Inspiration and Creation meet Perfection at the Intersection Named 'The Story'

G Mitchell Baker
Published on: 30th June 2014
The aspiring author has heard something to the effect that while writing fiction the story mattered more than anything else does; 'The Story' perhaps the result of the inspiration and creativity of an aspiring author.

Then, the aspiring author decided to express, to communicate 'The Story' to others, only to ask, "Why are there 'the keepers of the door to the publishing world' who may well demand perfection of my story? Is there 'perfection' in my communication of the written fiction to be achieved at all cost, lest the door to the publishing world be barred given imperfection?" The aspiring author decided to investigate what should be reasonable expectation when inspiration and creation meet perfection at the intersection named 'The Story'.

He found 'inspiration' to be the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. (Middle English (in the sense 'divine guidance'): via Old French from Late Latin inspiration (n-), from the verb inspirare (see inspire)). In addition, the aspiring author learned that 'creation' is also a process- the action or process of bringing something into existence. (Middle English: via Old French from Latin creatio(n-), from the verb creare.) Then there was the definition of 'perfection' - the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects. (Middle English (in the sense 'completeness'): via Old French from Latin perfectio (n-), from perficere 'to complete'). What the author found of interest was that 'inspiration' and 'creativity' were 'processes', while 'perfection' was a 'condition, state, or quality.' He was curious, given the notion that 'inspiration' and 'creativity' may have 'flaws or defects'. If so, is 'The Story', when presented for publication, subjected to the imposition of 'perfection' at the expense of 'The Story' being barred from publication? Since when did the condition of 'perfection' become part of the processes of 'inspiration' and 'creativity'?

The bias of the aspiring author was that 'perfection' is not essential to the process of 'inspiration' and 'creativity' when writing fiction. The author also surmised that it is important to consider everything offered in the present context of self-publishing and the increased independence of published stories. From this context, the author then considered whether the author should remain the subject of the condition of 'perfection' of 'the keepers of the door to the publishing world', or should the author place all confidence in 'The Story'. Should the author avoid the draconian and, perhaps, archaic condition precedent of 'perfection' when the next generation of more independent authors move ahead to hold out their 'inspiration' and 'creativity' for all public to read?

The aspiring author pondered, and then reflected upon some public comment he'd read about an article 'Exclamation Marks and Inspiration for Consideration by Aspiring Authors',
inspiration and creation meet perfection,the story
So well put. As someone who's listened to too many writers' voices, only to realize I was stomping on my own creativity, I love what you've written here. Thank you. Comment of Diana Stevan. 9 January at 19:51

In the same comment stream, there was written, 'Well, I'll share this with you; agents and editors, the keepers of the door to the publishing world don't like them. They consider them a sign of a new writer, also a lazy writer. If you want to be taken seriously, don't write like you're still in high school passing notes. "I think he likes me!!!!" Exclamation points tell, they don't show, a big no-no in literature. They're called screamers in the UK. That's quite telling right there.' Comment of Jody Lebel . High School Of Commerce 11 January at 08:11

The aspiring author was intrigued with the comments. One comment focused on the internal process of inspiration and creativity, while the other appeared to focus on the generality of what the author perceived as pre-condition or condition of perfection. This exchange stirred the author to consider further, this intersection of inspiration, creativity, and perfection. In fact, this exchange reminded him of a quote he came across about thirty years earlier.

There are, to use the words of F. Th. Vischer, 'Subject Matter Specialists', and 'Interpretative Specialists'. The fact greedy gullet of the former can be filled only with legal documents, statistical worksheets and questionnaires, but he is insensitive to the refinement of a new idea. The gourmandize of the latter dulls his taste for facts by ever new intellectual subtleties. That genuine artistry which among the historians, ranked possessed in such grand measure, manifests itself through its ability to produce new knowledge by interpreting already known facts according to known viewpoints." Max Weber. (*)

The aspiring author was next pondering what he recalled about The Shining by Stephen King. In this case the author believed it had to be about 'The Story' and not 'perfection' elsewise 'The Story' would have been barred at the 'door to the publishing world'. The author considered what he'd read. For example, Jack and Wendy's first car... In chapter 6 it said their first car was a five-year-old Buick. However, in chapter 32 King wrote that Jack traded his Honda in on a Saab shortly after he met Wendy. So was the first car a Saab? Then there was the occasion when Jack drove with his family to the Overlook and it said in Chapter 8 he stopped at a vantage point and stepped on the emergency brake. The trouble is no Volkswagen has ever had a foot-operated emergency brake. Then the date of the opening ball was 29th of August 1945, but in the paper, it stated, incorrectly, '1947'. Even later, an article said that Derwent owned the Overlook from 1946 to 1952 when the opening was 1945. Robert Watson built it in 1907, but later, the story read 1917 ... was it reopened in 1917? The aspiring author considered what 'the keepers of the door to the publishing world' did or did not do once Stephen King offered his 'inspiration' and 'creativity' to intersect with 'perfection'? Where was the pre-condition of perfection to bar 'The Story'? The author considered how 'The Story' had not been barred, the public enjoyed 'The Story' and now there was the modern solution of reporting any typo or error in one of Stephen's works using the form the reader could find at It appeared the 'keepers of the door to the publishing world' did not bar Stephen King, as argued for in the latter Comment above. Nor was any information used to block or undermine 'The Story'. Instead, King's potential and opportunity for inspiration and creativity was enjoyed by the public and 'The Story' prevailed, with a loyal following actually encouraged to join King at the intersection of inspiration, creativity, and perfection given the apparent alternative to the 'keepers of the door to the publishing world' simply refusing 'The Story' provided conditions less than perfect.

