Category Archives: Writers helping writers

It’s complicated: Is it really?

How many times have you heard in a movie or TV the phrase, “It’s complicated,” or read it in a book? If you are like me, then too many to count. It has gotten old. It has been for a while now.

How about you write out the scene? It does not have to be a full-blown back story but just a bit to explain it. I often scream at the TV when I hear the phrase. Take some time, do a little work and explain why it is, in your view, complicated.

Your job as a writer for a show or a movie is to write. The cheap way out, and sadly it works for the most part, is frustrating. But another sad part is that people hear it, accept it and move on, not putting the writers against the wall and holding them accountable.

How about saying what is it? We are too lazy to get into it right now. We don’t want to bother you. We know you will accept the word even if we never explain it. Why does it even happen?

Our readers and viewers deserve better, don’t they? If you paid good money for a book or a movie, and let’s face those are getting pricier as the years go by, you should receive your bang for the money. We deserve better if we are writers producing such books and movies.

I don’t see this changing anytime soon, if ever, but I had to let this out. Why? I guess it’s not so complicated for me.

Is it easy to write books for children?: Yes, according to some

How easy is it to write books for children? From my experience early on, I have heard people tell me various opinions on this. In fact, at one writer’s meeting, a fellow author scoffed and said he could write a children’s book in one night. There was nothing to it. I was so stunned I did not have a comeback remark. Of course, as I was driving home, I came up with a lot. Unfortunately, this is not the only time other writers have told me this genre was easy peasy.

That ticks me off. According to reports, this genre is one of the hardest to write. You have to write it in a language that is not above their hands or beneath them. The dialogue has to be just right.

Ask a kid to read your book. If they don’t like it by page two, they drop it and look for another book. Most adults will at least carry on to the end of the chapter.

In my first children’s book, I had kids from a daycare look it over, and the reviews were hard to hear, but I welcomed them because they gave me what I needed to fix it. Have an adult write a children’s book, and you can critique it but not through the eyes of a child.

A children’s book is like any other book. You have to have plots, characters, and a timeline that works together and does not fall apart. You still need to revise, edit and revise again. You still need to have a cover that shines on your work. You still need to send it through your beta and critique groups.

But aft all this, it finally hit me on how to reply the next time I hear this.
If you think writing a book for children is easy, go for it. Seriously. Go for it. After that, we will talk. But only after.

Reading the genres you write in: Do you?

As a writer, I read books the genres of my books. One can learn from other writers by observing how they use descriptions, write dialogue and progress their storyline.

I am not saying to copy what they are doing. But you can learn different ways to word things or set up plots and dialogue. One can also look at the scene or character development. There is so much one can soak in just from reading books, especially books in the same genres as yours.

While there are some written rules, everyone has their flare. Some people love doing long flowery descriptions. I don’t and am not a fan of it. I can appreciate the effort done by the writer if it is masterful.

As a writer, one is always learning to improve one’s craft, just like any other profession.

If this exercise helps improve my manuscript and delivers a well-written book for my readers, well, that is worth the time and effort. I am always looking for ways to make my books a better reading experience. By doing so, they may want to read more of my works.