Jack Shalom wrote:
from a writer's point of view, that the magic routines required more time and effort to compose, simply because they were fancier.
This is nonsense.
It's very difficult to write precise technical instructions involving sleight of hand well.
Among modern writers, Richard does it well, Stephen Minch does it well, but a whole lot of writers do it poorly.
It's much easier to write narrative.
But even in contexts apart from magic, it's a huge mistake to confuse simplicity with ease of execution. I'm surprised that anyone who calls himself a writer could say this.
I am not arguing something that is a matter of opinion. My point is not that instructional writing is "easier" than fiction, in the sense of aptitude. That depends on the individual. What I am saying is that describing technicalities requires a fraction of the literary skill that fiction does. Right now, we are corresponding. We are merely expressing what we perceive to be the truth.
But if we needed to stretch and mould that truth (like Brad tends to), we would be expending far more creative energy. We would have to put more thought into our posts than we do when simply "telling it like it is".
Conceiving of plot lines, inventing characters, and especially being mindful of continuity or consistency (to render a spiel credible) are disciplines that factual writers have nothing to do with. Their job is to analyse what is before them and choose the best words to convey it.
Take any example of a magic trick. Say, a card trick employing a turnover pass. Describing the method, the technique, the "move" is only a matter of accurately explaining how to manipulate the deck. I'm not saying that some folks might find that a challenge. But it is not the masterful process of making things out of whole cloth.
Either sort of writing can be easy or difficult. But there is much more to wield with fiction--more plates to spin. When you sit down to write the facts, you organise them neatly. When you write fiction, you are often overwhelmed by your unlimited imagination, and frequently at a loss to come up with anything satisfactory.
Now, "hacks" can write rubbish either way. But relatively speaking, good fiction takes more dedication (time, effort, etc.) than good reporting.