Writer’s Desk: Just Finish It

Despite the legacy that came from from the novel that Alfred Hitchcock used as the basis for Psycho, Robert Bloch never quite achieved notice outside the world of the pulps. Nevertheless, he was a talented writer who rode just about every trend there was, from Weird Tales horror to 1960s genre television.

Bloch was also a good friend of a young writer named Ray Bradbury. Trying to convince Bradbury, who really preferred short stories, to not be intimidated by the length of a novel, Bloch advised him:

Get to work, write a book, write two–three-four books, just as a matter of course. Don’t worry about ‘wasting’ an idea or ‘spoiling’ a plot by going too fast. If you are capable of turning out a masterpiece, you’ll get other and even better ideas in the future. Right now your job is to write, and to write books so that by doing so you’ll gain the experience to write still better books later on… The danger–and I feel it is a real one–lies in waiting too long and developing an attitude about the importance or gravity of a novel-length work…

In other words, if you want to write a novel, or anything of length, don’t let the scope intimidate you. Get started. Think of it like a short story, just longer.

(h/t: Unearthly Fiction)

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