Monday, June 15, 2009

Is it "Good Enough"

I was reading through a few chapters this weekend and I have to say that I am brilliant. I know it’s a bold statement and a little self-centered but truly there are moments in my book where I astonish myself with my amazing writing ability.

Okay so now let me qualify that statement before you all shake your heads in disgust and click the back button. I reiterate I had moments of brilliance. There were some sentences that I just thought, man that’s perfect. I captured the scene, the mood and the character all at once but then I read further. The next few sentences are just okay. They’re not bad but they’re certainly not brilliant. Then there are the sentences that I shake my head and scrunch up my face a little bit. I try to think of a different way to write it but nothing comes so I leave it, thinking to myself “good enough”.

At the end of the chapter I thought to myself how many “good enough” sentences did I have? So I have decided to re-read all chapters with renewed determination to have more brilliant moments than “good enough” moments.

What do you think? Is it okay to have a few moments of "good enough" or does it all need to be brilliant?


strugglingwriter said...

I'm not sure. What I do know, though, is that you absolutely need to be able to tell yourself you've written something brilliantly, just like you need to tell yourself when you haven't. A mix either way is bad for a writer, I think.

JKB said...

Well, I think it depends on where you're at in your process and how happy you are as a whole.

If you're just finishing up the first draft and did a read through and found out some fantastic stuff, I think that's great! You can always revise and find some way to help that good enough become great.

If you've already revised and are sending out to agents, think: woud that agent stumble across this? is it good enough for an agent to continue to read? If you're uncertain, hold on to it.

What are your beta readers saying?

Patti said...

I think you're both right. I need to make sure each sentence is the best it can be and not settle for anything less.

Chantele said...

I think it is great to have awesome, brilliant sentences! I have thought that a few times, and then read the rest of the chapter and thought, "Ugh!" Time to edit again. But, it is a good thing. It makes me want to be a better writer, and work a little harder to make my manuscripts shine!:)

jenniferneri said...

I'm with you on this, but I am a perfectionist and have re-written a million times. I do think there comes a point when enough is enough, and knowing good enough for me is great for others...otherwise I'll be eternally re-writing.

Tricia said...

I'm always thinking I'm brilliant. Then a few days later, my "split" side comes along a tells me it sucks.

I never know which side to believe.