So, the other week I was making a pie.
This wasn’t just any pie. This was my first living on my own I am a grown up and I can dress myself just fine pie. I sliced and diced things* and was basically acing FIRST-PIE-CLASS. I don’t mean to brag but if there had been grades, or even actually a class, at the point of its construction I would have been given 785 points for style, taste, creativity, attention to detail and even safety.**
Alas, it was not to be.
Through a weird twist of fate, and kind of a long story, I ended up accidentally*** coating the behemoth pie in a interesting milk-glue mixture. The milk was entirely deliberate, the glue I only found out later when I went to drink the remaining milk (waste not etc etc) and had my taste-buds confronted with… well with glue. It took me so long to realise what the taste was that I’d actually already swallowed the concoction before I looked down at the brush I had been using to coat the pie and remembered how that was one of my many arts and crafts brushes and not for consumption purposes
Soooo, that is the last time I leave art supplies in the cutlery drawer.
Anyway. Aside from the fact that for days later I kept tasting glue at odd moments, and no amount of water or face pulling would wash it away, I think it taught me something about novels too. Everything can be hunky dory, and look perfect, but that doesn’t mean it is. And that’s why we need readers! To keep us on track and say things like, “Ummm, that brush kind of smells funny are you sure you want to use it?” and, “When was the last time you checked your cutlery for glue related residue?” etc etc except in literary terms this means helping to perfect a story. This means making sure a WIP scores 785 points all the way through, and doesn’t accidentally get covered in foul glue in the last few pages.
And that’s why we need crit partners/alpha readers/readers in general. To stop us putting something weird in our writing accidentally because we’re just super excited to finish. To stop us from making a metaphorical glue pie and not really knowing what to do with it because it definitely tastes of glue and putting it in the bin is tricksy.
Do you have readers? Find them useful? Need readers? What’s the story?
Let’s make sure we all focus on the reading part and not the fact I am basically the kid that sits at the back of the class and eats glue. Haha. I think it’s also pretty important to be our own readers, by the by, and write what we would want to read. I always feel what I am doing is very ON if it is something I wish I could have read as a teen.
*most importantly not my fingers.
** a very rare occurrence for me, I’m not sure I’ve ever used the oven ala onsie and not been burnt.
*** now, I know you’re thinking who does it on purpose? but I just wanted to clarify that I’m not crazy, just horribly inept.