The difference between a shitty 1st draft and something maybe lovely and true is persistence & a friend who'll do a tough, respectful edit.
— ANNE LAMOTT (@ANNELAMOTT) August 23, 2013
My laptop screen has a row of dim spots along the bottom left edge. My kitchen faucet has to be stopped slightly left of center, or else it drips. My air conditioner can’t get lower than 78 in the summertime.
These are the little “quirks” we learn to live with in the things that belong to us. We understand and accept their imperfections. Sometimes we become so accustomed to them that we actually forget they exist, and we certainly don’t think of them as problems.
But for most people, they are. Most people would call my laptop screen and my kitchen sink and my A/C broken. Or at least damaged. They would not want to buy these things in this condition.
Manuscripts can be like this. We writers spend so much time close-up in our stories that we don’t see the problems anymore. The blemishes, the quirks.
That’s why we need good crit partners and trusted readers, people who can act as fresh eyes and give us the truth: Your screen is damaged, your sink is leaky, your air conditioner is pathetic.
That way we know what needs to be fixed.