Friday, February 24, 2012
The Goldilocks Factor
You remember the story. A little girl comes upon a house in the forest. She knocks, no one answers, and the door is unlocked. Inside, everything is too something—too hot or too cold, too big or too small, too long or too short. She keeps trying and eventually what she finds is just right.
There are hundreds of ways The Goldilocks Factor plays out in real life—you drop those extra 10 pounds and your face looks too thin, your resume is too long or too short and on job interviews you have too much or too little experience, your hair is too frizzy or too straight—the color too subtle or too loud, your politics are too conservative or too liberal, your new beau finds you too needy or too independent.
As a writer I can really relate.
I pour my soul onto the page and share my writing with critique partners and readers for feedback. One says my main character is too resilient, another calls her too passive—a wimp. One says there is too little action, while a friend on the other side of the pond in Scotland feels there is too much brickbats drama—it almost drove her to drink.
And then there is the feedback from agents. One writes that she is drawn to the strength of the main character, but found too little plot. In the very same week after reading the very same
manuscript, another says there is great dramatic arc, but the protagonist is too flat.
It helps to be reminded that The Help was rejected 60 times before it found a home. Translation—publishing experts said it had too much or too little something 60 times before millions of readers and movie goers declared the story JUST RIGHT.
So what is a writer (or fill in the blank here) to do?
Remember the moral of Goldilocks’s story. Do not give up—keep doing the footwork. Eventually like Goldilocks, you will find the (weight/job/color/agent/publisher/platform/beau) that is JUST RIGHT for you.
So what is this writer to do? Just Write.