Pitch Perfect

If you aspire to write, or have taken up the challenge and Named yourself a Writer, here’s a tip for you. You are never going to produce the perfect pitch, query letter, submission package, or manuscript.

This is what the beginning of Chapter 31 the last chapter in my submission should’ve looked like:

“Vian and Lila, Tallem and Liesha decided to wait for Chalone, Pirelle, and Jalemi, whether or not they returned before the Portal collapsed.

The tremors from within the Portal ceased and the sky grew noticeably thicker as thunderclouds drawn by the disaster rolled across the ruins. Silence descended like a lead weight.”

Not bad, I thought as I hit ‘send’, and off it went on its way to the publisher. It was late and I’d read and read and re-read every word, sentence, paragraph and chapter.

Then about a week later as I worked through some of my notes that I take for every chapter, a bit like a blow-by-blow synopsis so I can keep track of the changes I’ve made in the manuscript as I edit, I opened the file called appropriately enough ‘Chapter 31’.

I looked at the first two sentences and this is what I read:

“Vian and Lila, Tallem and Liesha decided to wait for Chalone, Pirelle, and Jalemi, rushed up to, all having, whether or not they returned before the Portal collapsed.

The tremors from within the Portal ceased and the sky grew noticeably thicker as thunderclouds drawn by the disaster rolled across the ruins. Silence descended like a lead weight.”

And you know, I didn’t see it until I’d read that first sentence at least twice.

A few keystrokes and the words are deleted, but how many more are lurking within the pages of Mortal Instinct?

Not many, but at least one more, that I will hopefully catch before it’s read by someone who has the power to decide if my story is publishable. (Apart for the unfortunate editor who will come to that passage in the attachment I so blithely emailed, and have a ‘huh?’ moment – for that I do apologise)

There is a story that someone told me long ago, about a weavers guild in South America, who intentionally place a flaw in the fabric they weave. Because, you see, if a mortal produced perfection, which is strictly the province of the Gods, then the Gods would be angry and would make their lives rather miserable at the very least. So the weavers, being canny folk, and knowing they can indeed produce a perfect piece of cloth, mis-weave a single thread and thus appease the Gods.

We humans understand the concept of perfection, but we choose to be born mortal for this cycle of our existence, (for whatever incomprehensible reasons) and by our very natures weave at least one flaw into every task we accomplish.

Now, this flaw in my manuscript, did I do it on purpose? No, of course not. Will it stop me from striving to write the absolute best I can? Never. Will it serve to remind me that I am mortal, with all that that entails. Oh Yes!

.

“A clumsy bird that flies early will get to the forest first” – Thoughts from an Ancestor

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2 comments on “Pitch Perfect

  1. clarbojahn says:

    The flaw in the fabric also comes to us from the Omish religion. The women purposely sew their quilts with a flaw because only God creates things of perfection. They know they are only human. Thankyou, Clar

    Like

    • Widdershins says:

      I find it interesting that cultures around the world who have/had their roots firmly anchored in the spirit or heart of the land have so many of their traditions in common.

      Like

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