Nicola Morgan recently posted a couple of times on the subject of Delusional Wannabees, known as DWs, and I realised I'm certainly one of 'em.
Although in my case I mean Disillusioned Writer as well.
I've been at it now, off and on, for a number of years and I've accumulated a couple of novels, a couple of novellas, a dozen or so longer short stories, a few short stories, and half an autobiography. From the time I started until now I've worked on everything in turn as and when I could to try and polish them into readable stories. All along I've thought they're not good enough yet to try and get them published, and I still think that, and now I realise that unless I DIY them, they never will get published. I've tried to make them read as smoothly as possible and I'm pretty sure I've done that OK, but .....
The few oddbods who have read anything have always said, with no exceptions, that they liked them, and "You know, you should get this published." They of course have been non expert ordinary readers, and they don't realise just what they're saying, but the thought occurred to me that there is a big difference between readers and experts.
I'm sure most readers don't mind the odd cliché, adverb, repetition, long sentence and so on, they just read the story, but if I sent anything off it would be returned pretty sharpish because I'm positive I haven't found them all when polishing. I read a comment on another blog somewhere about a guy who read a heavily self promoted self published book and thought it was absolute crap, chock full of all the usual errors, only to then discover that Harper Collins had taken it up! Get experts to read J.K.Rowling or Dan Brown and they'll tell you about all the boo-boos and no-nos and yet look what happened to them.
In thinking about my stuff I've also realised that, no matter how polished I make them, they're not good enough stories. Ordinary people in unusual circumstances just about covers most of them, and they're all plot driven, and these days that's not fashionable, so do I keep on keeping on or what? Do I try and make the characters more memorable, try to bring in a romantic sub plot, stick in as many witticisms as I can think of, scatter similes left right and centre, or do I just give it all up as a bad job and spend my time reading instead.
By the way, what's on the telly tonight, anything worth watching?