Last night I finished Blink's rewrite. All told, I ended up about 1000 words lighter than it was. There's no way to know for sure how much I actually snipped out because I added some along the way. One thing I do know is it's so much better now.
I also read Unwind by Neal Shusterman yesterday. It's a YA speculative with an interesting - if flawed - premise. It's tight and well written overall. Good stuff. One thing about it, though, made me want to talk about the book here today.
The premise flaws.
Well, not the flaws themselves specifically, but the fact that they are there. You see, I try really hard to make sure the premises I put forth - however wild - don't have any major, glaring flaws. The thing about Mr. Shusterman's book, though, is that it's well written enough that even with those flaws, he gets his point across and the story doesn't suffer for it. In fact, one major flaw didn't even jump out at me until after I finished the book and was trying to sleep last night. It may be a plot spoiler, but here's the niggler: you can't trade body parts between people with different blood types. (And it wouldn't have been noticeable at all if he hadn't made such a big deal about one of the characters being AB neg.) Simple stuff, really, and something that would probably be overlooked, but it got me.
Anyway, like I said, the writing was good enough that the flaws fell by the wayside. They made the first few pages hard to get into, but beyond that they were negligible. All in all, that is a really tough thing to do as a writer - make your writing strong enough to get the reader to ignore the flaws. (Of course, IMO, it would be better to have good writing and no flaws, but you get the drift.)
As I sit here this morning writing this, I'm wondering though. Is 'good enough' really good enough? Shouldn't someone somewhere along the way have pointed out that either an explanation is needed for why the flaw is possible or the flaw needs to be rewritten?
Agents say good writing trumps all. Does it? I guess in this case, it did. And really, the writing was excellent. I'll give Mr. Shusterman that.
Or am I being too anal this morning?
Oh, and once again I'm asking for readers. If you'd like to beta read Blink for me, I'll be happy to exchange crits or throw in a free book from the store. I just need some extra eyes to make sure I'm not committing any unforgiveable sins (like those flaws that drive me nuts). If you're interested, shoot me an email or leave a comment. Thanks.
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