Monday, April 30, 2012

Fact or Faked? Effortless writing

Fact or Faked is a television series on the SciFi channel (Yes, I know, "Syfy." I'm just still in denial.) The premise of the show is that the staff takes evidence of the paranormal, usually in the form of videos, and then tries to replicate the happenings to show how it could have been faked.

Sometimes the hoaxes are elaborately created costumes, or weather balloons flying high in the air. Other times, it's just good computer editing. A well-doctored photo can make a pretty convincing Sasquatch.

So when it comes to flawless writing by the authors you love - just how effortless is it?

We all want to think about the writer who sits down and cranks out a perfect novel. And to be sure, some authors claim that it's just that easy, minus a little proofreading.

But most writers will tell you that the idea of instant perfection is a fake.

It isn't even easy for Nora Roberts.

Having spoken to a number of published authors, I can tell you: none of them have claimed writing was easy. Many of them, however, have mentioned spending long hours editing, revising, screaming at the computer, and threatening to defenestrate perfectly innocent keyboards.

There are two secrets to producing their novels:

1. Write.

2. Edit.

Because at the end of the day, it's easier to fix a bad scene than a blank page. And even painful writing, poor plots, and strained dialogue can be fixed. Of course, that means it needs to be fixed, but that's part 2.

For most writers, effortlessly creating flawless work fake. And most of the faking comes from good editing.

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