I read a quote from an author who said he liked writing books because you just had to work a couple of hours in the morning then play golf all afternoon. I’ve been told that any idiot can write a screenplay. Someone recently said it should be easy to knock out something like Harry Potter.
As someone who is currently exhausted from a day of writing extra scenes to insert to clear things up and stretch out a book and put out a few hints, I can say it is not easy. But you try telling people it’s hard work. ‘It’s just writing’ they say. ‘That’s easy.’
Well, yes. But there’s the thinking. And the plotting. And the characters – all of which have to be original and real. And you can’t have any plot holes, that has to be watertight. There’s the research, which has to be to a very high level and absolutely correct.
Then there’s the changes your agent wants. Then the changes your editor wants. Then the next set of changes. Then the changes any other editors wants. The there’s the copy editor’s changes. Then the proof reader. Then someone will bring up at least one question no-one’s thought of before, and may have to change everything. And that’s all before the book comes out, and you have to publicise it. And once that’s all over, you’ve got the next book….
Quite frankly I’m worn out. I enjoy doing it, but this is hard work. And if one more person tells me it’s easy – well, let’s just say they’ll be lucky to get away unscathed.