I started the read aloud of my WIP the other day and already I can see how important word usage is. I found myself frowning over some choices, displeased they didn’t evoke the feeling I desired.There were other places where as much as a paragraph felt clunky and in the way, maybe not badly written but interrupting the flow of the story (I take those out and try to figure out a new place further down where they can slide in).
That’s the thing about writing a novel, perhaps especially so for the unpublished and unagented: words can’t be wrong, can’t be close, can’t be almost-but-not-quite-what-you-had-in-mind. It has to be the word, the feeling, the beautiful, seamless sentence. It has to fit with the story and the style and the character.
It has to be perfect.
What percentage of books written actually get published? I think it’s low, something like one percent. So if you have all those books to compete with, how do you expect to stand out?
Answer: by each and every single word being the word. All those perfect words…well, to be honest, even all together they might not get you published. But I can’t imagine you succeeding without them.
So that’s…what? Seventy to ninety thousand words that need to be not third, not second, but first place perfect for your book?
No, no trouble at all.
I’m starting to see why all those books don’t get published. Not everyone is willing to put in all that effort for something that only might be. Maybe they give up on writing, or maybe they give up on the book. Either way, that particular project won’t bear fruit.
Writing is not simply typing words on a screen. And if anyone tries to tell you otherwise, deck them in the face.
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