is it easier to ……

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This topic contains 18 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Anonymous 8 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #346533

    Anonymous

    or are they essentially the same difficulty just different

    write a novel, non fiction, or a script

  • #654735

    Anonymous

    I don’t think comparisons will work. Fiction can be far less formal in grammar, nonfiction may require footnoting and fact-checking, scripts have a whole other format to how action is depicted (unless you’re William Shakespeare).

    Apples, oranges, and grass.

  • #654736

    Anonymous
    RobTheThird wrote:
    I don’t think comparisons will work. Fiction can be far less formal in grammar, nonfiction may require footnoting and fact-checking, scripts have a whole other format to how action is depicted (unless you’re William Shakespeare).

    Apples, oranges, and grass.

    ==========

    I was thinking about the total work effort to do it. Programs will do formatting. There are tools for organising and outlining as well as creativity to help with plots and characters. And of course word processors help capture and edit text easier than writing longhand.

    Non fiction probably needs more research and fact checking, but novels and scripts often need some of that, but do also need to add more effort to create the content to use, while NF would use what is available as a basis for the content.

  • #654737

    Anonymous

    The amount of work involved depends on the story/article/concept. It also depends on the writer and how well they have the basic writing skills down.

    It’s like asking if it’s more work to build a house versus an office building – a 2 bedroom ranch with no garage will be as easy as a single story two room office building – or 100 times easier than a 10 story office complex. And if it’s the first project for the builder, it’s going to be much harder than it is for someone who’s been in the business for decades.

    JMO, but if a would-be writer is concerned at all about the amount of work involved, they probably should choose some other vocation. Good writers put in as much work as needed, no matter how much is needed, because they can’t not write.

  • #654738

    Anonymous

    ostarella wrote:
    > The amount of work involved depends on the story/article/concept. It also
    > depends on the writer and how well they have the basic writing skills down.
    >
    > It’s like asking if it’s more work to build a house versus an office
    > building – a 2 bedroom ranch with no garage will be as easy as a single
    > story two room office building – or 100 times easier than a 10 story office
    > complex. And if it’s the first project for the builder, it’s going to be
    > much harder than it is for someone who’s been in the business for decades.
    >
    > JMO, but if a would-be writer is concerned at all about the amount of work
    > involved, they probably should choose some other vocation. Good writers put
    > in as much work as needed, no matter how much is needed, because they can’t
    > not write.
    ===========

    Agree mostly. Size of the project is a factor as is experience. But the type of project and its effort may depend on personal preferences and skills.
    I would say that most writers want to put in the least amount of work that is needed but not do more work than necessary. EG Most will type on a PC rather than write longhand.

    As I am visually oriented I think I would find it easier to write a script than a novel;
    and would do something akin to a draft script first, in order to use as a guide to writing a novel by describing the scenes in detail the script laid out.

  • #654739

    Anonymous

    deddmann_writing wrote:
    >
    > I would say that most writers want to put in the least amount of work that is needed
    > but not do more work than necessary. EG Most will type on a PC rather than write
    > longhand.
    >

    I really don’t think most writers think about the amount of work needed, let alone want to put in the least amount needed. That would imply that writers aren’t concerned about quality. Writers don’t want to waste time or effort, obviously, but there’s a big difference in the finished ms when one is doing the least amount needed versus putting in the extra effort to do it well.

  • #654740

    Anonymous

    deddmann_writing wrote:
    > Agree mostly. Size of the project is a factor as is experience. But the type of
    > project and its effort may depend on personal preferences and skills.
    > I would say that most writers want to put in the least amount of work that is needed
    > but not do more work than necessary. EG Most will type on a PC rather than write
    > longhand.
    >
    > As I am visually oriented I think I would find it easier to write a script than a
    > novel;
    > and would do something akin to a draft script first, in order to use as a guide to
    > writing a novel by describing the scenes in detail the script laid out.

    I don’t think that way. Even when I’m not physically writing, I’m talking to my characters like they’re people sitting right in front of me, like they are telling me the story. It’s work, but I enjoy that work. Also, as a fiction writer, I get paid by the numbers of words, not by hours worked. Doesn’t matter if the work took 60 hours, or 600 hours.

    As a writer-for-hire, that may change.

    Creativity and imagination are not efficient processes. Try to measure them by some standard of productivity, and you’re going to be severely disappointed in the metrics.

