Write an adventure novel in three days, the Michael Moorcock way


33 Responses to “Write an adventure novel in three days, the Michael Moorcock way”

  1. Dan Crow says:

    The phrase is “rate of knots” referring to the nautical unit of speed. Not “rate of noughts” which doesn’t make sense. Just FYI.

  2. I had the same thought re knots/noughts. But this is a great resource. Thanks for posting.

  3. Mark Leaman says:

    Looks like I’m not alone regarding the use of “rate of noughts”. At the rate of zeroes?

  4. Nought/naught might be a reference to Moorcock, who as I recall had a fetish for it (and “nowt/aught”) in his early Elric-type stuff as go-to words for medievaly linguistic greebling.

    • labrys says:

      in my little patch of England nowt and aught are still pretty common. now I’m paranoid about the rest of the words I use

  5. Tronface says:

    The interviews were conducted by Colin Greenland not Greenwood. Although having the bassist of Radiohead doing the interviewing would be pretty gnarly.

  6. Robbo says:

    A knot can be a nought if there is no movement, while a nought in itself is not movement and no knot can be a nought without just becoming a piece of string – or something like that.

  7. liquidstar says:

    Pity.  Nought was so beautiful a word in relation to the majority of the Elric work, what with it’s mostly being non-existent, pre-human, chaos-wrought and whatnot.

  8. Wouldn’t it be a neat thing to write a novel live (with an audience!) on the internet?

    • Donald Petersen says:

      Eeeewwww.  Not for me, thanks.  I thought it was pretty cool when Harlan Ellison used to type out short stories in a display window of a bookstore, but even that would be too public for me.

      I guess it would make a difference if you just allowed the curious public to see your screen as you typed, deleted, edited, and retyped your way along.  That would certainly be preferable to allowing them to comment on the process as you go.

      I’m imagining the chat window alongside the MS Word window.

      FicFan264: Man, that was a crap paragraph.
      beschizzarulez: your crazy, this will be his best book EVAH!!!!!!1!
      CapnProse: wonder why that cursor hasn’t moved for ten minutes…
      FicFan264: He’s stumped.  Writer’s block.
      HemingwaysMuse: painted himself into a corner.  never should have killed off the psychiatrist
      beschizzarulez: genius can’t be rushed!!  dont jostle teh elbow of The Master!
      DonaldP: Maybe he’s pooping.
      FicFan264: Mark my words, he’s about to delete it all.  A fool if he doesn’t.
      Rob Beschizza: Can’t a guy stop for lunch?
      FicFan264: sockpuppet!

      Sorry about that.  Forgot the nineties ended a while back.

      • peromyscus says:

        “I guess it would make a difference if you just allowed the curious public to see your screen as you typed, deleted, edited, and retyped your way along.  That would certainly be preferable to allowing them to comment on the process as you go.
        I’m imagining the chat window alongside the MS Word window.”
        Been done. 

  9. lrayzor says:

    It’s been done before:

    Live Novel Writing (from the West Country)

  10. bocomo says:

    mad libs novel-writing

    nice, i might give it a try

  11. Eric Nieudan says:

    I used it last year for NaNoWriMo. Great advice to write pulp adventure.

  12. lyd says:

    A jump to Wikipedia for a refresher on “MacGuffin” and a quick click on a reference led to this:


    Seemed like an interesting compliment to the posted article.

  13. Hakan Koseoglu says:

    3 to 10 days is not bad thinking Moorcock’s lovely yarns were about 1/10th of the usual doorstop tomes fantasy writers like to churn out these days.

  14. Scixual says:

    It may be a pun or something, but “rate of knots”? The rate of speed over water? It’s a) redundant, as it comes to the speed of speed, and b)even as intended, knots isn’t necessarily fast.

    Or is this a colloquialism of which I am unaware?

  15. I once attended a show in London.  Get this: Michael Moorcock being interviewed by Alan Moore.
    Soon after wards, Alan Moor interviewed Brian Eno as part of the BBCs Chain Reaction series.  Then I saw Neil Gaiman reading fro Fragile Things.

    What a week that was……. 

  16. Owen Thaxton says:

    this is rilly good

  17. AquaDad18 says:

    I haven’t read any of his books…how do I work up a desire to read someone who spent three days working on his book?  

    However, the wannabe writer in me is absolutely in love with the idea that writing a book could be that simple.  Shoot, I’m gonna start writing one now!  Three days…piece of cake!  

    Hmm…which font to use?  Oh, I got a text.  Now, let’s see…what was I doing?

    • Spriggan_Prime says:

      Because every writer should struggle for years with their ‘next great American novel’

      Start by researching who he is/what he’s written/and the huge impact it’s had on the modern fantasy genre. The founders of D&D even put his name next to Tolkien and Howard as a major influence. Neil Gaiman did as much in a tribute short story in an anthology dedicated to him. Many (best and worst) ideas and themes now common place in modern comics were also pioneered by him.

      Good luck with the novel. I suggest Comic Sans.


  18. Andreas Beer says:

    maybe that explains why i was
    bored out of my mind when forcing myself to read through a thousand-page-book by moorcock. nothing happened at all and in the end i was so pissed at wasting my time on this, i dumped my vow to finish every book i start reading. you can’t write books like this, only bad publishers can be fooled into believing this is worth anything at all.

    • Spriggan_Prime says:

      You don’t finish articles now either do you?

    • Prof. Faustaff says:

      Moorcock’s never written a thousand-page-book though; even INTO THE MEDIA WEB, his 2kg mega-tome of collected non-fiction crashes out at 720 pages. You sure you’re not thinking of LORD OF THE RINGS? ;-)

      Anyway, all hyperbole aside, the books that Moorcock wrote in three days all max out around the 160 page mark – GLORIANA, which took him six weeks to write (which was a long time for Moorcock) was less than 350 page when published in hardback – but let’s not let the facts get in the way of a good moan, eh?

  19. Anthony Mockler says:

    Man, can someone forward this link to George RR Martin? Could have saved himself a lot of fan grief.
    In related news, wasn’t there an English mystery/detective novel author (of the 1950′s-70s?) who used to dictate all his novels to a transcriptionist, who would then send the (unedited) manuscript straight to the publisher?

  20. gd23 says:

    Now, head over to tvtropes.org http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HomePage , pick maybe 5 or 6 at random and you’ll be set.

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