There is no such thing as a perfect book.
Perfectionism has always been one of my issues. I won’t even want to start to do something if I can’t do it right.
In school, I excelled where there were formulas and exact answers required. As a result, I struggled with some of the more ambiguous answers where justification was key.
This hesitancy bled over to my fiction writing. I didn’t want to write a story unless I knew it was going to be right. I didn’t want to waste time or words if I wasn’t going to write the perfect book, tell the perfect story.
But as I started to write a story when it was right at the time, it would morph. A new idea would crop up, a plot point would go left instead of right, and I was left with a gaping hole in my draft. Just noticing one thing, changing one thing, and the book was broken.
As I fixed it, the beginning changed. The plot changed. The characters played musical chairs. And I was left back at square one and a bunch of work done that didn’t line up with the new “perfect” book.
A changing point…
So when a friend of mine mentioned reading a book and said she really liked the characters but didn’t agree with some of the plot choices, I stopped.
Or, rather, I started.
It was choice, wasn’t it? Plot choices, character choices… It wasn’t that there was ever going to be a perfect way to tell a story. It was all about making choices and having faith in those choices to move the story through to the end.
Choices make a book whole–not perfect. Not ever perfect. But whole.
As I’ve been writing these past few weeks, I have been cognizant that what I write is my choice. And while I will have to have it go through editors and beta readers before I want to publish it, I will always have the choices of the story stay with me.
Yes, plot points may change and characters may take on new aspects after edits and revisions. But they will be my choice to incorporate them. And I’ll be able to incorporate them into a finished draft, not just a start of an idea and a rag tag outline before it diverges.
So I am growing into this space where I am making decisions about my writing and my future. What about you?