How Do Professional Writers Do It?

I’ve found that trying to write fiction stories for these ponderings is very difficult. I don’t have time to sit down and write an entire story, so I just write chunks. Every night I sit down and try to remember how the story is coming so far. I have a rough idea in my head of how I want the story to go, but usually I haven’t thought about how that particular night’s segment will go. Sometimes I come up with a good idea and it works. Other times I feel like it’s a transition scene that needs to be cut out. It’s kind of hit or miss.

I find fiction writing very difficult. I’m perfectionist by nature, and having to come up with every detail troubles me. I want everything to be perfect, so rather than risk making an imperfect world, I usually don’t give enough details. But it’s not that I fear an imperfect world, I just fear creating a world where things don’t fit. I don’t want to spend two paragraphs describing the kitchen if it’s not important. But maybe that kind of thing would make the reading more enjoyable. Then I always feel like I have to remember every detail of the world I’ve created so I can refer to it again and maintain consistency. I know what you’re thinking. I just need to shut up and write. Perhaps you’re right.

I’ve always wondered how the professionals do it. I hope to be a professional, so maybe some day I’ll find out. Whenever I’m reading a book I can’t help but think about how they chose each and every sentence. Why did they put this scene here, it really doesn’t do anything? Why did they make that statement here, is this going to be important later? Sometimes I wonder if the professionals are really as smart as we think they are, or if it’s more a matter of sheer chance, the created world affecting the writer more than the writer affecting the created world.

Am I ever going to master the difference between “affect” and “effect”? I’m a writing major and I always screw it up. I wonder if Stephen King has to pull out his grammar book all the time.

Writers are odd people, never quite sure of themselves, and always thinking of something far from the task at hand.

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