In fact, he once said, “The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of because words diminish your feelings – words shrink things that seem timeless when they are in your head to no more than living size when they are brought out.”
This wonderful quote popped into my head the other day as I was writing the outline plot to my latest book. Not everyone uses the outline method but it seems to work for me as it helps give some structure to my ramblings. Mainly though, I find the method so exhilarating. Sometimes, as I write down the characters’ faults and weaknesses, a little sadistic smile appears on my weary face as I ponder on what stupefying and outrageous plot twists I’ve set myself up to craft. It’s such fun because the human mind is so amazingly creative and full of personal memories with which you can paint your book’s landscape.
Alas, the fun has to end at some point…the irony of this method is that every exciting line of my outline also brings out an ironic sigh as I write it down. I truly know how excruciatingly hard it is going to be to explain this stuff and successfully get my point across. It’s going to take a lot of work to get the reader excited to the same level as mine. In fact, it’s probably impossible, isn’t it?
Sadly, it gets worse. Even though writers do get the chance to change a word or sentence, cut, delete, paste, etc., having this writing advantage doesn’t make it easier to handle the important parts of your book because it’s so damn hard to be objective about what you write. You don’t see everything as it is, so you try to over compensate for the important bits by over describing something, leaning on old habits to push your point forward at the cost of clarity and style. It’s enough to put you off writing sometimes. It’s so frustrating to have all those great ideas staring right back at you on the computer screen as if challenging you, making you wonder if you will ever be able to do those lines justice. How much hard work and constant editing is it going to take before I finally feel I have done a good job?
Oh, hang on a second! I forgot, we writers never feel good, do we? We just toss and turn forever in the bed at night worrying about if this line should have gone there, should there be a new paragraph here? Readers WILL understand that my novel is not a comedy but a serious drama won’t they? But then again, no one ever said writing was easy. The only comforting thing seems to be that even Stephen King, who has sold over 350 million copies of his books, writing over 50 novels and nearly 200 short stories is the author of the quote above. It ain’t easy for the best writers either and thank God for that. That gives me the hope I need to keep going.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~by Roger Gerald Scott, award winning author, co-founder of AHA site, professional e-services as a freelancer on www.theprobookeditor.com
- Coping with the Complexity of Writing (thomascotterill.wordpress.com)
- The Writing That Comes Before All the Writing: On Outlining (distraction99.com)
- Don’t Tell Anyone, But Outlining is Secretly Awesome (joeberhardt.com)
- In Search of Stephen King (jgchristiansen.wordpress.com)