Alice’s Restaurant

November 12, 2006

In Search of Perfection

Filed under: Writing Craft — aliceaudrey @ 5:42 pm

I have decided it isn’t possible to achieve perfection in writing fiction.  For one thing, how do you define perfection?  I have never yet reached a point in any of my WIPs that I felt nothing needed to be changed. 

So maybe that’s because I’m still growing as a writer, but maybe not.  Maybe it’s because fiction isn’t like accounting.  Mind you accounting can be remarkably malleable.  But at least there you can come up with a number that can be defended from all comers.  In fiction, the material can be looked at from a different light each time it’s read.  Some of the angles a piece is viewed at will have perfect symmetry, meaning, and punctuation *grin*.  Some won’t.  Same piece, different way of thinking.

But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be trying for perfection.  It seems to me the more I work to raise the bar on my efforts, the better they get.  If I have to scrap 50,000 or 60,000 words to do it, I do.

Eventually I hit a point where a lot of people like what I’ve done.  It isn’t perfection.  Chances are I’ll come back to it in a year and make all kinds of changes.  But maybe it’s close enough.

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