As an author, it wasn’t until I took up writing seriously back in 1995 that I finally appreciated just how many of today’s books are the end product of lazy writing practises. A classic example is the endless use of things like, ‘he said’ or ‘she said’ when your characters are speaking. This is perfectly acceptable when writing the initial draft of your book. But never ever let them endlessly appear in the final draft. Once you have been picked up on it and other examples of literary lazyness by your harshest critics (your readers), until you mend your ways and the use of tools like your Dictionary and Thesaurus becomes second nature, don’t be surprised at the loss of your potential readership. The harsh reality of the writing world is that readers either make or break you! If one person likes your work, they will soon tell their friends, particularly these days with Social Media Sites like FaceBook and Twitter. By the same token. the opposite will apply if the end product of your work is unmitigated rubbish, chock full of errors!
Up until I began writing, the concept of ‘Lazy Writing’ hadn’t even entered my mind. Back then, like millions of other readers, the only thing that mattered to me was whether or not the story grabbed my attention. Some authors, be they ‘Indie’ or ‘Establishment’ are equally guilty when it comes to literary laziness, the same can be said for some editors. In all three cases, there is no acceptable excuse. Another glaring example of the sheer lazyness prevelant in today’s literature is the endless repetetion of certain words, along with foul language. While the above may be socially acceptable when talking with family and friends, if you are a writer, it certainly isn’t!
Regarding foul language and poor writing practices, E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey is the classic example. While it may appeal to a certain base section of the world’s population who know no better, to anyone who holds the written word dear as I do, it is anathema. Despite the fact that the book has become a best seller and is soon to become a movie, it will never be held up as a shining example of ‘best writing practice’ by any literary critic or scholar worth their salt.
Lastly, as a writer, you must be your own harshest critic as well as being an extremely tough editor. If you are wondering why your books simply don’t appeal, take a long hard look at your final draft. I’m betting that it is full of glaring literary error’s.
PS – If you are wondering how many times I edited/rewrote this post, it was well over three dozen before I finally hit the Publish button…