My favorite t.v. show of the moment is Project Runway. Wednesday night was the season finale, where the four finalists presented their collections at Olympus Fashion Week and one of them won the big prize. ** Warning: Spoilers ahead for those of you behind on your TiVO. **
So out of the final four, I went into it rooting for Michael. I’d loved his work all season and if Kayne, my all time favorite, couldn’t make the final four, Michael was my next choice. Unfortunately, when the pressure was on, he didn’t deliver. I didn’t care much for his stuff at all. Laura’s designs were beautiful, classical, but not remotely innovative. Uli was the biggest surprise, forgoing her typical Miami beachwear for something a little more sophisticated and wearable outside a Caribbean resort.
But the winner was Jeffrey. Ahh...Jeffrey. He could be a jerk. He wasn’t above making family members of other players cry. He was all rock and roll with a tattooed neck and a soft side that you didn’t get to see until you saw him with his son. Love him or hate him, his designs were brilliant, innovative and edgy. You could argue that no woman over 22 would wear his stuff, but half the stuff that goes down the runway or gets put in a fashion magazine is over the top and more art than clothing.
In the end, no one really lost. Yeah, Jeffrey got the $100000 towards starting a line, the car, etc., but the other designers still got their work out there. I have no doubt that we will be hearing from all of those designers again in the future. Really, they all did such different work, it is hard to compare one to the other. If you aren’t a fan of sparkly evening wear, Laura wouldn’t be your favorite, but if you’re all about hip hop fashion, Michael is your guy. It’s subjective. Like writing and writing contests.
Yes, I’m finally bringing this around to writing. I recently saw some copy edits of a friend’s book that she’d gotten back from her publisher. If you’ve never seen these before, I fully recommend you harass a published associate into letting you see one. It was enlightening! As writers, we go to these workshops where editors tell us they are looking for a fresh voice. Unfortunately, that’s not something we can put our arms around, so we start nitpicking the details. Instead of making sure our 12 piece collection is cohesive and fashion forward, we spend hours fiddling with the hems and buttons. Yeah, an unfinished hem, or in our case, a bunch of odd typos may not impress a judge or an editor, but if the outfit shines, the details fall to the wayside. That’s what copy editors are there for. They don’t fix the storyline. They can’t fix your voice. They do fix comma and contraction issues, however, so do your best and let it go.
All this time I’ve been beating my head against a wall for using passive instead of active verbs. I should have been focusing on the story, the voice, the character development. That’s what they’re really looking for. Jeffrey’s pieces were made well, yes, but so were Laura’s. The difference was in the overall picture, the story, the voice. And yes, you may write historicals and your judge hates historicals and might lean more towards contemporary stories. But in the end, if it’s well written, those biases can be overpowered. And if they aren’t, even if you don’t win, you’re getting the exposure. Your name gets out there. You compete until you get better, then eventually, you do win.
So, if you watched PR, who was your favorite designer? I loved Kayne. He was way over the top, more Libarace than Ralph Lauren, but he could dress a woman’s shape like no one else on that show. I also liked Malan, but he was voted off before we could see much of what he could do.
If you didn’t watch, what was your last ‘a-ha’ moment with your writing? They come around now and then, something clicks in your brain and you think – I can’t believe I’ve been doing that all this time! Share yours.