#navbar-iframe { display: none !important;} The Naked Page: December 2008

The Naked Page

Author Jamie Sobrato's Diary


Only 5000 More Hours to Go

I'm in the middle of reading Malcolm Gladwell's latest, Outliers. In one section, he suggests that a primary factor separating the truly great from the merely average is number of hours spent practicing one's skill, whether it be a playing a sport or composing music or writing or whatever. He says 10,000 hours seems to be the magic number that most people have spent practicing their skill before they reach greatness.

Okay, I think, I've spent most of my adult life writing, and if it takes me X number of hours to write a book, how many more hours do I need to spend writing before I find my work in college anthologies of great American literature? I did some very rough calculations (because really, I have no solid idea exactly how many hours it takes to write any given book--and do I count the hours spent staring off into space trying to think of my next line, composing email, etc?), and I discovered that I'm maybe halfway there.

Only 5000 more hours to go. Look out Hemingway.


The Long and Short of It

Up On the Housetop, the novella I have in the Harlequin Heating Up the Holidays anthology this month, is my first time trying out that form. At 100 pages in length, I thought it would be easier to write--and take less time--than a full-length novel, and I was dead wrong.

I've written around 16 novels (more like 20 or 21 if I count the ones that never sold), so when I sit down to write fiction, my brain automatically starts coming up with stories that take 300 pages or so to resolve themselves. This made readjusting to accomodate a shorter story difficult. It required writing tighter and toning down the conflict, while reimagining a story arc that isn't so wide.

I think it took me about two months to write the novella, which is about how long, roughly, it takes me to write a 300 page novel. So much for my carefully planned writing schedule.


Heat Up Your Holidays

My latest book, Heating Up the Holidays, arrived in stores this week. It's a novella anthology featuring stories by me, Jill Shalvis, and Jacquie D'Alessandro, and it has firefighters--lots of firefighters! Check out the cover, excerpt, etc. in the books section of my website.

I'm thinking it'll make a fab stocking stuffer for the romance readers on your holiday shopping list.