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The New World of Writing: Pulp Speed

6 December 2014

From Dean Wesley Smith:

I’ve mentioned this concept a number of times on my nightly blog and in the Topic of the Night little sections. But since Pulp Speed was almost impossible in the new traditional world, it belongs as a post in this series.

Not at all sure why this idea sort of hits me right. I think because it flies in the face of all the myths. A writer has to have all myths under control to even attempt this. So this post might just make you angry because it hits at belief systems I’m afraid.

The second reason I can’t shake this idea is because for all of my life I have idolized pulp writers.

. . . .

Many, many of the great writers of the past that we still read and enjoy were pulp writers. And there are many pulp writers working today. More than you might imagine, even through the rough times of the last twenty years in traditional publishing.

. . . .

Dickens was one of the early great Pulp Writers. And there were many along the way before the turn of 1900. It was then that the “literary” group split from the “writing for the masses” group of writers.

To the literary group, their writing had to be important, something to struggle to read, and only be published in leather hardbound books.

The masses group of writers just wanted to tell stories that would entertain readers.

Around this split period of 1900, the pulp magazines were coming in, and with the pulp magazine expansion, stories were needed to fill the pages of the exploding pulp magazine field. And the writers who could write sellable stories quickly discovered they could become very rich writing for one cent per word.

. . . .

Doc Savage was a pulp character created mostly by Lester Dent and his publisher under a magazine house name. He wrote 159 of the Doc Savage novels for the Doc Savage pulp magazine, among many other books under other names, including his own name. There was a novel from Dent in most issues of Doc Savage Magazine for a decade or more. You can still buy Doc Savage novels by Dent today.

Some pulp writers got so famous, they were some of the richest people in the country. One year in the 1940s, the pen name Max Brand had thirteen movies in production from his books. Some of you may even remember Max Brand’s Dr. Kildare from television. Either the first television series or the second.

. . . .

By the way, the author behind Max Brand was Frederick Faust. Faust had a bunch of other prolific pen names besides Brand. For just one magazine group in the 1920s he wrote over a million words per year for the entire decade. Plus other stories and novels for other magazines.

. . . .

When the pulps finally died in the late 1950s, Pulp Speed writers turned to paperbacks through the 1960s and 1970s and wrote everything a publisher wanted. There were lots and lots of Pulp Speed writers producing upwards of 30 novels a year if not more. And most books were under many pen names and across many genres. Novels in this time period were still in the 40,000 word range.

In the 1980s publishers started to artificially inflate the size of novels because of the publisher’s need to charge more for a paperback. Pulp Speed writers kept on.  Numbers worked the category romance field, many worked westerns which had kept their smaller size.

And as normal, Pulp Speed writers worked across all genres. Fewer titles produced, but more words per book, so same production. Many Pulp Speed writers worked series novels for publishers during this period. And a lot of media novels.

But by the 1990s and early this century, most of the Pulp Speed writers had retired and very few new writers understood that Pulp Speed world was out there. It was almost impossible to understand when publishers limited a writer to one book per year. But some Pulp Speed writers still existed and worked through the period.

But now, with the advent of the indie world, Pulp Speed writers are coming back. It is possible again. And fun.

The golden age of fiction for readers has returned.

Link to the rest at Dean Wesley Smith and thanks to Melissa and several others for the tip.

Here’s a link to Dean Wesley Smith’s books

Dean Wesley Smith, Writing Advice

65 Comments to “The New World of Writing: Pulp Speed”

  1. Great, now I feel like a slacker.

    On the other hand, gotta get me a “Pulp Speed” coffee mug. What a great term.

    Dan

  2. Y’all have to read the whole thing just for Dean’s comparison of Pulp Speed writing to Star Trek Warp Speed. It’s hysterical (and true)!

  3. Wish I’d known this back in the 90s when the publishers & writers all said 1book a year 3k words written a day is the max anyone can do. What BS!

  4. It used to be a desperate way for a writer to make a living. The work pressure is intense. And the books tend to be fairly simple-minded, short, and quick reads.

    However, it is true that this is where the big money is in self-publishing. If you can churn out 60 titles in a couple of years and keep going, you probably make more money than Dickens ever did.

    • Rather like any other job. The Rowlings of the world are like the programmer who was in the first dozen Google employees and now has a billion dollars in stock options, while the rest of us still have to work for a living.

