Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Perfection

I was recently reminded that perfect used to essentially mean finished.  It came up in reference to perfect unions, in the sense that perfect unions were not intended to be without flaws, just whole.  Since November is NaNo season it of course made me think of drafts.  Now of course there are many kinds of writers.  Some writers need to polish all the bits as they go to more fully understand the world they are building.  To write 50k words in 30 days, especially with a life and a food centric holiday stuffed in there, you have to write fast.  And for many people , that means writing messy.  The draft you produce at a pace of 1667 words a day many not be polished, and will unlikely be perfect in the shiny and beautiful sense of the word.  For most genres 50k of words may not even be a complete story.  
One of the many pep talks one year that the NaNo team sent out focused on getting into the habit of finishing.  Whether a messy drafter or a polisher (and I have at times been both) finishing a story is a habit worth building if being a writer is a goal.  It doesn't matter if the story is free of errant commas or still has [insert conversation where the villain monologues a bit here] within it, having built a story that has a foundation is a good habit.  
It doesn't work for everyone.  Some writers can't write the end when the middle is still muddied. So the definition of finished when it comes to first drafts especially may be very different for each writer.  But building a habit of something that feels ready for you to come back to and fix - whether it's a deep excavation, or a few polishing passes is a goal worth moving towards.  

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