WRITING - PROCESS

I like to write in all its various forms – I don’t have to be in the mood I can just sit down in front of the computer and start writing. However, the enjoyment is not always the same.

Crime fiction

Sometimes I find it difficult because of what I’m required to write about as a crime writer. Murders mayhem and all sorts of unpleasant I imagine. The way I do that, is to be the killer to get the right mindset into the character. And then I must be much more analytical when I become the detective. This part is much more enjoyable as I pit the detective against the killer.

Even though I am writing fiction, I’m required to get a lot of the police procedures, forensics, personalities et cetera correct.

Non-fiction

I find this genre more difficult because I can’t make things up. I make sure that what I say is correct and I have not changed history to suit the story. Research is much more rigorous, and it is incumbent upon me to get it all correct. Readers are clever, and some make me know if I have made a mistake.

Accuracy is very important, and I must make sure I know what I am writing about. I have noticed a recent phenomenon that some historical writers speculate on outcomes from known facts. This method gives the story more depth and almost reads like fiction. While the non-fiction story becomes more exciting and not as dull as a series of facts would be, I’m not sure, given our emphasis on accuracy, whether this practice is acceptable.

Attribution in nonfiction writing and particularly historical is essential. We must tell the reader where we obtain the information.

Children’s writing

Writing for children can be difficult because we must get the story past gatekeepers. When I say gatekeepers, that is all the people between the writer and the child, publishers, editors, librarians, parents to name a few.

I try to remember what stories I liked as a child of the same age as the hero or heroine in my story. Then there are the illustrations, which I can’t do, and the cost of getting someone is beyond what is feasible.

I love writing children’s stories because I am transported back to my childhood and much happier times.

Screenplays

To make a film and to get it shown is a long and lengthy progress. The writer produces the screenplay and presents the work to a director or a studio who then finds a producer to find the money, sometimes millions, before anything can happen. Actors, lighting, sound, locations, and you can imagine the number of people involved in making a film. All of them interpret the writer’s work in the way that they see it. All these subtle changes can mean the film is often different to the way the writer imagined it.

Writing a play is like screenplays, but we are limited to all the action taking place on the stage.