Friday, August 21, 2015

Difference Between a Pro and Amatuer Writer:

This so tickled me that I wanted to post it for others. I believe it was somewhere in Writer's Digest I read it.

Not an exact quote: An amatuer is a writer with 100 pages of the greatest novel ever written in a desk drawer collecting dust. A professional writer has a finished first draft of a shitty novel and is working daily to improve it.

*For some reason I can't respond to reader comments, so I'll do so this way.

I edited over 100 pages today. In this book I really wanted to mention some spiritual beliefs and did so in early drafts. But, as I got into more polished drafts my preaching began to grate on me and not ring true. So I took a valuable lesson from an old best-seller, The Celestine Prophecy. 

By going back and re-reading it I realized that NEVER did the author mention beliefs nor did he preach. That bothered me. Why, I asked myself. I realized the answer is this: The primary obligation of the fiction writer is to entertain. If an author fails to entertain readers he has none. Certainly a cleaver writer can shine a light on issues as great authors have, and make their opinion known by the scenes they portray, but the moment you preach you loose the flow of the plot and hence your readers. 

So that epiph about being an entertainer (not large enough for me to consider it a full epiphany) made me feel better about deleting the preaching. It would have to be done by plot and scene selection. What a fascinating craft this is. 

kevin r. hill