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As an author, the hardest thing for me is writing action scenes.
Wait. Scratch that...
To me, the toughest thing about writing is trying to pen something while imbibing. I know, I know, it's a bad idea, but the holiday season is upon us and pass the eggnog already! It's too bad I end up with writing such as the following: "He approached the basement stairs, felt a chill zip-line down his spine. With a flick of the switch, he hesitated, then set foot on the top zzzzzzkkkkkkkkkkkrrrrrrrrrr....." It goes on like that for a while, but you get the general idea. Usually I wake up with the keyboard imprinted upon my face and gobbledygook in my manuscript.
After that, the second hardest thing about writing are action scenes. Hold on... No, no, there's a new writing faux-pas to add to my list: Never, ever, ever, under any circumstances, write while nursing a hang-over. This goes hand-in-hand with the first item on the list, so naturally should ring in at item number two. Writing with a hang-over can be perilous to your tale. There's a thundering headache suggesting that you just wrap things up quickly. With a hang-over, any build-up of suspense is thrown out the window.
Let's journey back to my previous sample of writing, shall we? "He approached the basement stairs, felt a chill zip-line down his spine. With a flick of the switch, he hesitated, then set foot on the top step. Down below, down in the darkness, the moan continued. Fred tripped, tumbled down, and broke his neck. THE END."
See what happened there? Not much of an ending, but it's all the muse, Hang-Over, could tolerate that day.
Finally, the third toughest thing about writing are action scenes. Which is kinda weird since I write scenarios that involve them a lot. For me, it's hard to bring something new to the game every time you write a fist fight or a car chase. But I keep trying. I keep plugging away looking for new variations that will hopefully interest the reader and myself. In my new book, Nightmare of Nannies, I composed a chapter-long chase sequence involving a man's desperate quest to retrieve his stolen tear-away pants (it's complicated). I tried my best to make it breathless, non-stop, and funny. And, boy, was it ever tough.
Dialogue's easy. Just put yourself into your character's mind-set and it practically writes itself. But action? Going forward, I constantly feel the need to one-up myself.
If erotica authors work by that standard, I pity them. I mean, come on... What do you write to top the LAST sex orgy you just composed on your laptop? Let's pause for a moment and consider...
Whew. That was grueling. My imagination just doesn't bend far enough that way. I think we can all be grateful I'm not an erotica writer. Merry Christmas!
So. What have we learned?
1) Don't write while drinking;
2) Don't write while hung-over;
3) Action is hard to write;
4) Don't EVER encourage me to write erotica.
This has been a Stuart R. West PSA.
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