    • Some are single plot and some not. Having devoured Asimov and many others who wrote often and quickly, some are simple, some not. With practice comes speed and deeper knowledge of your subject. Like it or not, some people write layered, complex fiction at speed.

      • Asimov did not write fiction often and quickly.

        He said it took him three weeks to write a typical nonfiction book, but seven to nine months for a science fiction novel. He only became really prolific after 1958, when he virtually gave up writing SF for over twenty years.

        • And others. He was just the one that sprang to my mind.

          I shall refer you to M.C.A. Hogarth at haikujaguar.livejournal.com. She has to slow herself down for health/balance reasons and writes about 3-4 major novels a year that are rich, layered, huge on worldbuilding, and compared to Ursula LeGuin with good cause. This is in addition to having a separate artistic life (painting, drawing, etc.) and venturing into coloring books this year and children’s books.

          I dare you to read the Kherishdar books, the Dreamhealers duology, or The Stone Moon trilogy and call them simple-minded, short, or quick reads.

          • I know Ms. Hogarth slightly. And I never said or implied that her books, or the general run of books written in three or four months, are ‘simple-minded, short, or quick reads’. Please don’t put words in my mouth.

            I only meant to point out that you can’t make any assumptions from the fact that Asimov published anywhere up to 30 books per year, because most of those books were nonfiction and outside of the range we are considering. (Indeed, many of the books he claimed to have written were anthologies edited by other people, to which he merely contributed introductions and short commentaries. About a quarter of his titles were of this type.)

            That said, I have serious doubts that anyone can write 30 novels in a year without cutting corners somewhere. Certainly the pulp writers of the 1920s through 1940s, whom Mr. Smith admires so much, cut corners shamelessly to achieve their output. The late Frederik Pohl, who was not only a pulp writer himself in his younger days, but the editor of two pulp magazines, felt no shame in admitting that the great majority of pulp writing was awful and derivative, and that many pulp writers (because of financial pressure) pushed themselves to write such heavy volumes that the quality of their work suffered.

            • My response was to I.J. Parker, who said those exact words. My reply covered a new example as you invalidated the one I gave off the top of my head. I’m not picking a fight with you, but I was certainly disagreeing with I.J. Parker. She and I often are the only voices in favor of literary fiction here in a particular discussion, but when it comes to bashing genre or writing at speed (and I WISH I could write as fast as some of the ones who indeed put out 60-80K a month without sweating it*), I disagree with her mightily. But then, I just hate bashing.

              *How many pieces that word count gets split into depends on the writer.

              • Oh, I beg your pardon. Since your response showed up as a reply to my comment, I thought you were talking to me. I should have picked up on the fact that you were using Ms. Parker’s exact words. I’m afraid I am not at my best today, for reasons which I will spare you.

                For what it’s worth, I agree with you almost completely, and with Ms. Parker hardly at all. My only beef with the people who, as you say, put out 60–80K a month without sweating it, is that quite a few of them seem to write the same story over and over, and I can’t help wondering how much better they could be if they had a bit less output and a bit more sweat. Thinking of something to say can take more effort than actually saying it. Some of my favourite authors wrote quickly, and some slowly; what they all had in common was that they seldom or never repeated themselves.

                • I know what you mean. I am amazed at Hogarth for exactly the reasons that her imagination is rich and deep and her stories varied. While her books per year are less than ten, her word count is phenomenal.

                  I have a friend who writes so fast it’s scary but she fears she puts out the same book over and over. I see variation but she does use the Hollywood story beats and so sees it as all the same.

                  I know writers who write a novel per month easily and never seem to improve or say something new and those who write well enough to make want to weep in desire of a finger’s worth of their talent. It really is so over the map. :le sigh:

                  And I should have mentioned my noun of direct address. I replied to you because I commented due to what you added. I’m also not at my best.

                • Yes, this is all true. It puts me in mind of composers. One of Vivaldi’s contemporaries said that he did not write 600 concertos, he wrote the same concerto 600 times. Beethoven was much less prolific – only the nine symphonies, plus a lot of shorter pieces – but I will take even one of Beethoven’s masterpieces over the whole of Vivaldi’s oeuvre.

                  And then there is Mozart, who was both brilliant and prolific. (I shudder to think how much wonderful music he would have written if he had lived to be sixty.) But we can’t all be Mozart, and it’s no good setting him up as a role model.

