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From 'The Remains of the Day' to 'A Clockwork Orange', bestselling books written in six weeks or less

We tend to think of novel-writing as a long, arduous process fraught with anxiety and indecision. Margaret Mitchell took ten years to write Gone With The Wind and J.R.R. Tolkien spent nearly 16 years forming his Lord of the Rings trilogy (fair enough, it was a beast of a story). 

But other authors seem able to turn round a masterpiece in the metaphorical blink of an eyelid.

Whether it's Anthony Burgess penning A Clockwork Orange in three weeks, or John Boyne creating The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas in 60 hours straight without sleep, this particular brand of writer can churn out thousands of words a day and come up with a credible draft in the same amount of time it takes us to achieve... well, very little. 

We don't know whether this is inspiring (anyone can write a best-seller in two ticks!) or depressing (how did they do it?) but it's definitely food for thought.

From Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to Elizabeth Jenkins, we profile ten best-selling authors who wrote some of their greatest works in six weeks or less - along with a closer look at how they managed such an incredible feat.



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