Thursday, 16 November 2017

My Problem With Jessica Fletcher

One of my favourite TV shows is Murder She Wrote.

It’s an old show that keeps getting repeated and I often watch it while I’m doing the things because it’s easy to watch (or just listen to) and takes no great thought on my part.

Murder She Wrote is all about the novelist, Jessica Fletcher, who is a best-selling crime writer who travels the world and gets caught up in murders and uses her crime-solving skills to figure out 'who-dunnit.'

My only peeve with this show is how Jessica writes her novels.

It often shows her sitting at her kitchen table typing her latest book manuscript.

My problem with that is two-fold.

First, her house is huge and she lives alone,  yet she still sits in her kitchen to write, and strangely enough, prefers writing on an old, manual typewriter to using a computer.

Secondly, and this is the big one; she writes straight to final draft.

I mean, who even DOES that?

She often says things like, “I really have to get my book finished. I still have three chapters to write and it’s due at my publisher’s in less than a week, and I don’t even know how it’s going to end yet.”

Really? Idea to final draft in one go?


AND, if all that isn’t enough, her novels are all best sellers, without even so much as a rewrite.

Real writing means doing at least 4 stages of a manuscript - first draft, edit, second draft, proof, final draft.

Naturally, it is possible to write a book quickly if you have a great writing system (unlike old Jessy Fletcher who seems to have none).

But getting fast at writing, even with a system that you follow, still takes practice.

But the more you write, the easier it seems and the quicker you get.

So write, write, write, and then write some more.

Because when it comes to writing, practice really does make perfect.


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