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Let's write a novel—how hard can it be?

Hemingway spent most of life drinking daiquiris or gin and coconut water, but he wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls.

Faulkner was no slouch—whiskey was his go-to, but he seems to have drunk only when he was writing. That is NOT a recommendation.

Poe wrote no novels but did enjoy the occasional chemical escape from the world.

And Fitzgerald who once claimed to have reduced his alcohol consumption to 37 beers a day penned The Great Gatsby.

Seems to me if we can all keep sober, we can at least write The Average Gatsby.

Here's how we'll do it

Write the first chapter. That's it. I’ll write the second, trying to maintain your story and your style. Then we’ll alternate until we have a novel. You will write all the odd-numbered chapters until (1) we get to the end, (2) you don't need me anymore, or (3) you're sleepy after your 38th beer.


(I consider novels to be at least 50,000 words, but we can be flexible.)


​​Any takers?

House rules

1. I don’t do fantasy and science fiction so I won’t be able to continue your stories with much other than “then I woke up.” Also, children’s literature lives in a world all its own, and those authors have a special talent which I do not share. No sci-fi, fantasy, or kiddie lit.


2. I’m not going to fact-check, grammar-check, or spellcheck unless the mistake really stops me from reading. Just write freely.


3. Your chapters should contain no less than 1500 or more than 5000 words.

4. No memoirs or biographies, auto- or otherwise. I'm glad you enjoyed meeting Peter Cottontail that Easter. Now write about something else.


5. You can compose it in any application you choose—Word, Nisus, Scrivener, Pages, etc, then send it as an attachment. PDFs are easy to work with.


6. You can quit anytime, just tell me by saying something like "I quit." 


7. We will split the movie rights 50-50.

And the number of novelists shall be five

To be honest, I have no idea how many of these I can do at a time, but I also have no idea if anyone will even take me up on it. Let’s set a maximum of five novelists to begin. Tell me if you're in. Then we'll work out the details. Reach me at:


If you don’t want to write with me (I'M HURT AND SHOCKED!) you can easily do this on  your own. Just find a friend. 

To get you started, here's an opening chapter I wrote a few years ago and didn't know where to go with it. If you wind up with a chapter and nowhere to go, now I can tell you where to go, so to speak.

Hope to hear from you.

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