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"I wrote the rest of The Innocents Abroad in sixty days and I could have added a fortnight's labor with the pen and gotten along without the letters altogether. I was very young in those days, exceedingly young, marvelously young, younger than I am now, younger than I shall ever be again, by hundreds of years. I worked every night from eleven or twelve until broad daylight in the morning, and as I did 200,000 words in the sixty days, the average was more than 3,000 words a day- nothing for Sir Walter Scott, nothing for Louis Stevenson, nothing for plenty of other people, but quite handsome for me. In 1897, when we were living in Tedworth Square, London, and I was writing the book called Following the Equator, my average was 1,800 words a day; here in Florence (1904) my average seems to be 1,400 words per sitting of four or five hours."
Mark Twain

Random picks

  • Critical Mass readers will know we are now in our fourth year of "NBCC Reads." This survey allows us to draw on the bookish expertise of our membership, along with former NBCC winners and finalists. This spring's question: What's your favorite comic novel? was inspired by this past year's awards in fiction-- NBCC fiction award winner Jennifer Egan's at-times hilarious A Visit from the Goon Squad (which also won this year's Pulitzer and the Los Angeles Times book award in fiction) and Irish writer Paul Murray's darkly comic Skippy Dies, an NBCC fiction finalist. We...
  • If you are overwhelmed as to where to start, or how to organize the writing of your ‘How-To’ book then you’ll want to check out these 5 suggestions to get started. This is “How To” write a “How To” book!
  • In the summer of 2007, Edward Petherbridge travelled to New Zealand to play King Lear on stage, but fell ill after the first rehearsal.  The role had to be recast and the world therefore still awaits his Lear . . . In the meantime, we can offer a tiny but tantalizing glimpse of what might have been in is this multi-media presentation, recorded exclusively for our inaugural “Shakespeare Week”.  (With apologies to everyone who still has a  dial-up connection.) . . ~~~:o:~~~ . Postscript from EP -  17.11.10: . Whilst filming in Budapest recently, I photographed this statue. . ....
  • Writing is the best way to convey one's opinion. It is an exact form of self-expression that opens a lot of opportunity to be concise or windy. Through the art of writing, writers pursue the goal to inform and inspire readers with remarkable and sensible content.

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Fast fact about writing

By definition, the modern practice of history begins with written records; evidence of human culture without writing is the realm of prehistory.