By Jenny Hilborne
Author of mysteries and thrillers
....unless you want a scathing review.
When I invest money in a bank, I want a great return.
When I invest time in a book, I want an even greater return. I can't pull my time back out and invest it somewhere else if I'm not happy. That time has gone forever.
I'm insulted when an author cheats me of my time and persuades me to invest in an unworthy product. I'm not talking about taste; there are plenty of books I don't like, and it's not because they're bad. It's because the author is lazy, or maybe they're just pressed for time. So am I.
Lazy writing is easy to spot. It comes in the form of filler to pad the page count, repeated use of words, recycling a sentence, repetitive cogitations, rehashing an old plot, stereotypical characters. The list goes on. If you haven't got enough content for a novel, make it a short story and don't waste your readers' time. Or your own.
Don't insult your readers' intelligence. Don't use big words and pull me out of the story when I have to set the book down to get a thesaurus and look it up. Because I will. And that big word had better be used in the right context.
Build my confidence in your writing. If you use a big word and then include a sentence to explain what that word means, I'll assume you didn't know it either. And it will undermine my confidence in your writing, not to mention insult my intelligence as a reader.
If you have discursive tendencies in real life, don't bring them into your novel. Time is valuable, and short. Don't describe your book as an immersive provocative novel when the only sense it stimulates is irritation. Don't be a sloth between the sheets. Unless you want a scathing review. I wrote one last week for a lazy writer who undermined my confidence and insulted my intelligence, not to mention the poor return on my investment.