I find writing crime fiction easy but the editing process is hard as I am slightly dyslexic. I am also lazy which is why my stories take a long time to write. I began my newly released novel, Magic Bullets, a ridiculously long time ago in the 1970s.
My first draft is always bad and contains all kinds of spelling, grammar and continuity errors because I am a story teller and not a literary writer. I write ideas down as they come into my head while I sit at a computer. I do think about the story as I go about my daily life, planning plot lines and sometimes endings. But the story really evolves into something I feel worthwhile publishing during the editing. The advantage of this style is that I do not recall getting writer’s block. I subscribe to the Raymond Chandler view, “When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand”. I don’t take this literary but I do like to throw in something to put my protagonist reader, and occasionally even myself off guard.
I self publish and therefore have to be extra vigilant with my editing. Online and offline spelling and grammar checkers are invaluable. Oh, if only I had these when I grew up in the years BC (Before Computers) when dyslexia was unheard of. But even these tools are not good enough. I get computer text-to-voice software to read my writing back to me and at least three people, whose views I respect, to read through what I consider to be my final draft. In reality it never is. Even after all these checks a few mistakes creep through. But the beauty of self-publishing and publishing-on-demand means that I do not produce more than ten or twenty copies at a time. This means that by the time my work gets to the reader the mistakes are gone and, who knows, some of the early error filled copies may eventually be worth a lot of money as collectors’ items.