Friday, October 26, 2012

Guestopia: Jessica Souders

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What is perfect?
by J. A. Souders

Webster defines it as “being entirely without fault or defect : flawless”. Which leads to the question, what is flawless? Webster again defines this as “an imperfection or weakness and especially one that detracts from the whole or hinders effectiveness.”

Can you see where I’m going with this? Perfection is being without flaws, but a flaw is an imperfection. They define each other, but what really defines either of these? Especially when it comes to people. How is one flawless? Can someone even be flawless?

The answer to that is easy and resounding no. Of course not. Just as “one person’s trash is another’s treasure,” one person’s view of perfection is completely different from someone else’s version.

Why am I bringing this up, besides the fact that perfection plays a huge part in RENEGADE? Because as writers we always want our stories to be perfect. We spend hours making them that way. We make sure every word is right and exactly where we want it. Then we send it off to crit. partners and beta readers for them to tear them all apart, so we can put it back together again and make sure it’s even more perfect. Then we do it all over again. Every time we read through the manuscript we find more flaws. We begin to second guess ourselves, where it gets to the point where we no longer know if we’re fixing it or making it worse.

But I have good news! There is NO SUCH THING AS PERFECTION! No matter how hard you try, you will NEVER make your story perfect. Someone will ALWAYS find flaws and faults. You can’t please everyone.

How is this good news? Because if you go in knowing that perfection doesn’t exist, that no matter what you do, you can’t please everyone, you can give yourself permission to not worry about them. Because eventually there comes that time when trying to make it perfect just becomes procrastination. Or will give you an ulcer. Or both.

We begin using the excuse of making it perfect to not send out the manuscript to agents or editors or even readers. We’re afraid of what they’ll say about it. We’re afraid they won’t like it. Or even worse they’ll hate it. Or when we do get the dreaded negative review, we decide we don’t “ever want to write another book

And, unfortunately, because perfection is different for everyone, someone is going to hate it. But that’s okay, because for every person who hates it, there’s another hundred that will love it. And even when someone writes a horribly mean, snarky review, there’s someone out there who’s writing such a positive and glowing review of it, that it’ll outshine that negative one.

So stop worrying about perfection, because nothing is perfect and beauty is often found in things others thought was flawed.

J.A. Souders was born in the heartland with an overactive imagination and an over abundance of curiosity that was always getting her into trouble. She first began writing at the age of 13, when she moved to Florida and not only befriended the monsters under the bed, but created worlds for them to play together.

Because she never grew up, she decided she’d put her imaginary friends to work and started writing. She still lives in the land of sunshine and palm trees with her husband and their two children. Renegade is her first novel and surfaces November 13, 2012.



Since the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has been trained to be Daughter of the People in the underwater utopia known as Elysium. Selected from hundreds of children for her ideal genes, all her life she’s thought that everything was perfect; her world. Her people. The Law.

But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into their secluded little world, she’s forced to come to a startling realization: everything she knows is a lie. Her memories have been altered. Her mind and body aren’t under her own control. And the person she knows as Mother is a monster.

Together with Gavin she plans her escape, only to learn that her own mind is a ticking time bomb… and Mother has one last secret that will destroy them all.


  1. I will often ruin a project that was 90% perfect, trying to please the 10% that didn't like it.

    I'll spend hours redoing its and then I'll have something that's still only 92% perfect and I'll wonder if it was worth the 20-40 extra hours.

  2. Your post comes at just the right time for me. I have been editing, editing, editing to make my manuscript "perfect". But like you say there really is no such thing as perfect.

    Congratulations on getting your novel published. Good luck with the launch.