Sunday, July 3, 2011

From newspaper to novel is quite a change

I was a newspaper reporter for years. I was assigned stories (or better yet, thought of my own). I interviewed sources, taking notes and developing my own quick-write shorthand. Then I wrote up my story and turned it in.

It was edited by the copy desk, and it was usually published the next day. And that was that. It was very quick, and the process was fairly simple.

Oh, sure, we scheduled photos, and sometimes there were snags. Other times, there were big projects that took weeks, even months, but usually, things were very fast-paced. We had a daily product to fill, after all.

I longed for the days when I could write my own stories, with my own characters. I'd build my own worlds, create my own dialogue, set my own twisty-turny plots.

Now I'm doing it. And you know what? It's ... hard. Anyone who writes fiction will likely agree with me. I'm realizing, belatedly, that it's much easier when your story is laid out in front of you, when your quotes are given to you, and when your characters are standing right in front of you. Starting with a blank slate is freeing, yes, but a bit overwhelming, too.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining. I still love it. But it's a change that has definitely taken a little getting used to.

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