I often find that when I look at something, and it seems facile, it’s not. Have you ever watched an athlete who’s incredible at what he does, and think, “Wow. Maybe I could do that.”? Then, when you try, you know, “Mmmm, maybe not.”
It holds true for teaching. A really good teacher makes it look effortless. She holds the classes’ attention and spirits in her hands and simultaneously increases their knowledge and confidence.
It holds true for writing as well. I’m reluctantly finishing the last few novels that Robert B. Parker has written. In my opinion, he’s one of the few best-selling writers who really knew what he was doing. I’m reading along half thinking, “Yeah. Murder. Mystery. Resolution. Witty repartee. Fine, fine, fine.”
But, just try to create what he does: an intricately woven plot, with characters so real you feel like you’ve lived with them, and a psychological insight at the end to boot.
I’ve read a lot of books by the highly erudite, the stuffed shirt type of academic if you will, that can’t hold a candle to what Robert did in every single one of his novels.
Pity that there will be no more.