Friday, December 16, 2005

Novel Thoughts

Nothing like churning out thousands of words to remind one of the risks and joys that writers face, and also the obstacles posed to newspaper reporters every day.

In writing my book, I was constantly aware of the difficulty of actually communicating. I can turn out a lot of words with relatively little effort. Can I make them serve a purpose? That's tough. Can I do it in a limited amount of space? Even tougher.

Editors should never take writers for granted. I've hammered on this point before, and I'll hammer on it again. Writers do a marvelous thing: They create. They create, on deadline and to length.

At the same time, what an exciting experience. As I watched the words pile up, I would sometimes find myself giddy, just imagining the next plot twist, the next character interaction. Lest we forget, writers and editors choose this field because it's fun.

It can be fun, at least. Let's not forget that.