Pulp Serenade: John D. MacDonald on Words and Writing (2)

John D. MacDonald

Pulp Serenade: John D. MacDonald on Words and Writing (2).

Recently, I came across an in-depth article on John D. MacDonald from around the time of the movie adaptation of Darker Than Amber. “The man who writes those Travis McGee stories: A look at John D. MacDonald” was written by Mike Baxter and was published in The Washington Post Times Herald on Feb 1, 1970. It was a fairly lengthy article, but below are excerpts of some of the most insightful parts:

[Mickey] Spillane visits [John D.] MacDonald’s home at intervals, and both write mysteries. As craftsmen, however, they are as close as Eldridge Cleaver and Sam Spade. Even Spillane can recognize the gulf. “I am a writer; you are an author,” The Mick once told MacDonald. There is more in that than semantic nonsense.

MacDonald writes on a beige IBM Selectric as if Doom were about to unplug it in the last great denouement…He devotes a business-like seven-to-nine hours a day writing, doing it until the lunch hour, then doing it again until the cocktail hour. Fast subtraction shows that this leaves “too little time, dammit” for other pursuits.

More at: http://www.pulpserenade.com/2011/10/john-d-macdonald-on-words-and-writing-2.html


Filed under John D. MacDonald, writing tip, writing tips

3 responses to “Pulp Serenade: John D. MacDonald on Words and Writing (2)

  1. Pingback: Pulp Serenade: John D. MacDonald on Words and Writing (2) | Blog of JOKES

  2. The common theme of defensiveness – why is it there? Well, we most assuredly know that the literati and the cognoscenti dismissed Macdonald as a hack. Prolific beyond words, he churned out novels and stories at a mind blowing pace his entire life. In the old school reference work World Authors 1950-1970 (published by H.H. Wilson) he says that when starting out as a young writer he kept thirty to forty stories in the mail at all times. What a fine example of self confidence and determination!

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