                  For my own part, I was conditioned by years of trying (uselessly) to break into traditional publishing, and being told by my preceptors that I must produce absolutely perfect and brilliant and bulletproof work, because every slush reader was just looking for excuses to stop reading and send a rejection slip. I have a wide perfectionist streak by nature, and this advice made it wider than all outdoors. (Part of it was recycled and made into the Sahara. I leave you to imagine how wide it was before that.)

                  Intellectually at least, I have realized that this was the wrong way to go about things, but old habits die hard. Furthermore, I have a very hard time finding reliable first readers. When I am most in doubt about a passage or a chapter, and most in need of some immediate feedback before I know whether to go on or tear it up and try again, that is precisely when it takes six weeks for me to hear back from anybody. On my present WIP, because I am trying a new format and need help to master it, I ground to a halt for a solid month because my principal editor had flu and could not work with me.

                  Being prolific is not at all as simple as merely deciding to be.

                • For me, it’s finding out what drives my production and doing that. Likewise, finding out what stifles it and NOT doing that. Now, if I can get my new spate of knowledge into original rather than fanfic, production should speed up easily.

                • Yes, this is all true. It puts me in mind of composers. One of Vivaldi’s contemporaries said that he did not write 600 concertos, he wrote the same concerto 600 times. Beethoven was much less prolific – only the nine symphonies, plus a lot of shorter pieces – but I will take even one of Beethoven’s masterpieces over the whole of Vivaldi’s oeuvre.

                  And then there is Mozart, who was both brilliant and prolific. (I shudder to think how much wonderful music he would have written if he had lived to be sixty.) But we can’t all be Mozart, and it’s no good setting him up as a role model.

                  For my own part, I was conditioned by years of trying (uselessly) to break into traditional publishing, and being told by my preceptors that I must produce absolutely perfect and brilliant and bulletproof work, because every slush reader was just looking for excuses to stop reading and send a rejection slip. I have a wide perfectionist streak by nature, and this advice made it wider than all outdoors. (Part of it was recycled and made into the Sahara. I leave you to imagine how wide it was before that.)

                  Intellectually at least, I have realized that this was the wrong way to go about things, but old habits die hard. Furthermore, I have a very hard time finding reliable first readers. When I am most in doubt about a passage or a chapter, and most in need of some immediate feedback before I know whether to go on or tear it up and try again, that is precisely when it takes six weeks for me to hear back from anybody. On my present WIP, because I am trying a new format and need help to master it, I ground to a halt for a solid month because my principal editor had flu and could not work with me.

                  Being prolific is not at all as simple as merely deciding to be.

                • I deleted the duplicate comment above, but for some reason it has reappeared. PG, Sir, could you please get rid of the second one?

                • I am rather fond of Vivaldi myself.

                  In comparing Beethoven’s sheer numerical output to that of earlier composers, my understanding is that his chosen form, the symphony, evolved considerably between the classical and romantic periods.

                  That’s why the vast majority of composers in that form from his day onwards appear so much less prolific than their earlier colleagues.

                • My only beef with the people who, as you say, put out 60–80K a month without sweating it, is that quite a few of them seem to write the same story over and over

                  Well, writing the same story over and over again worked for decades for many best-selling trade published writers… why shouldn’t indies give it a try?

                • Writing the same concerto over and over again worked for Vivaldi. Why shouldn’t Mozart and Beethoven have given it a try?

                  Writing the same play over and over again was tickety-boo for Lope de Vega. Why didn’t Shakespeare have the sense to do the same?

                  I object to anyone deliberately choosing to do less than their best work. If you have more than one story to tell, you don’t do the world any service by picking just one of them and telling it ad nauseam. If you have only the one story, well, do what you must; but I shall still regard that as a shortcoming.

            • I suppose it depends a bit on how you define “quality”, but if quality means delighting your fans, I think that there are certain to be some people who could turn out 30 novels a year. The question comes down to how much overlap is there between the set of writers who could and the set of writers who attempt it. The fact that most who have attempted it have had a noticeable fall off in quality doesn’t mean it is impossible.

              • I would take issue with the idea that ‘quality’ = ‘delighting your fans’. Some people are harder to please than others; and some readers have such a strong craving for a particular type of story that they will read the most awful drek if it scratches that particular itch. (It is this that keeps the porn industry in business, for example.)

