Editors have “pet peeves” the way certain old ladies have “pet cats” — we’re demented, sure, but also kind of endearing.
So says Gregory Cowles in the New York Times blog Paper Cuts. He says some other interesting things in a short post titled "Perfect," and asks commenters whether they have ever read a perfect novel.
I haven't. Even in the greatest books, there's always something that feels wrong or at least, not enough, somehow. Your mileage may vary. (Give us a shout if it does. I'm interested in hearing which novels people believe are perfect.)
By the way, as I read that post I happened to be listening to some Howie Day tunes and was humming along with "Perfect Time of Day," which is a pretty good song for a sunny Monday morning.
And about this post's title... "Oh, now that's just perfect!" was the first line of my first book.
My regular column is up today at Romancing the Blog. Here's an excerpt:
Why do so many readers expect fictional characters to behave in predictable ways? And why are those people so upset when the characters surprise them? Don’t real people often act out of character? Surely it’s not for the reader to decide which thoughts, speech, or actions constitute character violations for a novel’s protagonists. The sole authority on what is or is not in character for a given character is the author who created that character.
Here's hoping all of you No rules readers have a perfect week. Or at least, something very close to it.