Think of all the things a piece of fiction must have. Who can ever get it all right? For example, we’re told to excel at plot, character, setting, point of view, dialogue, conflict, tension, pacing, and style. If it’s science fiction, add cool science ideas and scope. The list is long and demanding.
The good news is that a novel doesn’t have to have everything right.
Remember Randall Jarrell’s wonderful line: “A novel is a narrative of a certain length with something wrong with it.” So here’s Kay’s Rule of Imperfection: You don’t need to do everything supremely well. Optimize what you can and forgive yourself for the rest.
Because the pursuit of perfection leads to many an unfinished novel.*
So where does this leave us in our writing process, our current novel? For starters, we can look at our strengths and capitalize on them. Read More…