Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Does It Need To Be Perfect To Be Beautiful? Writers Reaching For Perfection...

Tripp Harrison Studio and Gallery  -   Original artwork

 Every writer strives to make their story the best it can be, sometimes to the detriment of their state-of-mind. If you've ever written a sentence or paragraph twenty different ways and it still doesn't live up to your expectations, then you know what I mean. As writers, we only achieve peace-of-mind when we realize that perfection is not an achievable goal.

Don't mistake my meaning. Serious writers continue to stretch their imagination and improve in their writing skill in order to produce the very best story possible. However, does it need to be perfect to be beautiful? The artwork on the left answers that question. Just as artistic beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so too, is the beauty of a well-crafted story to its reader. As an avid reader myself, if the story draws me in and compels me to stay, I could care less about a few imperfections in style, grammar, or formatting. In fact, I probably don't even see most of them, I'm too consumed with what my favorite character is doing. What's your opinion?

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  1. When my beta readers hand back my mss I sometimes get the comment, "Word choice?" in the margin. I have to say, I do strive to get just the right word, and work with a thesaurus to hand (despite Stephen King's comment that if you need a thesaurus, it's the wrong word!) But, you're right, whether the average reader would question the use of a particular word or phrase is debatable; hopefully, the book, as you say, keeps them enthralled enough they're not going to sit there and question it. I have to say I feel this way about POV as well, head hopping and such like. Do readers REALLY care?

  2. Hi Andrea,
    Thank you for your comment. I wish we could get a really good reader poll on this because I think 80% or more don't really care about anything but the story premise, the tension, conflict, and resolution. Everything pertaining to publishing criteria is just something they don't consider, unless, the writing skills are such that publishing should never have been considered in the first place. LOL

  3. This is an interesting post because in my recent writing project I'm working with an "antihero" main character. It's proving really difficult to try and write someone very deeply flawed and yet still think of them as the heroine/hero!