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OR AUTHOR AFTER A HARD DAY'S WRITING
Department of Decidedly Difficult Things To Do.
One of the advantages of writing non-fiction is that before you, personally, start any work, the very raw material you have collected will tend to indicate some kind of structure. This isn’t to say you can’t be unorthodox in your approach – starting a biography with a dramatic incident instead of writing it chronologically – but at least there will be an innate logic stemming from your research as to how you will present your writing.
Fiction suffers from the great advantage and disadvantage of offering infinite choice. Where a novel is concerned, the writer is God during the process of creation (though at a certain stage Satan will enter the process in the form of your agent or editor or both). True, being God means you can do anything, but it also makes you responsible for every single aspect of the world that is your book, a truly exhausting task given that one is faced with infinite alternatives. This leads me to the conclusion that when God created Free Will (this is an intellectual concept – you don’t have to believe in God to read on) He did so more in the spirit of delegation than as an act of ultimate generosity. Being no fool, He wanted us to do much of the work. God, as of course you know, is a capitalist.
This leads me to my main point. The hardest part of writing a novel – at least insofar as I am concerned – is the structural phase during which you drastically reduce the variables by making make the hard choices which will shape the actual work. Once that is done – within the six days or so generally conceded to be the standard for creating a world – you can put your feet up on the seventh day and let your characters get on with it. All they have to do is live (though dying is quite the thing where thrillers are concerned). But the hardest part is the plotting.
“ARE YOU SAYING THAT THE ACTUAL WRITING IS EASY?” I hear you scream.
Just not quite as hard; though considerable stamina in involved where a classic big thriller is involved. It’s more like running a marathon. True, running a marathon can kill you, as the pioneer of that race found out first hand, but at least you know where you are going.
Department of Discombobulating Details
Fundamentally, Al Qaeda are waging economic war against us; and we are assisting their efforts by over-reacting and waging the most expensive material war in history against that organization - thus draining our coffers and assisting Bin Laden in his objectives. For example, it costs us $50 million to kill one Taliban - and they are reproducing faster than we can kill them. This makes no sense.
Department of Unusual Blogs & Fascinating People
I doubt very much that most of us have a handle on the kind of seismic changes which are taking place as a consequence of the digisphere but John Robb author Global Guerillas http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/ may be such a man.