Wednesday, 20 August 2014

But, Damn It, I Love You Sentence

Ever written the best sentence in the world, except the rest of the world seems to hate it?

Yeah, it happens to us all. You think it's witty or interesting, clever or metaphorical, but they think it’s purple prose, confusing, or just don't know what you're on about. The painful thing about writing is that sometimes you have to be selective for the sake of clarity or conciseness.

If you can relate, take a breath and read through these options.

1) Let it go. If your audience has responded negatively to it, then they don’t want it. And you may be writing this book for your children, or best friend, or to prove something to yourself, but you’re also writing it for an audience and that should forever be in your mind.

2) Keep it. Proofreading and reading for comprehension are two completely different processes. You’re asking people to read with a critically mind, and therefore they are looking for problems. Plus, you might find that some people love that line, too.

3) Tweak it. Maybe a more specific pronoun or some italics could help it come across as intended. Some lines just aren't there yet, but they’re still fixable.

And the one I tend to use:

4) Wait for it. You’re not ready to say goodbye just yet, but there’s a little part of you that knows it’s no good. Don’t worry, it’s not permanent yet, and someday you may be able to read it with a more critical mind.

Either which way, your subconscious will be secretly trying to solve the problem for you. Soon you’ll be saying it was no wonder that people didn't like it...Yeah, that happens too.