Sunday, 17 June 2012
Bev Robitai on adding time to writing
In today’s whizz-bang, ever-spinning-faster world, there are plenty of authors making a nice living by popping out books every couple of months. OK, the works are usually shorter than normal books, and they’re probably in a series so much of the world-building work has already been done, but how do the writers manage to get the quality level high enough to achieve the mega-sales that keep them in luxury? How do they keep up with their clamouring fans and give them new stories so rapidly? And they’re still on Facebook every day as well! If you want an example of the sort of writer I mean, have a look at Hugh Howey and his ‘Wool’ series. https://www.facebook.com/hughhowey
I find that writing is like cooking. Most dishes need not just the ingredients, but a specific period of time as part of the production process to bring out all the flavours and textures. You can’t make instant bread – you have to let the dough mature. Writing improves too with extra time spent on it. Not just to spot all the typos and grammar hiccups that snuck in while you were typing, but to allow you to think about alternative plot lines, cleverer responses, and all the little touches that would make the piece better.
But dammit I wish I could churn out slick little pot-boilers and make a fortune!
Note to self: allowing time for a piece to mature is fine, but don’t forget your deadline. Sorry folks, should have posted this on Friday! It is possible to take too MUCH time to get things right.