It Doesn’t Work…Yet

I have a card on my board which says, ‘Not there…yet.’ It is a reminder to me that even if what I have written does not work, it may do eventually. There is a chapter in my last book which depends on the reader believing that an elderly woman with memory problems is able to turn a disastrous comedy appearance into a success. When I wrote the first version the feedback was so bad that I felt a bit embarrassed at having presented it. Over a five year period I wrote many versions of it, and earlier this year I got feedback from an agent’s reader to bring some of the spirit of that chapter to other parts of the novel.
I knew one writer whose prose was far better than anything I could write. But no matter how much we praised her, she would say ‘it’s useless, it doesn’t work.’ And it would be discarded, and never seen again.  It always seemed a great pity.

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