1. cretinhop
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    cretinhop Member

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    Perfect Prose

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by cretinhop, May 29, 2011.

    Hi, so, I've been writing for ten years now. I love it, but I often find that I become frustrated writing my first draft when the words don't seem perfect. Now, I know they shouldn't be perfect, and I can technically write whatever I want there, and I am becoming more silly with myself (before, I treated my inner author like a boot camp sergeant treats his camp), but this problem persists. If I can't write it perfectly, or at least, impressively the first time, I won't write at all. I'll just stare at the notebook. Again, this is happening less, but I just... I guess... Tips, anyone?

    I've never really talked to other people about writing. All of my RL friends are artists or musicians or something, which is sort of the same, but you know. They just don't get me~! ;D
     
  2. Protar
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    Protar Active Member

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    There's no such thing as perfect prose and there's not a writer alive that was satisfied with their first draft. When you're dissatisfied with your work just remember that all the greats had the same problems and they turned out some amazing novels. Hopefully that should inspire you back into writing.
     
  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Never let the perfect be the enemy of the good. The writer who strives for nothing less than perfection will never write anything at all.

    First drafts, even if you labor over them, are generally crap. Some famous author said that first drafts are for finding out what your story is about. Make it good in a second draft (note that I said A second, not THE second - I pretty much consider all drafts after the first as "second drafts.") But you'll keep revising forever if you seek perfection. There has to come a point where you just say "It's good enough - I'm submitting it and moving on to the next story."
     
  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    The first part of this sentence is true; the second is not.

    But as a writer you shouldn't be expecting perfection. You won't achieve it. If you find the failure to translate your vision to the page stops you from writing, you are putting yourself in a tough position. Get the words down, good, bad, or otherwise, and you'll at least have something you can shape into your desired work.
     
  5. Protar
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    Protar Active Member

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    Well I suppose not. But that said you shouldn't be satisfied with your first draft even if some people are. Even the best writers need to write more than one draft. None of us here are at the level of the greats so there's always room for improvement.
     
  6. cretinhop
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    cretinhop Member

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    Hmmm, I know you guys are right. Gosh darn Jack Kerouac and his Original Scroll (also known as The Bible?). I will definitely keep this in mind. I know I know the right words, etc., but just not always on the first try. It makes me really mad when I don't! Hahaha. I just have to drag myself through it, but this really is helpful. I mean, to know that other people write multiple drafts. xp
     
  7. Baron
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    Baron Contributing Member

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    The road to perfection usually passes through the asylum.

    The closest you'll probably ever see to perfect English prose is Samuel Beckett and most of his works were written in French and then translated to English.
     

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