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July 31, 2009

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Trollope's Discipline

I’m still working on Newsweek’s Trollope recommendation, and I love this bit of Trollope trivia:

Trollope wrote for two and a half hours each morning before he went to work as a clerk in the British Postal Department. The schedule was ironclad. If he was in mid-sentence when the two and a half hours expired, he left that sentence unfinished until the next morning. And if he happened to finish one of his six-hundred-page heavyweights with fifteen minutes of the session remaining, he wrote “The End,” set the manuscript aside, and began work on the next book.

Wow. Routine and discipline seems to be the key to so much.

(Via Molly Young.)

Posted July 31, 2009 at 11:17 | Comments (6) | Permasnark
File under: Briefly Noted


There's a book, a kind of narrative biography, by R.H. Super called Trollope in the Post Office, which I may look up. The 1830s-1860s were actually a really exciting time in postal history!

Oh man, I'm such a nerd.

But when did he edit!?!

I swear if I only had to first draft a book I'd write every morning for three and a half hours.

Perhaps he actually had a professional editor?

I don't think Trollope busted it out nonstop Kerouac-style. Just that he worked - wrote, edited, researched, etc. - for exactly two and a half hours every day.

I find it especially interesting that he was able to stop writing in mid-sentence.

I am able to stop reading Trollope in mid-sentence, too.

Ha! So far I am discovering that to be the case, too -- I might not even make it all through "The Way We Live Now."

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