When it comes to creativity. Writing is the one craft that, in comparison to other mediums, doesn’t cost a lot of money. Yes, you may end up paying anywhere from $100-3,000 dollars for book cover artwork and editing, but how much would you pay to produce a movie? If you want to produce music, you need to buy equipment; if you want to take photos, you need to buy expensive lenses. You start shooting a movie and now you need an entire production crew and even if they work for free you still need gear.
When you write a book, all you need is a computer and a writing document. Or, pencil and paper.
Obviously this doesn’t apply to all cases, but in general writing a book is the cheapest. There’s only two people responsible for the final outcome of the book. You and the editor. If you become traditionally published, then the publisher has a hand in that pie as well.
But before the editor and the publisher get involved, you, the writer are the first and last line of defense. This also means that as you develop your plot and characters, the only person to give you feedback on whether your message is coming across is you.
What does this translate to?
What you think sounds brilliant in your head fails to survive an expedition into the real world. Decisions you made to keep the characters realistic end up sounding melodramatic and unlikeable in the eyes of the reader.
That great scene you thought was exciting and entertaining, turns out to be unrealistic and ruins the reader’s suspension of disbelief.
What you thought was funny and comical comes off as creepy and crass.
Does this process sound frustrating to you? Oh it is. Not only is it frustrating, it’s discouraging, disheartening, demotivating, and heartbreaking. To become an author is to begin cruising for a bruisin’. An author will spend years poring over the same bit of text not once, not twice, not three times, not four times, but an endless amount of times until it’s good enough because perfect is impossible.
The most annoying part about writing is that the author is inherently disconnected from the reader’s perception. They will become one of two extremes (at least when you’re first starting out.)
One, you think your work is absolute garbage and are embarrassed to show anyone.
Two, you like it a lot and get over excited and show it to people and they say, “That was terrible.”
I hit number one during the rough draft, which is normal. Before I started the beta I was at number 2. That quickly turned back into a number one once the feedback started coming in.
Writing a book is a painful experience because you invest so much time and effort to try to make something amazing and yet somehow, thoughts don’t translate to paper.
What makes sense to the author is completely confusing to the reader.
The only way to address this problem of author blindness is to have an impartial 3rd party read the work. This is why I hosted a beta read for The Silver Ninja because I needed to get another perspective on the story. Brutal honesty is brutal and it’s going to hurt, but if the end result is a better book, then you better thicken your skin.
I hired a developmental editor to look over my work. So we’ll see how the story starts to change on February 22nd. It’s going to be a longer wait for the book, but I’d rather have five sales and have it be excellent, than millions of sales and have it be terrible.
Hope you all will like the end result.