Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Sixth Deadly Sin for Writers


Laziness


Or, "It’s good enough."

Laziness, believe it or not, is more closely akin to defeat than it is to arrogance, singularity or ignorance. Laziness is usually justified by "Oh, what the hell? No one is ever going to read it anyway."

Laziness refuses to tweak that one scene that just doesn’t make sense, to rewrite Chapter Five even though it clearly has nothing to do with the rest of the book as it stands, to do the final read-through, to rewrite the last sentence one more time. Laziness won’t waste time or paper printing out a draft for proof-reading, or run the spell checker more than once. Laziness doesn’t show, but tells, resolves plot dilemmas with thinly-disguised twists from last week’s CSI: Miami, sets his stories in his home town so he doesn’t have to research other locations, writes cartoon sketches of characters because he can’t be bothered to delve into what really makes people interesting .

Laziness doesn’t read– his own genre, other people’s genres, the best seller list, the trades, or even blogs posted by experts in his profession. Laziness says, "He got away with it, why can’t I?"

Laziness stops writing when the book is "good enough."

Laziness is deadly.

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