter also means a quicker read. I've had dozens of readers tell me that they read my book in a day or two, or in one sitting, and they've never done that before.

This book took a few days longer to write than previous books, for a few reasons.

First, I had to take some time off for a conference and some events.

Second, I had to do more research than I've ever done before on a book. (if you haven't downloaded GOOGLE EARTH yet, it is brilliant for writers.)

Third, I actually got stuck for two days. I write a very detailed outline (30 pages) before I begin the book (because I have to turn an outline in to get paid) and usually it is just a case of adding dialog and action to the outline.

But I found a plot hole in my outline, and it required some major thinking on my part to fix it. I'm talking about staring at my monitor pulling out my hair kind of thinking.

Now, I get to answer email. 735 are waiting for me...

J. Carson Black said...

Congratulations! It's always a huge relief when I'm finished with a book. I know I've done it yet again. So I know how you feel.

Enjoy your beer, or two!

Monica said...

Oh! If only, by the grace of God, went I

:-)

Rob said...

Grats, Joe! Can you give me the name of the guy who sold you the stuff that makes you write so fast. I've got homework writing along with novel writing to do here, and I could use a boost. ;)

(Will also keep in mind that shorter is better.)

pam said...

Another nosy question....how long does it generally take to write your outline? Do you think you could write as fast without one?

Have to say, you've totally inspired me to pick up my pace!

:) Pam

JLB said...

Congrats!!!

Beth Ciotta said...

35 days?! Holy wow. I don't hate you, really I don't. Congrats, Joe! And thanks for sharing your process.

Adam Hurtubise said...

Congrats, Man. That's huge.

Adam

Dana Y. T. Lin said...

Wahoo! Congrats, now go take a nap! You deserve it!

Julie Knudson said...

Wow, way to go! I'm already looking forward to reading it.

By the way, you see those other people roaming around your house? They're your family. Go say hello.

Anonymous said...

Joe, thanks for sharing your writing process with us. I love to hear how other writers work, and was dying to know how you manage to write a novel in a month. A solid outline and incredible focus--aha!

JA Konrath said...

Pam--Writing an outline is a pain in the ass. In fact, I think I'll blog about that right now...

Troy Cook said...

Congrats, Joe! I'm constantly amazed you can write so well in such a short time. Can't wait to read it.

DZ Allen said...

Awesome job, man. Looking forward to reading it.

James Lincoln Warren said...

I hate you, too.

But I like Jack Daniels.

Martha O'Connor said...

Congratulations, quite an accomplishment!

Tasha Alexander said...

Joe, you rock!!!!!

M. G. Tarquini said...

Congratulations, Joe!

Take a beach vacation out of petty cash.

PJ Parrish said...

You could have made it to SleuthFest afterall. Maybe you even would have won the Flamango Award this time.