I'm working my way through the rewrite of "Snaked."
I look for the easiest solution to every plot problem, while still addressing the problem. I don't think I improve my writing by agonizing over it. But it can feel a little lazy.
What I tell myself is--going over something 3 or 4 times lightly is more beneficial than going over it once in an overbearing way, and probably ends up devoting as much time and energy. But it can feel a little lazy.
I believe the first answer is probably the best answer--except where it isn't. But that's where beta readers and editors help. Telling me where I missed the obvious. But it can feel a little lazy.
Ir may be a little ridiculous to accuse myself of lazy when I put so much time and effort into it. But yeah, I'm intellectually lazy in some ways. Back in college I got a "B" on a paper I had estimated was an "A" and the professor said, "You are so facile with your writing you don't put an effort into it."
But the truth is, I've ruined more books by trying too hard than I have by trying too little.
This isn't a science, but an art. There is craft and there is feel. You can't always reason yourself to a solution. Sometimes it just "feels"right. If I stare too long at words on a page, if I overthink it, I'm likely to make a wrong move. If I go over something too many times, second guess myself too many times, I can lose the "feel" for the book, and I usually can't get it back. After that, I'm trusting that the original story is still there.
But I never know when I'm going to tip over into that, so I tiptoe carefully, trying not to lose my fictional dream by messing with it too much.
When I see other people's representational art, I often like the rough drafts better than the finished product. It feels and looks more pure, not so slick.
Nice excuse for being lazy maybe, I don't know. But I know that I was stumped on rewriting for a long time because I was making it too hard. Now I just look at something and let the words flow (or cut or change) and trust my instincts.
There are times when I have to use my critical brain to think about it. It's much more a part of the process in rewriting, and isn't as fun. But there is still a thrill when I fix something that wasn't working, even if at first, I wasn't sure.
So being put through my paces, holding my feet to the fire, is helpful. As long as it is in a light way that feels a little lazy.
1 week ago