I'm here today to discuss a myth about writing. Ready? Are you sure? Here we go:
"All you need is an idea; the rest will come easily."
Excuse me as I step away from the computer and double over as I laugh my head off hysterically.
Ah, I'm back. Okay, so maybe for some of you, you've once found the perfect idea and have felt comfortable with it and the words just seemed to fall onto the page. But I guarantee you, that isn't most people, and I'd bet that at some point down the road in that perfect idea SOMETHING will come up to discourage or obstruct your writing. It happens to the best of us, it happens to all of us.
I say if you write your idea and suffer no strife, then you're doing it wrong and something is miserably horrible with your story.
Characters. Names. Personalities. Voice/POV. Setting. Plot. Subplots. Twists. Conflict. New ideas. Old ideas. Writer's block. That's only the beginning. So many different factors go into one story, one scene; we may not figure everything out in the planning stages, and that's completely fine because that means we grow along with our characters, but sooner or later something will stop and make us think. Something will confuse us. A new idea may come along, and you might just find yourself reconfiguring your entire story.
Research. First draft. Revisions. Editing. Final Draft. None of it is "easy," nor should it be. I don't think I would love writing as much as I do if it was "easy." Everyone would be writing if it were. The beauty of creating a new story is the crafting of your plot, your settings, each individual character. The struggle is what makes it special.
If someone came up to me and said he had written a story and never once struggled even the slightest bit with the development or writing, I would say good for him but in my heart be very skeptical about his story. What then makes it special then? What will make the conflict believable if the writer didn't feel the strife himself?
"You can make a bad movie with a good script, but you can't make a good movie with a bad script." I'm sure many of you have heard that quote before, and I honestly believe it. Apply that to your writing; you may have a good idea for your book, the cover art may be engaging and exciting, the first line might be a whopper, but it all means nothing if your context is garbage. A story is nothing without it's conflict, nothing without well-developed characters. A reader can tell if the author isn't into his story, and to be fully into our story we must go through some sort of emotion with our characters whether it be happiness, grief, anger, frustration.
Writing is not easy, and so don't expect it to be. Researching, creating, making your writing and dialogue sound believable and conversational isn't going to happen overnight (if it does you are one incredibly gifted person.) So don't be fooled into thinking all you need is a great idea to make a great story; so much more goes into it, and if you're not ready for the struggle and commitment, come back to it later on down the road or reevaluate whether or not you want to be a writer. If you are ready, prepare yourself for a wonderful ride of frustration, agony, and sheer joy at the rewards of getting over the hurdles of a writer's life and making something your own. :)