I remember reading an article where an agent mentioned, “I hate lazy writers.” This shot a fire or fear through me. Was I a lazy writer? I didn’t think so. I certainly spent enough blood, sweat, and tears on my work. But would she consider me lazy? In other words, was there something I wasn’t doing I should be and didn’t know it?
Turns out I was being lazy and didn’t know it. Maybe you’re lazy where I am too, don’t realize it, and this post will help.
So something’s not working. Your murder mystery took you to the bottom of the family well where Tommy drowned only, wait, you didn’t write it that way. You wrote Suzy poisoning him during the breakfast of their honeymoon. But you like the well so much better! Everything else works out perfectly and it’s a groovy twist (whoa-did I just say groovy?) that NO ONE would expect, and, and… You just love it, OK?
So now you have a choice. You can either go back and rewrite countless words to make it so Suzy throws him into the well instead of poisoning him, you can change it back to poisoning at the end, or you can spend countless hours struggling to make the well work.
Here’s where my lazy comes in. I had the plot and character a certain way. I get stuck. I spend the day figuring out what to do. I fix it in my head. Well crap! Now I have to fix it on paper too! GRR!! I have two choices, keep working on it in my head until what I have already written somehow works, or rewrite what’s on the computer screen to match what I spent the day formulating. The lazy writer (and me a few months ago) will do the former. I chose the latter. Which will you choose?
Don’t be a lazy writer. I know chucking and rewriting can be painful (this is your baby we’re talking about) but what it really comes down to (for some writers anyway) is the desire not to have to spend more time writing what you already wrote. Annoying, but think of it this way. You will actually spend more time putting it off and trying not to do it than just doing it. Put on your work clothes and get dirty.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to pull my sleeves up and rewrite a scene.