Lazy Writing

I have a horrible writing habit. It’s just plain lazy, and my writer friends Kathleen Palm and Julia Donner tsk when they critique my work and say, “You can do better than ‘he shrugged,’ ‘she smiled,'” etc. And they’re right. But when I’m thinking about bringing scenes to life, and the scenes aren’t being very cooperative about it, sometimes tags and sentence structure are the LAST thing I think about. And sometimes, I obviously don’t think about them when I’m polishing either. Because, let’s face it, they’re there when my friends look at my work. And tsk.

I notice beautiful writing. I enjoy word play and clever sentences. Am I good at it? Only when I concentrate. And that doesn’t always happen. Mostly, I’m more anxious about getting my ideas on paper than on beautiful imagery, description, or language. BUT, I’m trying to change that.

For a while, I decided that if I read more poetry, flowing language would become natural to me. I’ve seen it work for some of my friends. But it didn’t happen for me. I tend to be a goal oriented person, and I think that shows up in my writing. I don’t want the words to get in the way. I’m trying to work on that, too.

Which is to say, sadly, that I’ve written for a long time, but I still, and probably will forever inspire to be better than I am now. Years ago, I had the deluded, happy thought that someday I’d learn all that I wanted to know about writing, and then everything I produced would match the quality standards I was hoping for. I can tell you, that hasn’t happened yet. I’m not sure it ever will. And for a long time, that bothered me. Now? I kind of like the idea. That means there’s always room to grow. And that’s okay for me. It would be nice to feel brilliant and sure of myself, but I don’t think that’s ever going to happen. So, when I start the next books I’m outlining right now, let’s hope my writing astounds you. And if it doesn’t, let’s just hope it doesn’t get in the way for the stories I’m trying to tell.

8 thoughts on “Lazy Writing

  1. There’s nothing wrong with “plain” writing in your work. It’s clear, concise, and doesn’t confuse readers as they move from point A to point B. Save the beautiful sentences and constructions for the places where you really want to add a powerful punch, and they’ll stand out even more.

    Mae Clair is a master at composing lovely phrases at exactly the right time. I really wish she’d teach a clinic on it. And she doesn’t overdo it, which (IMHO) makes the times she uses such language even better.

    And for the record, I like your writing. But I’m also a strong supporter of always trying to get better. Wishing you much success with your WIP.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. As a writer, I feel I’m always growing and learning more. That it’s an unending process. I also think we all have different styles and that’s part of our author voice.

    I think your writing is strong and concise, and your stories have wonderful flow to them.You wouldn’t be selling like you have if your writing wasn’t strong!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks, Mae. I think of myself more as a storyteller than a wordsmith, but I’m glad my writing works. The world sees my work AFTER my friends have helped me make it better, though, and I am determined to work harder on my tags. It will make the stories stronger, and someday, it will come naturally to me.


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