Why writing an “easy read” is actually hard to do #amwriting

It’s almost two years since my feel good read A Way from Heart to Heart was published. I was looking over some old posts I’d written around release date, and I came across this one I wrote for American author friend Mary Waibel, about books that are “easy to read”. When I’m writing, I spend a lot of time and effort making sure my readers don’t have to work hard when they read my books. I make sure the story flows and that readers never have to go back and check a scene or re-read a sentence to puzzle out what it actually means. Making a story “easy to read” is hard work.

My latest release, Felicity at the Cross Hotel, has also attracted reviews that call it “an easy read”. While I’m glad about that – that’s exactly what I work so hard to achieve – I wonder sometimes do readers think it must be a lesser book because it flows easily?

Here’s the guest post I wrote for Mary’s blog in full. I’d love to know your comments!

* * *

Writing an Easy Read, by Helena Fairfax

Today, Helena Fairfax is stopping by with a special guest post on writing an easy read. If you’ve never read any of Helena’s books, you’re really missing out on some truly wonderful, sweet romances. And now, here’s Helena!

a way from heart to heart, helena fairfax

Why writing an “easy read” is hard to do
I’ve become used to people’s reactions these days when I say I write romance. People who have never read a romance novel either ask me if I’ve ever thought of writing a “proper book,” or else they give me a funny sort of leer, as though I’m some sort of soft-porn peddler. Romance novels are held by many to be a pretty low form of the written word. Another cliché is that they follow a “formula,” and that anyone could just scribble a romance if they put their minds to it…
To read on, click here…
Please note: After changes at my publishers, Accent Press, the links to A Way from Heart to Heart have changed since I wrote this post for Mary’s blog. If you live in the US or Canada, you can download the book through the links at Simon and Schuster. In the UK and elsewhere around the world, the book is available on Amazon.

7 thoughts on “Why writing an “easy read” is actually hard to do #amwriting

  1. In brief, it might also seem easy to deride authors such as Erica James for being formulaic chic-lit writers, but I just reread THE QUEEN OF NEW BEGINNINGS, and it’s very good. Its’ construction only LOOKS easy. And if everybody could just “scribble a romance”, everyone would. They don’t because it isn’t easy. I was just talking about my Great Scottish Novel to a friend, and made the point that a) the editing and research (over a period of about twenty years!) nearly killed me and b) I boiled it all down to a standard length of 75,950 words. Now it may or not be an easy read, but the work I put into it was so mankilling that I know I could never do it again. It’s a bit like a scene in ROCKY III (yes, really) where his trainer informs the Rock that “the fight with Apollo should have killed you, kid. It didn’t. My job was to keep you healthy and keep you winning.” I’d like to make it plain that I went on to write DEAR MISS LANDAU, four unpublished novellas and sixty-three blogs for the HUFFINGTON POST UK after that; but I would not take it kindly if some unpublished know-it-all stood in front of me and suggested “scribbling out a romance” was easy. It isn’t. It is very hard to make it look easy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the analogy with Rocky, James. Sometimes as a writer I do feel it’s a battle, and that I’m constantly having to pick myself up. Wouldn’t it be brilliant to have a trainer like Rocky’s to keep you going? I’m going to play the Rocky soundtrack in my head next time I’m sitting wordless at the computer.
    I haven’t read The Queen of New Beginnings. I’ll add it to my list of books to read. Thanks for the recommendation – and thanks very much for dropping in, and for your great comment!


  3. Hey, Helena. Loved your book A WAY FROM HEART TO HEART. Beautifully written. I think people who don’t write, don’t get how very hard the job is. It’s like the gymnast who makes all the flips in a floor exercise look easy or a dancer who makes us gasp. It’s only through a lot of hard work that exercise looks easy. :) I’m there for you anytime you get discouraged, Helena. We have to stick together on this sometimes rocky road called authorship. I’ve shared. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, Marsha. Making friends with other authors around the world has been one of the great joys of being published.
      I love your example of the dancer. Ballet dancers make everything flow beautifully, without any apparent effort. We never see the blood, sweat and tears behind a production of the show.
      Thanks so much for your lovely comment, and for sharing. I appreciate it!


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