                If you want to make a living by producing a high volume of work for a very specialized clientele, the kind with the strong but narrow craving, you can do it; but your sales of each title will be severely constrained by the size of your audience, and you will have to write huge volumes just to make ends meet. Since quality is hardly an issue for such an audience, you probably won’t write any better than you have to; certainly not if it means slowing down your production. This is what happened to the majority of professional pulp writers, and from all I have read and heard, it is not a happy-making career

                If you want to make a living by reaching a wider audience, you will probably have to work a bit more slowly, because they are not looking for repetitions of the same formula and you will have to spend more time developing your story ideas.

                • I agree with this completely. Of course, a “wider” audience probably doesn’t mean a bigger audience, just an audience with different backgrounds and interests.

  5. PG, don’t scare your audience away with things they can’t handle.

  6. About ten years ago, I came across a copy of a reprint paperback version of William Saroyan’s 1943 novel_The Human Comedy_ –1966 by Dell — and noticed immediately how thin the book was, how few pages (180 if you start counting at Chapter One).
    Well, the font was small, but still.
    I went and typed out a page, allowed for the 2/3-page pen-ink drawings at the beginning of each chapter (39 of them), and the top-next-page start of each chapter and decided that novel had to be under 45,000 words.
    And he was a best seller.
    It lead me to identifiy the rat I smelled in all those 90’s and 00’s novels with the super-sagging middle, like you mentioned here.
    Since I’ve gone Indie, I’ve written novels at 62,000 words, figuring I’d bore somebody if I went any further.
    Now thanks to you, I know I can quit at 42,000 if I think the story is the one I intended to tell!

    • Yeah, many of my favourite novels as a kid were in the 40-60,000 word range. They grew bloated later as authors became more self-indulgent, and publishers more demanding.

      When I look at an ebook on Amazon and it’s 600 pages, that turns me off it, rather than encouraging me to buy it.

      • Do you really want to bypass books by George Martin, King, Tolkien, Patrick Rothfuss, Uris, Michener, McCullough …

        • I haven’t read any of them in years. So, yes.

          • Meanwhile, you feel no compunctions about labelling all of those authors as bloated and self-indulgent, because they did not write books at the One True Length as decreed by Edward.

            Nice.

            • It’s hardly a comment that’s unique to me. Writers have often complained that their publisher wanted them to pad the book to make readers think it was worth more, and readers have often complained about padding. And it’s not exactly news that trade published books tend to get longer as authors become more famous and fill them with laundry lists and fluff.

              SF and fantasy are full of books that have far more words than ideas to support them.

              • SF and fantasy are full of books that have far more words than ideas to support them.

                That phenomenon is not confined to books with six-figure word counts. There are, and always have been, short novels that could just as well have been short stories – and long, multi-volume, doorstop novels that needed every word of their length to tell the story they had to tell.

                You’re assuming without any evidence that a long book is a padded book, and a short book isn’t.

        • Wouldn’t at least some of his readers be happy if George Martin published one or two 300 pages book every year instead of a bloated and full-of-air 1000 pages every five years ? I know I would.
          In France we call the equivalent of pulp or paperback-only books “train station literature”. The most famous (I do not know about romance) writers in the crime or spy stories genre (San Antonio, Gerard de Villiers) had a “standard ryhythm” of one 250 pages book every trimester, at least under their “front pen name”. And they got quite rich (not Patterson-rich, but still).

          • Not sure if this helps, but in the old days Germans used call romance novels “maids’ novels”. The class system, you see, plus that nasty elitism.

        • The “Wheel of Time” series could have done with a bit of nip and tuck here and there. With a chainsaw.

    • This. A thousand times this.
      My bookshelf is full of older paperback novels in the 40,000 to 60,000 range.

      Dan

    • Very often an 80k book is two 40k novels stuck together. I’ve noticed that a lot recently.

      Often, you even see people putting “Book 1” and “Book 2”.

      • Yes. What I love about ebook and self-publishing is the freedom from publisher constraints on length (in either direction) that let a story be what it naturally should, no more and no less. I have seen a lot of novels over the years that had dead-weight subplots obviously there only to pad theword count. I don’t mind honking long novels if that is the natural length of the story, but i appreciate the end to artificial inflation of word count.

