How Long it Took 40 Writers to Complete Their Works

 
 
Ever wonder how long it took some Writers to finish their masterpiece?
 
There are just individuals who were born to write. Ideas and words just flow out of their mind like a tap water. One might argue that it takes a lot of reading and practice as well to be a good writer. A great of number of famous authors write like a machine, going at an average of a few thousand words a day, and have written hundreds of books during their whole writing career, and sold millions of copies.
 
In this video, we’ll cover 40 famous writers, and how long they took to write one of their great works. We’ve gathered this information from an infographic created by PrinterInks and added another 10, a few that we think are too important to be left out. 

To read more about the art of fear appeals and Horror, check out my book, “On Writing Horror: the Art of Fear Appeals.”

Glorifying Satan in Literature

Satan: Epic Hero or Villain? John Milton wrote one of the greatest epic poems of all time when he wrote Paradise Lost in 1667. The book tells about man’s creation and fall while detailing characters and the plot beyond what the Bible taught. One of these characters is Satan, which is one of the most argumented, controversial, and popular characters in the history of literature. The reason for controversary is the unclarity of whether or not Satan is a hero or a villain. He contains many qualities that distinguish him as a hero. On the other hand he also has qualities which say he is a villain.

In book 1 of Paradise Lost, Satan is painted as a much more complex figure than just being evil or on the opposite side of goodness. Milton renders Satan as a revolutionary leader with beauty and authority who charges his enslavement against the tyrannical God. Satan motivates and organizes the fallen legions just as any other revolutionary in our history, whom rebuttals against the crown or an unjust government.

If you are enjoying this list on article, check out some of our love of literature content at the Ritual, here.

Milton builds Satan to be a beautiful angel and “above the rest in shape and gesture proudly eminent stood like a tow’r; his form had yet not lost all her original brightness, nor appeared less than archangel” (line 589). If Satan remains bright and the angels lust for the light then Satan must hold the answer. Milton uses Satan’s beauty to inspire and make the angels feel as if they have found a “glimpse of joy, to have found their chief not in despair, to have found themselves not lost in loss itself” (line 526). Milton also describes Satan’s armaments in colossal measurements.

His “ponderous shield … massy, large and round, behind them cast; the bred circumference hung on his shoulders like the moon” and “his spear, to equal which the tallest pine hewn on Norwegian hills” that he used to walk around with in Hell.

Such grandeur is to be admired and respected. These physical qualities are what make Milton’s Satan, a devil to be in love with; he is the warrior who faces opposition in spite of knowing the outcome to be a loss.

 
 

After the fall, Satan is the first to rise with an infinite resounding speech although the fallen angel’s usurpation has failed. Satan comments “all is not lost; the unconquerable will, and study of revenge, immortal hate, and courage never submit or yield… that glory never shall his wrath or might extort from me” (line 106). These are the kinds of words and speeches that boil men’s blood and give them reason to erupt. Satan has not yet given up; this failure has only fueled the assault for another attack against the “tyranny of Heav’n” (124).

If you are enjoying this list on article, check out some of our love of literature content at the Ritual, here.

Paramount to a good leader, Satan motivates his fallen equals on multiple accounts. When a comrade informs Satan about his distress of being in hell, Satan responds “Fall’n Cherub, to be weak is miserable doing or suffering” (159). To affirm more power in Satan’s words, he then charges the rest of the fallen angels to “awake, arise, or be forever fall’n” and when they heard they “were abashed, and up they sprang” (330). Clearly Satan is their opulent protagonist to whom they pledge their loyalty to. These fallen gods look to Satan similar to the central Americas looking to Che Guevara to liberate them from the tyrannical government.

 
 
 

Once Satan has called his “legions, angel forms, who lay entranced thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks,” they arise to the voice of their general to transform Hell into their new Heaven because “the mind is its own place, and in itself can make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n” (302) (250). When Mammon dives underground to retrieve gold, he arises to build a temple that “not Babylon nor great Alcairo such magnificence equaled in all their glories, to enshrine Belus or Serapis” (720). This is evidence that Milton suggests the new kingdom of freedom, with more wealth and luxury than any human could construct. A revolution is once again being debated as the Angels swarm to the palace of pandemonium, “as bees in spring time, when the sun with Taurus rides, pour forth their populous youth about the hive in clusters” (770).

 

If you are enjoying this list on article, check out some of our love of literature content at the Ritual, here.

It is the Miltonic verse which sketches the ethereal beauty in Satan and the eternal revolution. Milton depicts Lucifer as a strong leader with grandeur, beauty and the intelligence to confront God in guise. It is this dynamic protagonist who drives the human emotion of this epic.

 
 
 

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Flash Fiction Read for a Work-Break

Orner-My-DeadA quick flashfiction read for your work-break, title “My Dead”:

This is the second story in this summer’s Flash Fiction series. You can read the entire series, and last summer’s Flash Fiction stories, here.

Her name was Beth. We didn’t know each other. We took her car and headed to Missouri from Chicago. I remember that by the time we’d gone a few miles south on the Stevenson we’d already run out of things to say. But, for some reason, we both decided, without spelling it out, not to push it. Nothing was going to come of this, of us, we had hours to go, and it was all right just to let the silence be and listen to the radio. We were on our way to a séance she’d heard about from an old high-school friend. She’d grown up in a small town southwest of St. Louis, and the séance was being held nearby, at an abandoned air-force base.

