In his last post, Adam Langer set out to write a screen­play. His newest nov­el, The Thieves of Man­hat­tan, is now avail­able. He will be blog­ging all week for the Jew­ish Book Coun­cil and MyJew­ish­Learn­ing.

So, after a few revi­sions, I had a screen­play that I thought was decent. If noth­ing else, I thought it could serve as a call­ing card if I ever want­ed to pitch Hol­ly­wood with a great lit­er­ary adap­ta­tion idea. I sent it to my LA agent who said he want­ed to show it to a fair­ly well-known direc­tor who would be com­ing by his office lat­er in the week. I nev­er heard a com­plete report on that meet­ing, but I fig­ured that no news meant bad news. I start­ed in on anoth­er revi­sion, but kept get­ting hung up on details. I dis­cussed my dif­fi­cul­ties with my pal Jerome, who told me that I should rewrite the sto­ry as a nov­el. That would take a while,” I said. Nah,” he said. I bet it would take a month.” I took that as a chal­lenge and start­ed work on the nov­el. I retained about 30% of the ideas from the screen­play, and wrote the rest from scratch, adding details inspired by some of my favorite lit­er­ary hoax­es.

I began with a chap­ter about a char­ac­ter I called The Suave Man.” I worked as fast as I could, as intense­ly as I knew how, aim­ing for 2,000 words per day. I typed to the beat of some aggres­sive music that I found inspir­ing and some even-more-aggres­sive music that I found even more inspir­ing. I rent­ed a dread­ful apart­ment dur­ing an even-more-dread­ful win­ter in a some­what hip Chica­go neigh­bor­hood, not far from the home of a Jew­ish writer friend of mine. But at least the apart­ment did inspire me to write, and though I didn’t fin­ish the first draft in one month as Jerome said I would, I did fin­ish it in two. When I was done revis­ing, I sent it to my agent, who sent it to my pub­lish­er, who said she want­ed to pub­lish it in July, 2010.

I com­plet­ed revi­sions on Sep­tem­ber 10, 2009 at about 6 PM, just a few hours after writ­ing a blurb for a book by a fun­ny and tal­ent­ed col­lege pal of mine and just a cou­ple of hours before the birth of my sec­ond daugh­ter, Solveig (insert pur­port­ed­ly pithy but actu­al­ly pre­sump­tu­ous state­ment liken­ing artis­tic pro­duc­tion to child­birth here). That could have been the end of the sto­ry, but…

Adam Langer’s most recent nov­el, The Thieves of Man­hat­tan, is now avail­able. Vis­it his offi­cial web­site here and check back all week for his posts for the Vis­it­ing Scribe.

Adam Langer is a jour­nal­ist, an edi­tor, and the author of a mem­oir and five nov­els includ­ing the inter­na­tion­al­ly best-sell­ing nov­el Cross­ing Cal­i­for­nia. A fre­quent con­trib­u­tor to the New York Times, he cur­rent­ly serves as cul­ture edi­tor at The For­ward.