Ficlet Calculations

“Seriously? The whole thing in fifteen minutes?”

“Yep. Draft in ten minutes, five for editing.”

She squinted. “You can do that?”

“Sure,” he said. “I think so, anyway.”

“Let’s see.” She turned calculating. “One thousand, twenty-four characters, that’s about two hundred words, right?”

“I suppose.”

“Fifteen minutes each means four units, or eight hundred words, per hour. That’s over six thousand words for an eight hour day.”

He didn’t say anything.

“Is that a lot?”


“Is it … possible?”

He raised his eyebrow, half-shrugged. “Westlake says he does seven thousand words a night. Lots—”

“I’m not sure we need to measure against what people say. Let’s look at it another way.”

He noticed he was frowning.

“Six thousand words is about the length of a good short story, right?”

“You could say that.”

“So, it’s a short story a day. Can that be done?”

Now he shook his head a little. “I don’t know. Bradbury—”

“I think it could be,” she said, her eyes rising to his, “by someone sufficiently driven.”

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