I subscribe to the Ruskin/punk rock idea of not attempting to polish the head of a pin. It’s not that I don’t think things should be done well, I do, and if I enjoy any particular skill, it’s the ability to edit and re-edit multiple times over many hours. But there’s a level of effort required for an independent writer like myself, working without artists or copy-editors, or any support staff at all, to create a ‘perfection’ that would, if I let it, occupy all of my creative time.
I’d end up with a perfectly-polished nothing.
But the thing I’m working on right now, Border Bob, a child’s story about a border terrier, requires more effort. I want it to look good. I want it to read well. There’s a flavour it must have.
So I’m sending out copies to friends to get their comments. Not comments like ‘yeah, it’s good,’ but asking them specific questions about the language, the structure, the layout and so on, that they can answer honestly.
The thing is, I’m still not looking for perfection, I’m looking for ‘rightness’. Border Bob is actually out in print now and if you’re tempted to buy it, email me your thoughts and comments.