We’d met a couple of nights before. Beth had come into the restaurant near the Loop where I waited tables, and had written her number on a napkin. “Call me,” she’d ordered. A couple of nights later, over drinks, she told me that she wasn’t the kind of person who ordered people to call her. Something about my face had said that I needed to be told what to do. That was also when she mentioned that this séance was happening at 2:00 a.m. near St. Louis. If we left right away, she said, we could probably make it. The fact that we both had to be at work the next day made it all the more spontaneous and awesome. We headed out into the night exalted, until, like I said, our conversation dried up completely. It was as if the intrepid adventure were already over and now we just had a shitlong ride ahead of us, which we did.

When I woke up, we were already past St. Louis and Beth had turned off onto a narrow two-lane highway that cut through a forest. We drove another hour and a half before we reached the base. As per her friend’s instructions, we ditched the car beneath a stand of trees. Beth didn’t need any help climbing the fence. She practically leapt over it, and I had to sprint to catch up with her as she strode along the ghost streets, past rows of empty barracks.

“What’s the hurry?” I said. “Everybody’s already dead.” No answer. When we got to Hangar 32, the séance had already begun. About a dozen people were standing in a circle holding hands. At the center of the circle was a flower pot. Two people unclasped their hands to allow Beth and me to join. A bearded guy in a black watch cap was mumbling with authority. I admit that at first I found the whole thing mesmerizing. Coming upon this group in the darkness of that enormous hangar, the man chanting, the single flame flowing shadows onto the corrugated walls. There was something weirdly sacred about it all, and I thought, Right, if you want to commune with the dead, of course what you have to do is drive across the night to Missouri.

But, after half an hour, forty-five minutes, I began to understand just how fucking cold I was. It was mid-March and I hadn’t dressed for it. You want to dress lightly on a first date to demonstrate how free and easy-going you are. The dude was still mumbling, and I waited for something, anything, to happen, while softly stamping my feet on the crumbling pavement to warm them up. I was about to whisper to Beth, whose hand I was holding, “Yo, why don’t we blow this popsicle stand and get some fucking breakfast?,” when somebody new began shouting. “Marina? Is that you, Marina?” Then other people were speaking, too. “Larry, tell your sister I’m onto her games.” “How many years did you think you could hide in plain sight, Ramon?” Even Beth got into it: “You never loved me, not a day, not an hour, not a second of a single minute—”

Everybody was speaking at once, and I had trouble discerning individual words in the chaos of voices. And it was ridiculous, it was beyond ridiculous, but it also wasn’t ridiculous. Shouts in the dark. Maybe that’s the best we can do to reach beyond ourselves. I tried to join in, too, but I could sense none of my dead, and I couldn’t, for the life of me, think of anything to just spout out. So I bought it, but at the same time, by that point, I was just trying to live through it, I was so cold. Then the candle went out and our leader broke ranks and swooped down to relight it, but his lighter jammed. We all stopped speaking and began patting down our pockets for a lighter or matches. But our leader shouted at us, “No! Don’t break the membrane! Re-bond!”

We never quite got back on track after that. The collective spirit or belief or whatever it was escaped from us, and, though our leader mumbled for another half an hour, only a few people spoke up. The guy next to me, a guy I’d been holding hands with for almost two hours without getting a look at his face, actually made a joke. At least, I thought it was a joke. He said something about the temperature of coffee in hell. I laughed out loud. No one else did. That pretty much ended it. Before we left, Beth went up to the leader and gave him a kiss on the lips that wasn’t a friend’s kiss, not by a long stretch. In the car, I asked her who she’d reached. She said she didn’t want to talk about it.

“So you and the dude—”

“That was nothing. O.K.?”

We settled back into the silence of the drive. No radio now, just the drone of the engine, which you don’t hear unless you listen for it, and then it’s there all the time. It was getting toward dawn, and the dark was giving way to gray. I’ve always loved that early-morning gloom. I was about to say as much, to try to chip away at the silence, when I noticed that the car had begun to drift into the oncoming lane. Beth had fallen asleep. I don’t know why but, instead of grabbing the wheel, I seized her shoulder. She woke up but didn’t seem to realize what was happening and immediately stomped on the brakes. We jolted forward, skidded, and stopped. Headlights were approaching out of the gray. I had time for only one thing. I opened my door, got out, ran off the road into the trees, and waited for the headlights to slam into Beth.

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They didn’t. The other driver saw her in time and fishtailed around her and stopped. For a few moments, everything was still. Then I heard the birds in the trees. I walked back out to the road. The guy rolled down the window of his truck. He looked at Beth in her car; he looked at me. Then he drove away, as if some lovers’ spat weren’t worth anything he might have mustered up to say. My door was still open. Beth was calm, motionless, her hands still gripping the wheel.

When something happens, for better or for worse it’s happened. It has a before. It has an after. Maybe you can talk about it. Maybe you can’t. But what about something that almost happens? What almost happens repeats itself. I’ve come to believe this as a kind of personal gospel. We’re stopped in the opposite lane. I see lights emerge out of the gray. I open my door and run. I leave her in the car to die. Every time.