I was getting my hair coiffed the other day, when my stylist – only a stylist can coif – when he asked if writing was hard.
Ten minutes into my answer I discovered that writing is hard. For me anyway.
Perhaps it took me decades to write that first Noah Greene novel – “Tears in the Rain” – because of my approach to writing.
That approach can be summed up in one word: alloverthestinkingmap.
My problem is this. I write a paragraph, then another and another. As I start paragraph four something suddenly comes to mind on how to make paragraph one better. I go back, rework it. Which requires reworking paragraphs two and three. OK, start on paragraph four again. Wait a minute, I just thought of something that will make paragraph one even better. Go back, rework paragraph one, then two, then three. Start paragraph four for the third time. Stop. If I just do this, paragraph two will be sing like Sinatra. But then, I need to redo paragraphs one and three. Meanwhile, whatever I was planning for paragraph four has fled the loony bin of my mind, shouting “Gggaaaahhh, I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore!”
When I started writing TITR I was composing on a typewriter – yes, I’m that old – I had to remove the paper (yes, we wrote on paper) to retype those paragraphs. Over and over again. I think I spent about $3 million on paper over the years just trying to get through the manuscript.
Of course, that includes the times I lost the manuscript, but still …
It’s a bit easier these days now that I can write on a computer and can make changes on the fly, which probably explains how I’ve managed to shorten my writing time between books.
But the approach is the same. Write paragraph one, and then another and then … oh wait a sec. I just thought of something that would make the first paragraph of my blog even better!