Cheaper by the Dozen

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Is your writing cheap?  Is my writing cheap?  What does it mean to have cheap writing?

When something is cheap, it usually means that it doesn’t cost very much.  More often than not, this is because it is poorly crafted.  I’ve been thinking lately and I’ve been asking the question, “Is everything cheaply made?”  Do carpenters work their hardest to make a house properly any more?  Do companies produce items that work to their full potential?  Do restaurants live up to their reputation?  Do they have you pay too much money for food that’s not so great?

A lot of things in society are cheap.  It’s just a result of the poor economy.  But while we can’t always have a great influence over the economy, we do have the power to make our words the best they can be.  Our books don’t have to be cheaply made.  We don’t have to be like the rest of society; we can put valuable effort into our writing.  I know, it isn’t easy.  It’s easier to go cheap with our writing.  Publishing houses are smart and will take whatever will sell.  Do you notice how some poorly written books get published by big companies?


Because publishers know that people will read cheaply written books so long as they are entertained.

Ah.  Here lies a big problem with our culture.  Hedonism can effect even our writing.  Hedonism is the erroneous notion that pleasure is the chief good in life.  Unfortunately, many people follow this false belief unknowingly.  Pleasure, and being entertained, are in and of themselves good things.  But they can be cheaply attained for little cost, and we often miss out on the really good stuff because we are blinded by our longing to fulfill our desire.  This applies to our moral life, but even to writing!  How often do you settle with reading a book that has unimpressive writing but an exciting plot?  How often do we forgo the classical work of literature and instead pick up the lousy science fiction novel (no offense to sci-fi readers.  I like sci-fi too!)?  Do we seek to discover what will make our writing a true work of art that will actually be remembered five years from now?  Will we work hard so that our books will be good enough, and will possess something good enough that will last for centuries?

I tip my hat to you, Shakespeare.

Don’t let my words discourage you from ever sitting down and writing a book.  But I want you to know that the writing doesn’t occur when you’re jotting down the story…it happens when you go back and start editing.  Good luck, my dear followers!  I know that many of you are embarking on a journey I am quite familiar with!  Remember that you can ask me any questions and I will be willing to answer.



6 thoughts on “Cheaper by the Dozen

    blondeusk said:
    July 20, 2014 at 8:26 AM

    Good post and you raise some interesting points. I have just read ‘Reviver’ by Seth Patrick and I didn’t think it was writer well but..I thought it was a great story. He kept the action flowing and after months of reading lots of well written, slightly dull books this was quite refreshing.
    You are right about good writing only happening when you edit! Happy Sunday 🙂

      Aul responded:
      July 20, 2014 at 9:33 AM

      Yeah that makes sense. I can enjoy a fast paced book after reading a slow one, despite whether or not it’s written very well.
      I hope you stop by again!

    afollower said:
    July 20, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    Which would you prefer….a poorly written book with a great plot or a book that is well written but lacks a great plot?

      Aul responded:
      July 20, 2014 at 12:25 PM

      Ah, great question. I’m not entirely sure. I’d probably go with the book with a great plot (plot-making is a part of writing stories), but sometimes I’d rather go for the well written one. Usually, if there is a series of poorly written books with an exciting plot, I actually won’t finish the series because the writing is so cheap. On the other hand, I’ll more likely stick with a series that has good writing, even though the plot isn’t as good. But like I said, a good, well-thought-out plot is a part of good writing.

        afollower said:
        July 20, 2014 at 12:32 PM

        Agreed…having a great plot is essential. And could what we call poorly written actually just be a different writing style?

        Aul responded:
        July 20, 2014 at 3:26 PM

        In a sense, it could be. But that only becomes the case when we judge writing as a matter of opinion. Some writing can actually be better than others, and I’m not talking about grammar or punctuation (all these certainly need to be present). Writing can be at its best, despite others’ opinions, when it perfectly explains what the author wants to say, with perfect word choice, proper sentence structure, and perfect timing of the sentence. This is very hard to attain, but no matter what writing style a person might have, whether it’s sophisticated, “easy-read”, or whatever, this perfection that I speak of can still be applied and attained. I’m not sure if this answers your question…

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