Monday, July 18, 2011

No Thought. No Pants. No Caring.

I am pleased to announce that a colleague and I, merely in the course of our daily business, have hit upon a can't-miss formula for fabulous productivity as a writer.

Now it all started when my colleague mentioned how he read that the guy who wrote hundreds of pulp novels about The Shadow (probably Walter B. Gibson, but I couldn't be bothered with details), was rumored to sometimes write as many as 10,000 words a day.

That's a lot of words. Now we figured that if you're writing that much, you're pretty much doing nothing else, and you're certainly not pausing for long thoughtful stretches while you ponder your next plot twist. No thought! Thinking is for weaklings! Just type! Type, damn you! Type as you've never typed before!

Then my colleague, who is a font of useful information, recalled that he has also heard that Victor Hugo, when he had trouble getting motivated to write, would have his servants lock him in a cold bare room, with nothing in it but pen and paper, and they'd have orders not to even give him pants to put on or a cup of tea to drink until he'd written a certain number of pages. (I have no idea if this is true, and I'm not even going to do a web search, because that would involve thinking, which has already been forbidden.)

So we concluded that one problem with today's lazy, unmotivated writers, like ourselves, is that we've grown decadent and soft. Always wearing clothes, and having food. Bah.

If you really want to get something done, have your servants (or, if you have no servants, your family, friends, or someone else who would like to see you suffer just a bit) lock you naked in a chilly room with nothing but a computer, on which is installed only a word processing program. You'll get something done.

Finally, it's kind of obvious that in order to make this work, you need to not care about subtle plot points, or carefully developed characters, or what people are saying about your tendency to go around without pants. You must be uninterested in--indeed, oblivious to--the opinions of others.

Therefore, no thought, no pants, no caring, just typing as if your life depended on it, throwing onto the page/screen whatever demented and half-baked ideas flit through your mind, and I'm pretty sure you'll produce, at minimum, some acceptable pulp novels.

I say "you," because I suggest that you try it first, and let me know how it goes.

Also, if your first thought was that "No Thought. No Pants. No Caring." was the tagline for another horrible 'friends with benefits' movie, shame on you, and you should probably just write that up and pitch it if you know anyone in the movie business, because it could be your big break.


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