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Another previous post, which seemed right to put out again after the last one on Ray Bradbury’s book Fahrenheit 451. This post concentrates on the writing of the original story from which the book developed.
Okay, so Ray Bradbury didn’t say directly to ‘write like the Mechanical Hound is after you’, but I am sure that is what he meant.
In 2006, he wrote a letter to Shauna Thorup, the Assistant Director of Fayetteville Public Library, with details of how he had produced the first draft of what would become Fahrenheit 451.
Bradbury explained that one day he was wandering around the library of UCLA, when he discovered a bank of typewriters down in the basement. These could be ‘hired’ for thirty minutes at a time, by inserting a dime into a timer.
Nine days later, $9.80 produced 25,000 words, which constituted the ‘The Fireman’.
Time and money were literally ticking away.
So he wrote fast.
Constantly aware that the ‘Mechanical Hound’ was getting closer and closer, only to be held at bay by throwing more dimes, like toffees, to keep the jaws preoccupied.
For the next thirty minutes, at least.
So, grab yourself some loose change and start the timer. (Check out my own experiences of using a timer here.)
25,000 words in $9.80, anyone?
If my calculations are correct then the rate of words per hour is 510, which doesn’t seem like much, but let’s give credit for working on a type writer rather than a modern keyboard.
Why not try it?
Ninety-eight lots of thirty minutes and see what you’ve got?
You may have to ignore the limit of nine days Bradbury took, if you are not a full time writer.
And ‘no pressure’ to end up with a story which you will then need to develop into a novel which won all of the awards which Fahrenhiet 451 went on to!