Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
“Just, Simply, Not Fun”
“Easy money at the brick factory.”
- William Goldman (legendary two-time Oscar-winning screenwriter, and novelist), on when s*&^ gets hard writing

So, with ARISEN, I always reread the series before I write each new book, mainly to work out where we are in various character arcs, remember obscure setups so I don't forget to pay them off, and just basically know what the hell is going on. But as the series stands at about 1.25 million words now, obviously this has gotten more time-consuming. It got a bit easier when I figured out I could do it while walking from place to place, chopping garlic, etc. – i.e. with the audiobooks.

I've finished that – listened to the series for the last time, as I'm writing the climax and conclusion now – but I guess I got used to using all the interstitial time productively, so now I listen to podcasts. I've long liked Scriptnotes, done by two jobbing Hollywood screenwriters, who really understand the craft as well as the business of storytelling. However, lately, they've veered more from the former to the latter. So, digging around, I discovered Beautiful Writers – when I saw they'd had both Steven Pressfield and Robert McKee (two of my very top muse/gurus), I was sold. Was especially tickled when the last two I listened to – McKee and Seth Godin – made comments that rhymed perfectly with my recent dispatch on how writing is simply work.

Writing as therapy is really a specious idea. It really is. It's no fun to write. I don't know where people get this notion. I mean, if you're a serious writer, you've got to put a gun to your head to get in the chair. You've got to face the awfulness of Resistance. And, you know, you're paralyzed constantly by the fear that I'm lying, I don't know what I'm talking about, this is bullshit, this is off. I mean, you know - it's no fun. It's no fun. Writing is just, simply, not fun. It isn't, you know - it's work!
- Robert McKee
I'm trying to remember the last time I was in the mood to create. I don't think that comes up very often, for people who do it professionally. You know, I had knee surgery last month and I did not ask the surgeon if he was in the mood to remove part of my miniscus. Right? You don't want to just have surgery when the guy's in a good mood. You want him to be good at surgery all the time. So, I think we make a mistake, if we call ourselves a writer, and then talk about how we need to find the right emotional moment to do our writing. What we need to do is write, and then write some more, and then if we are any good at it, we will edit later, by throwing out the stuff that doesn't sing. But if this was easy, everyone would do it, and they would do it well. The fact that it's hard makes it worth doing. But you have to do it. Regardless of what mood you're in.
- Seth Godin

  robert mckee     steven pressfield     writing     bill goldman  
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.

You can reach him on .

THE MANUSCRIPT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
PANDORA'S SISTERS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
D-BOYS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
COUNTER-ASSAULT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book One - Fortress Britain, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Two - Mogadishu of the Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Genesis, by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Three - Three Parts Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Four - Maximum Violence, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Five - EXODUS, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Six - The Horizon, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Seven - Death of Empires, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Eight - Empire of the Dead by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : NEMESIS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Nine - Cataclysm by Michael Stephen Fuchs

ARISEN, Book Ten - The Flood by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Eleven - Deathmatch by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Twelve - Carnage by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Thirteen - The Siege by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Fourteen - Endgame by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Fickisms
ARISEN : Odyssey
ARISEN : Last Stand
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 1 - The Collapse
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 2 - Tribes
Black Squadron
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 3 - Dead Men Walking
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 4 - Duty
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 5 - The Last Raid
ARISEN : Fickisms ][ – This Time, It's Personal
ARISEN : Operators, Volume I - The Fall of the Third Temple
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