        • now we just need people to price accordingly. a 40K word novel shouldn’t be priced the same as a 120k word novel (it’s a sliding scale, it shouldn’t be a 1:3 ratio either)

  7. Yes, I’ve been saying for a long time this all feels like a new pulp era. The writers who succeeded then, as now, had speed, true, but it was also married to a knowledge of craft and markets. People like Erle Stanley Gardner. He analyzed and learned what sold, then started doing it himself.

    So speed alone is not enough. Craft matters in the long run, making and retaining readers.

    • This is very true.

      It is easy to get a false idea of what the pulps were like, because all but the very best pulp writers have been forgotten. If you want an accurate idea of what was out there, you really have to find some issues of old pulp magazines and read them straight through. (Or at least skim; in some genres, the deadly sameness of the story formulas will cause your eyes to glaze over after a while. But formula was what the readers of those particular magazines were looking for.)

      It’s worth noting, too, that very few of the old-time pulp writers stayed in the pulps if they had any choice in the matter. Those who could, moved to higher-paying markets; but the higher-paying markets also had higher standards, and few writers could sell first drafts to them.

      Robert A. Heinlein, in Grumbles From the Grave, has a good deal to say about his own learning process in going from the pulp SF magazines to the ‘slicks’ like the Saturday Evening Post or even Boys’ Life. He had to learn to write with real economy and precision, and often it took him longer to cut a story to the most effective length than to write it in the first place. Dean Wesley Smith is a great fan of Heinlein‘s rules of writing (including ‘You must refrain from rewriting except to editorial order’); but in fact Heinlein himself abandoned several of those rules within a year or so after he wrote the article in which they were formulated.

    • So speed alone is not enough. Craft matters in the long run, making and retaining readers.

      Exactly. People seem to have a huge blind spot when DWS talks about stuff like this. They ignore him saying that it won’t work for all writers, and that you have to know the craft and be able to write at what he calls a professional level before you can think about doing some of the stuff he talks about.

      I don’t agree with everything he says, but he does have good advice that’s relevant to self-publishing. But you know, if you’re writing the Great American Novel, then carry on.

      And I hate to break to you all, but the vast majority of writers are basically writing the same book over and over.

      • People seem to have a huge blind spot when DWS talks about stuff like this.

        Exactly. Many equate “writing fast” to mean changing the rate of words going on the page. Say, going from 700 words per hour to 1500 words per hour. I have never seen DWS say anything of the sort. His “writing fast” means spending more hours each day writing, which results in producing more work over the course of a year. Nothing magic or sloppy about it. Just more focus and work.

        I’m a “slower” writer, myself. I tend to average 500 words per hour. And it’s not really my typing speed that limits me. My ideas seem to flow at that rate. A little slower at the beginning of a story, a little faster near the end of a story. But I’ve been building my stamina toward being able to write more hours each day.

        When I first started taking myself seriously as a writer, I wrote 3 days per week, roughly 300 – 500 words per day. That was where I was at. Attempting more tended to exhaust me and result in more skipped days of writing.

        Over 2 years, I worked up to writing 5 days a week, 700 – 900 words a day.

        I still write only 5 days a week while my children are in school (not in the afternoon when they are home). I like to reserve weekends for my family. My children are relatively young, and I want to spend a fair amount of time with them. I’m currently averaging about 1,600 words a day. I’ll usually have a 2,000+ word day once a week, and a 3,000+ word day twice a month.

        None of the above is anything stellar or remarkable. Many, many writers are more productive than I am. But I’m a writer in progress. I’ve found ways to write more, even though my actual speed (words per hour) hasn’t changed much. Every writer is different and has different goals, but I believe most people can increase their skill and productivity if they want to. YMMV 😉

        • note that DWS is talking about 1000 words/hour, 40 hr work week, 2 weeks of vacation a year for “pulp speed 6” 2m words/year.

          If you don’t speed up at all, but just work 40 hours/week you will hit “pulp speed 1” of 1m words/year

          • Exactly. 8 hours a day isn’t currently feasible for me, but those 3,000+ days are 6. I have my eyes set on a regular 2,000 – 3,000 words per day. The fact that I manage it sometimes tells me that I can get there.