  • #654741

    Anonymous

    RobTheThird wrote:
    > deddmann_writing wrote:
    > > Agree mostly. Size of the project is a factor as is experience. But the type
    > of
    > > project and its effort may depend on personal preferences and skills.
    > > I would say that most writers want to put in the least amount of work that is
    > needed
    > > but not do more work than necessary. EG Most will type on a PC rather than
    > write
    > > longhand.
    > >
    > > As I am visually oriented I think I would find it easier to write a script than
    > a
    > > novel;
    > > and would do something akin to a draft script first, in order to use as a
    > guide to
    > > writing a novel by describing the scenes in detail the script laid out.
    >
    > I don’t think that way. Even when I’m not physically writing, I’m talking to my
    > characters like they’re people sitting right in front of me, like they are telling me
    > the story. It’s work, but I enjoy that work. Also, as a fiction writer, I get paid
    > by the numbers of words, not by hours worked. Doesn’t matter if the work took 60
    > hours, or 600 hours.
    >
    > As a writer-for-hire, that may change.
    >
    > Creativity and imagination are not efficient processes. Try to measure them by some
    > standard of productivity, and you’re going to be severely disappointed in the
    > metrics.
    ===============

    Of course, creativity and imagination takes effort. Not everybody is equally facile with doing that part of creating a novel or short story. But even there, there are techniques that can help those who need help to do it.

    Most people want to get paid the most for their time and effort. Clearly we need to take enough time to produce a good result but who wants to spend more time than necessary doing it ? If you took 60 hours to write a story to sell, then you could create ten of them in 600 hours. Who wouldn’t want to get paid 10x more for their time and effort? Unless there are other considerations, logic says that more productivity would be what most people choose.

    I was a freelance writer for a few years and when that income is needed to pay the rent and buy groceries you don’t waste time needlessly. If somebody writes for fun, they can take their time and savor the writing itself and enjoy seeing their name on the by line.

    The difference was described in Parkinson’s law. Work expands to fill the time available. The counterpart is that quality constrains how fast that work can be done as do experience and skill and still be salable. The difference in strategy is whether your goal is to make money or achieve something else.

  • #654742

    Anonymous

    ostarella wrote:
    > deddmann_writing wrote:
    > >
    > > I would say that most writers want to put in the least amount of work that is
    > needed
    > > but not do more work than necessary. EG Most will type on a PC rather than
    > write
    > > longhand.
    > >
    >
    >
    > I really don’t think most writers think about the amount of work needed, let alone
    > want to put in the least amount needed. That would imply that writers aren’t
    > concerned about quality. Writers don’t want to waste time or effort, obviously, but
    > there’s a big difference in the finished ms when one is doing the least amount needed
    > versus putting in the extra effort to do it well.
    ============

    I disagree with your logic. Writers that I know want quality but they don’t want to needlessly waste time achieving it.
    How well it needs to be is really a subjective decision each author has to make for themselves. If the result is too bad it wont have an audience.

    Unfortunately the bar these days is really low so too many authors do not even bother getting their work edited before they ship it to some vanity press operation to be ‘published’. The cheapness of producing ebooks has exacerbated this trend.

    Pressure from the internet and ebooks has even made traditional presses lower their standards although they are still far higher than kindle or createspace or other similar publishing operations.

    Ultimately the quality will be a factor of the author deciding they are finally finished, the publisher who accepts or rejects the work, and the readers who choose to buy the book and read it or not.

  • #654743

    Anonymous

    Well, if one is looking to write fiction as a way of making a lot of money, they need a quick reality check – and a different vocation. Many of the world’s greatest authors barely survived financially – their works only gained “popularity” after they were either too old to enjoy it or dead. And even today, most authors are hard-pressed to make writing their sole means of support. I’ve read of and spoken with many published authors who consider themselves lucky that they can earn any money doing what they love.

    I just find it personally distasteful to look at writing as some sort of “product”. It’s a craft and an art, not widgets to be pumped out based on a cost/benefit analysis.

  • #654744

    Anonymous

    It’s still easy for me.

  • #654745

    Anonymous

    ostarella wrote:
    > Well, if one is looking to write fiction as a way of making a lot of money,
    > they need a quick reality check – and a different vocation. Many of the
    > world’s greatest authors barely survived financially – their works only
    > gained “popularity” after they were either too old to enjoy it or
    > dead. And even today, most authors are hard-pressed to make writing their
    > sole means of support. I’ve read of and spoken with many published authors
    > who consider themselves lucky that they can earn any money doing what they
    > love.
    >
    > I just find it personally distasteful to look at writing as some sort of
    > “product”. It’s a craft and an art, not widgets to be pumped out
    > based on a cost/benefit analysis.
    Interesting. I find the act of writing to be the craft, and where I feel the love, so to speak.

