JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

184,944

Well, finished the first draft of my book last night.

Is supposed to be NO MORE (emphasis is the editor’s voice) than 160,000 words.

It’s, uh, 184,944.

Yikes.

This is actually how it works, and cutting 24,944 words from a draft isn’t nearly as hard as it sounds. Truth is, I don’t write books like I do magazines/columns/etc. For the first draft of a book, I hang as much fat as possible. I use every good quote, often line them back to back to back, knowing later I’ll likely slice a bunch of them.

In this case, writing Johnny Hector’s biography, I’m least interested in, of all things, the actual football action. I love the lead up to his career, the decline toward the end, the struggle for meaning and depth afterward. So those are the areas I struggle (somewhat) removing stuff from.

The other problem is there’s still tons to add. Two of my chapters lack proper endings. I don’t really have an epilogue. The intro needs some beef.

Anyhoo, it is what it is.

And it’s due in a month. 🙁