  8. Short, tight, brilliant, award-winning science fiction novels that easily spring to mind: “This Immortal” by Roger Zelazny and “The Einstein Intersection” by Samuel Delaney. I’ve sometimes read some of these old classics and wondered whether modern traditional publishers would insist on stuffing more words into them, thereby bloating them to death.

    • This is true. On the other hand, it would not be true to say that they were written at ‘pulp speed’. Delaney in particular, I understand, is a slow and painstaking writer. Short, tight, and brilliant are qualities that he buys at great cost.

  9. No one cares how fast you write, and on its own it isn’t a factor in whether you’ll do really well or make enough to pay a few bills. Whatever your writing speed you need to spend time revising and editing your work – putting out as professional a product as you can. If you miss those steps then you’re probably going to be toast.

    As someone else, said it’s not about words it’s about sales. If your business model is vomiting out words and throwing them up on Amazon, and it doesn’t matter if you only sell a few per day because hey you have 50+ titles so they all add up, then you have a broken business model.

    If you write fast AND put your work through multiple editing passes and revisions and beta readers etc then you’re far more likely to be successful and earn a living, and sooner.

    But some people only want to hear that all they have to do is write more.

    • Writing speed is a misnomer. The real question is–how many hours do you write each day?

      Someone who writes eight hours a day, seven days a week is going to have a lot more output than someone who writes only a couple of hours every once in awhile.

      When people start talking about how fast something is written, they often forget that it’s a matter of the hours someone puts into a work and not their typing speed that counts.

      In regards to editing, some work needs to be edited more thoroughly than others. Some writers have a process where they edit as they go. Some writers produce very clean first drafts. A work doesn’t have to be edited “X” number of times to be good.

      If someone types slowly, let’s say 500 words per hour, and works eight hours everyday, that’s still four thousand words a day, which looks like a lot of fast writing to most people.

      • Writing speed is a misnomer. The real question is–how many hours do you write each day?

        Totally this! Writing for many hours a day and writing sloppily are two entirely different kettle of fish.

      • This. So this. And in the comments (on this post or another), Dean addresses that writing sloppily is a recipe for disaster. You have to write your best all the time to use this method.

    • @Matt

      While it’s true that many writers need to follow that process, DWS’s mantra is that through knowledge and practice, you can reduce the amount of editing and rewriting to produce clean (or at least, cleaner) first drafts.

      Dean calls this train of thought put forth in your post a myth. The old “fast writing is crap writing”.

      • Too bad I never said “fast writing is crap”. I said if you revise and edit then you’re far more likely to be successful and earn a living, and sooner – because your final product is more professional and of higher quality.

        DWS put me on the path to self publishing and I have a lot of respect for him. But I disagree with his minimal revising and editing strategy. I’ll repeat, it’s not about speed it’s about sales. If your sales are terrible then writing faster isn’t going to help you.

        • Dean has an award winning editor and first reader, his wife. He also has proofreaders and such through his publishing company. He doesn’t go back and fiddle with things endlessly but he does fix problem areas and he most definitely catches the typos and mistakes.

          But he’s definitely pretty minimal compared to most and this is part of why he works at such a good clip.

  10. I think a lot of us have an a guru online they look up to. For many it’s Howie, for others maybe Konrath.

    For me it’s Dean. I started off wanting to make ‘movie length’ novels. I just love the structure of movies, how tight they could be. I think the length and amount of content is just right for a good rip roaring story.

    A movie script is about 120 pages or so. 1 page a minute. I shoot for about 150 pages for a novel and that ends up being around 40k more or less.

    I’m not a fast writer or anything but I am trying to get to the point where I can do one of these short novels every month or three. It’s a ton of fun so far.

  11. I started writing screenplays before I switched to fiction and I naturally write about a 30k novel (if that, I like to write serial shorts lately). 40k and beyond seems implausible to me, I don’t think I will ever be able to write something that length without having some sort of resolution or conclusion to the story, a major death, etc. and starting anew.

    Certainly novella length more closely approximates a screenplay. But I suspect it goes beyond that for me and a good narrative in my opinion should not get drawn out. A novella can be read in an evening. Would anyone sit and listen to anyone tell a story out loud for more than an evening? I think back, to the days before writing when we told stories by the fire. I think one would be given the microphone for a few hours but never long enough to tell a saga lasting a week.

    But hey, if one wants to hit 100k words, there’s always the adverb option…

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