    But the writing itself? The end result? It’s a product. I sell it. Or I don’t.

  • #654746

    Anonymous

    RobTheThird wrote:

    > Interesting. I find the act of writing to be the craft, and where I feel the love,
    > so to speak.
    >
    > But the writing itself? The end result? It’s a product. I sell it. Or I don’t.

    Once the book is done, then yes, the writer hat goes off and the business hat goes on. For me, once I finish a story, there’s a flutter of disappointment combined with a moment of exhilaration that the project I’ve put so much of myself into is done – and then it’s over. I move on to the next one.

  • #654747

    Anonymous

    RobTheThird wrote:
    > ostarella wrote:
    > > Well, if one is looking to write fiction as a way of making a lot of money,
    > > they need a quick reality check – and a different vocation. Many of the
    > > world’s greatest authors barely survived financially – their works only
    > > gained “popularity” after they were either too old to enjoy it or
    > > dead. And even today, most authors are hard-pressed to make writing their
    > > sole means of support. I’ve read of and spoken with many published authors
    > > who consider themselves lucky that they can earn any money doing what they
    > > love.
    > >
    > > I just find it personally distasteful to look at writing as some sort of
    > > “product”. It’s a craft and an art, not widgets to be pumped out
    > > based on a cost/benefit analysis.
    > Interesting. I find the act of writing to be the craft, and where I feel the love,
    > so to speak.
    >
    > But the writing itself? The end result? It’s a product. I sell it. Or I don’t.
    ============

    The difference may be the original intent. Janet Evanovich sells millions of novels. Her goal is to make money. She does not enjoy the writing.

    In her book about writing she made it clear that it is hard work just like a ‘real’ job and that she does not enjoy that writing part.

    For people with a job they would likely be doing it for the fun of being creative and any money they make is just a lagniappe.

  • #654748

    Anonymous

    It’s all hard work. This notion that one stumbles upon millions is utter nonsense. Is there the occasional outlier, of course, but they rarely retain the momentum unless they are disciplined with hard work.

    Writing is a profession. It’s work. It’s discipline. You have good days, bad days and a host of in-between ones. I wrote promotions for various television shows in the 90’s and early 2000’s. Hard work. Loved it and at times loathed it. However, I enjoyed the overall experience.

    People who flutter with the idea of a muse or look at writing as anything but work, they are amateurs. When I write, I look at it as work, as a professional with goals as when projects should be done by.

    Is writing art? Yes, but so is a sport, so is rebuilding a car, or forging a knife. Making money is an art. Being a good business person is an art. Medicine is an art. To be good at any of it takes dedication and hard work. If you can love the work, all the better.

  • #654749

    Anonymous

    Brien Sz wrote:
    > It’s all hard work. This notion that one stumbles upon millions is utter
    > nonsense. Is there the occasional outlier, of course, but they rarely
    > retain the momentum unless they are disciplined with hard work.
    >
    > Writing is a profession. It’s work. It’s discipline. You have good days,
    > bad days and a host of in-between ones. I wrote promotions for various
    > television shows in the 90’s and early 2000’s. Hard work. Loved it and at
    > times loathed it. However, I enjoyed the overall experience.
    >

    Agree, Brien. Did not mean to imply that there wasn’t work involved in the art – any craftsman worth their salt will tell you that it takes hard work, frustration, and dedication to the craft to make anything worthwhile. I guess my main view is that if the only reason one gets into writing is to make money, well, there are a great many things that are much easier to do and offer a much better guarantee of an income. Because, like any independent “job”, particularly those pertaining to creative ventures, there are no guarantees when it comes to income. Even very successful authors can suddenly drop out of favor.

    There are days when I look at my writing and wonder what the H I thought I was doing, days when I will write and rewrite and toss out sentences and paragraphs, trying to find the words that just will not come, or just don’t leave me satisfied at all. But then there are the days when the words come faster than I can type, when solutions are there almost before I notice the problems, and those are the days that make the others seem totally unimportant.

  • #654750

    Anonymous

    And that’s passion.

  • #654751

    Anonymous

    Brien Sz wrote:
    > And that’s passion.

    😀

  • #654752

    Anonymous

    Most writers quit when they get their first edit letter from a publisher and realize how wrong they were thinking the writing was anywhere close to the real work.

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