Friday, April 8, 2011

H is for... Holes

Holes. There are all kinds of holes in a writer's life, so I felt that this was an appropriate word for the letter 'H'. I was going to write about horror, but since I don't read or write much horror, it seemed a little stupid.

Holes loom large in my life at the moment. There's a hole in the side of my house where the workmen started work then disappeared for 6 weeks, It's right behind my desk where I write, and with freezing cold winds this week, working here hasn't been that pleasant.

And what have I been working on? Fixing plot holes. My dear critique partner, Laura, sent me notes on three chapters last weekend and pointed out a huge logic flaw I hadn't considered. So I've spent most of the week trying to fill that hole, and sprinkle hints of another plot point earlier in the MS.

I hope what I've done works, and I haven't dug myself deeper into a hole. Which is also possible. You can write yourself into a corner sometimes, and no matter what you do, you just get in deeper. That's when you really need to leave it alone for a while. Sometimes you just need to lose the scene, find some other way to get your characters from point a to point c. Other times, leaving it alone is enough to bring a new perspective to the scene in question, an that can dig you out of the hole.

And of course the most dangerous hole is that dark pit of despair. That one can really be hard to get out of. But I think all writers have those. You tumble in when the rejections keep piling up, you can't find the right way to express the thoughts in your head, when your characters just won't do what it is they need to do to drive the story forward. Or when you can't seem to write anything. Sometimes that happens. And you need to walk away, Do something else for a while. The writing will always be there, but if you're dragging yourself to the computer with a black cloud hanging over you, you're probably better off doing something fun. If you think you suck, chances are, you'll write something sucky, and that's just going to make you feel worse.

What holes have you dealt with recently?


  1. I can relate; I just had a few rejection and was treated different than a friend of mine. It send me down a rabbit hole. I haven't functioned right for a couple days, then decided enough of that.
    Had me some tea and started making things again.
    No mad tea parties, but I would give it ago. I see the other side of the rejection coin. My husband says I need a shark suit to endure it. He may be right... I hope your holes are filled and your soul is happy(had to use a H word)

  2. I have a good friend, and for me that is a rare thing, who recently encouraged me to keep writing. She said the best writer's are those who simply keep writing regardless of whether they are rejected or not. I took that to heart and I haven't stopped writing since. The was a point in my life when I did let rejection stop me. I froze up for quite a while. I was depressed and miserable. Once I began writing again my happiness returned. I am trying to just focus on writing mainly as an outlet for my creativity. If I am rejected by someone for something I write I am going to resolve to just continue on. Life is too short to dwell on rejection.

  3. I can totally understand. I've just started the querying process and I have to tell myself that one rejection is one person's opinion. Luckily I have a fantastic crit group to help pull me out of the hole.

  4. And Holes is also the title of an excellent book, one of my favorites. The movie was pretty dang good too.

  5. Great post! The holes in my life center around my writing style and voice. As a novice writer, I'm still learning and developing, so my writing tends to lack what it needs to engage the reader and present a strong story. Good luck with the challenge!