Another example considered by the aspiring author was the poem "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer" by John Keats. The poet referred to Cortez "discovering" the Pacific Ocean in America. Balboa was the discoverer, not Cortez. The aspiring author had read this 'mistake' was intentional and added somehow to the poem's message, but he refused this notion. He refused, because when he researched his second novel he came across credible evidence that Keats had misrepresented a Greek Myth in a poem and that the popularity of the poem effectively changed the ancient mythology through that less than perfect act. Now, the aspiring author suspected, the Keatsian scholar, and 'keeper of the door to the publishing world' held a stake in making Keats look good and had ignored the call for perfection in order to tolerate Keats blunder. Can it be 'The Story' mattered more than anything else, and that 'perfection' may be a goal, but not a condition precedent for excluding 'The Story' from its potential to attain its own character with time?
The aspiring author decided to himself, the 'keepers of the doors to the publishing world' seem to insist on a purpose, when the process of inspiration and creativity shift to the communication and presentation of a work to the public. However, no one Keeper seemed to argue that King or Keats ever produced works that were not presentable to the public. Was it possible that the notion there should be a condition, state or quality of perfection, is a selective or perhaps even an illusory condition?

For the aspiring author, there seemed to be no evidence that the 'keepers of the door to the publishing world' ignored the work of King or Keats, or, withheld the work from the public in the name of some unattained condition precedent of perfection. Rather, 'The Story' prevailed and so the question, in this day of self-publishing and independently published eBooks, could be asked, "Is it not in keeping with the treatment of the works mentioned, that the next great story should be determined by the public, whether blemished or not? Is it not 'The Story', rather than the censorship by 'the keepers of the doors to the publishing world' that should be valued?"

There are the imperfections in Shakespeare (Julius Caesar and the confusion of 'Roman' (water) clocks sounding), and of Doyle's writing certain of the Sherlock Holmes stories (e.g., 'The Speckled Band', a snake was trained by a whistle and drinks milk). There was no barring these works at the door of the publishing world. Instead, they became classics in their own right despite, and for example, Isaac Asimov's short article about some of Doyle's errors in the area of chemistry. Does this not beg the question, "Was the genius in publishing these works to fall to those preoccupied with the condition of 'perfection', or those who remained appreciative of the inspiration and creativity that made up 'The 'Story'?

The aspiring author contemplated his place at the intersection of inspiration, creativity, and perfection and considered a direction to turn. The author chose not to let anything get between his 'Story' and his readers, as he believed King, Keats, and Doyle proceeded in the same direction as well. The author believed 'The Story' was far more important than any justification the 'keepers of the doors to the publishing world' could argue for the condition of 'perfection'. He considered how in this time of self-publishing and the independent publishing, there would be those who emerge in their own right and while holding in disregard, the pre-condition of 'perfection'. The aspiring author was in fact inspired to seek out his public, regardless of any flaw, exposed by any "...keeper of the doors..." positioned at the intersection of 'inspiration', 'creativity' and 'perfection'.

Not only did the aspiring author now believe the condition of 'perfection' potentially illusory, the author also believed the public would continue to select its next generation of venerable stories with a keen interest on the inspiration and creativity and not so much the condition of 'perfection'. After all, for the inspiration and creativity of the aspiring author to be distracted by some notion of 'perfection', may well be the end of 'The Story', if the preoccupation is whether the inspiration and creativity was to appeal to the 'Subject Matter Specialists' or the 'Interpretative Specialists', or perhaps, even a combination of the mind-sets.

"Is this why there are the 'keepers of the doors to the publishing world'," the aspiring author contemplated. Is this simply the discussion every time 'The Story', the result of 'inspiration' and 'creativity', meets with the condition of 'perfection' at the intersection that should always be named 'The Story'?

(*) I found this quote on Professor Gordon Fern's bulletin board at the University of Alberta in 1984. The quote posted by Mr. David Brown, Teaching Assistant in 1984 was with the attribution to Max Weber, the German social philosopher.
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