Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
Less Now Than When I Started
Alec Berg on Scriptnotes

Alec: And I know you would think having done this the way I’ve done it and having worked on the things I’ve worked on, that worked the way a lot of them worked, that at a certain point I would go, “At this point, having done this 20 plus years, I kind of know what I’m doing.” I don’t feel like that at all. I feel like I know less now about how to do it than I did when I started. What I know is I think I have a better idea of what doesn’t work.

So, I can look at something that 20 years ago I might have looked at something and I might have said, “Yeah, I think that’s pretty good.” Now, I’ll look at it and go, “This doesn’t work, and here are 50 reasons why. That’s no good. This is no good. That guy shouldn’t be this way, that guy shouldn’t be this way, she shouldn’t be talking like that.”

Craig: Suddenly, the channel for success becomes incredibly narrow.

Alec: Yes. But I don’t know any better now how to make things work. I just am much better at identifying flaws.

Craig: You just see all the mines in the field.

Alec: So, it gets harder and harder as I do it. Not easier and easier.

Obviously, if I’d heard this sooner, a snippet of it would have gone on my dispatch about how writing never gets any easier

Oh – one more:

“I’m in [a cycle] now, where it feels as if I’ve forgotten everything I’ve ever known. I have no idea what to do.”

And another:

“Like any art, probably, the more experience you have with it, the more the horizon of what being really good is recedes. So a great deal of now being in my 40s and having done this pretty seriously for 20 years is I now have a much better idea of the ways in which I'm not really very good.”

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close photo of Michael Stephen Fuchs

Fuchs is the author of the novels The Manuscript and Pandora's Sisters, both published worldwide by Macmillan in hardback, paperback and all e-book formats (and in translation); the D-Boys series of high-tech, high-concept, spec-ops military adventure novels – D-Boys, Counter-Assault, and Close Quarters Battle (coming in 2016); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of special-operations military ZA novels. The second nicest thing anyone has ever said about his work was: "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt put in a firefight'." (Kirkus Reviews, more here.)

Fuchs was born in New York; schooled in Virginia (UVa); and later emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived through the dot-com boom. Subsequently he decamped for an extended period of tramping before finally rocking up in London, where he now makes his home. He does a lot of travel blogging, most recently of some very  long  walks around the British Isles. He's been writing and developing for the web since 1994 and shows no particularly hopeful signs of stopping.

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ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 4 - Duty by Michael Stephen Fuchs
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