"Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe" ~ Neil Gaiman (A Game of You)


The Perfect Story

It's sooooo good!  My main character is interesting and strong, with deep convictions that help move the story along.  I have a wonderful love interest for him.  She's gentle and caring as well as beautiful, although not in a traditional way, of course.  They are thrown together by their work, which they are both deeply committed to, although they see it differently.  I have great action, an incredible build to a heart-wrenching climax and a denouement sure to leave my readers in tears.  I have a theme that runs through the whole story that will keep my readers pondering for days after they've finished the story.  It's perfect!

And it's all in my head.  I haven't had the chance to write any flaws into the story yet.  I haven't stumbled over an important scene, a critical introduction, or a subtly placed symbol.  I have my three building blocks -- my three flash fiction pieces -- but everything else is beautifully, perfectly dancing in my head.

This is where writer's block comes in for me.  This is the moment when I am paralyzed by fear, because once I start writing, my perfect story won't be perfect anymore.  It will be flawed.

I need to remind myself that that is a good thing.  There is so much beauty in imperfection.  The imperfect is much more interesting than the perfect.  And if I were able to create a perfect story, where would I be found in such a thing?

No, I'm certain that I prefer a story with my own imperfect, flawed voice ringing through it.


Renee said...

I really like this post...needed to hear it as I feel anxiety rising over my article for the online magazine. And here you are moving forwad with a go girl!

Shelli said...

Renee -- I'm also getting anxious about my article for the online magazine. I have bits and pieces finished, and a general idea where I want to go, but I still worry about it. I imagine we'll both pull it out in time!

Charity Bradford said...

Loved this post. It's sad how its so perfect until we try to put it to words. That's what revision is for though. Thank goodness.

Shelli said...

Thanks, Charity. Yay, revisions! I visited your blogs, too, and you've got some great information there. I'll have to come visit often!

Lisa Gail Green said...

Well, think of it like this, if your character wasn't flawed, they wouldn't be interesting. Maybe the same can be said for the book. ;D No one writes perfect the first time around. But if you love it enough and work enough, it can be pretty darn close!! Good luck.

Shelli said...

Thanks, Lisa, for your encouraging words. Hm, from experience, maybe? ;) Thanks for dropping by, too.