Jeff Pearlman

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The First Draft

As you read this, I am sitting in a nearby Starbucks, going through the first draft of my next book.

I’m old-fashioned, in that I still adhere to the pen-and-paper approach when it comes to going through the opening round of edits, cuts, insertions. Does it take longer than, say, plugging things in via computer? Absolutely. But it feels right; like I haven’t completely abandoned my newspaper roots. Furthermore, it’s a relief. I’ve spent the last year staring at a computer screen 10 hours per day (at least). Paper is refreshing and pure and wonderful.

That said, going through the first draft is not. It’s messy. And crappy. My opening chapter is boring. My prologue needs major work. I have to go back through all 300-and-something interviews and make sure I haven’t missed any key nuggets. I have to triple-check that I’m not repeating quotes or using material twice. There are words I tend to lean on that I need to eliminate in most places.

I just checked:

Hence: 21 appearances

Although: 33 appearances

Ultimately: 52 appearances

It’s long. And arduous. And tiring. But also joyful. Blissful. Energizing.

I’m living my dream.

  • http://www.incrediblekulk.blogspot.com Joey Kulkin

    You’re on mile 25. 1.2 to go. Almost there. Keep those legs moving.

  • http://www.robwein.com Rob Weintraub

    Little, Brown this time around wanted me to use a doc file to edit during the copy phase, but because I’m a Mac guy and they use PC, there were potential bugs, so I did it with pencil once again. It’s my favorite part of the whole process.
    Good luck going forward,
    Rob

Showtime Book
Love Me, Hate Me Barry Bonds Book
Sweetness Walter Peyton Book
The Bad Guys Won Book
The Rocket that Fell to Earth Book
Boys Will Be Boys Book

Once again, Jeff Pearlman has produced an exhaustively researched, elegantly written book that re-creates one of the most colorful and memorable teams of the modern era. No basketball fan's bookshelf will be complete without it.

— Seth Davis, author of Wooden: A Coach's Life