“Do you grind them?”
The question threw me. It was my first craft show, first time selling my pieces of sea glass jewelry and she was a veteran. Was I doing something wrong?
Should I be grinding the sea glass? Smoothing out those rough spots, the dents, the imperfections? Would I sell more?
Carved from the same tumbling sea forces, nature took what was discarded trash and created art. There are no two identical pieces of real sea glass.
The imperfections speak of their uniqueness, give them their beauty and strength.
Make them memorable.
Perfection has one grave defect: it is apt to be dull. W. Somerset Maugham
The same applies to the characters in the stories we love.
Would we have been so fascinated with Katniss if she weren’t so protective of the ones she loved?
Would we still be crying out “Oh, Mr. Darcy!” for another hundred years if he and Elizabeth did not let their pride keep them apart.
Flaws serve to add depth and conflict, establish empathy, and make the character more memorable. MJ Bush, WritinGeekery (www.writingeekery.com/flaw/).
I keep my sea glass just as I found them along the shoreline, flaws and all. Those flaws inspire the design and I let them guide me into creating something beautiful and unique.
And as I revise (yet again) my middle grade novel, I am focusing on my own characters’ flaws and how their imperfections will shape and guide the story.
If only I could see my own flaws as my strength…