Holes in the Highway

file2431291017257My latest story I’m working on has to do with a ranch, a highway, and hope. It’s been fun to write, even though I know it will have to be reworked here and there after I get it back from my first-readers. As an author, I get super close to my story and I’ll admit, I get trapped into certain ideas and can’t see beyond what I write at times. That’s when it’s nice to have others read it and give me their honest feedback to help me climb out of certain holes where my story catches and makes readers fall.

Readers describe those writing ‘holes’ in different ways.

  • I can’t get beyond this part. (a reader whirlpool–hole in the water)
  • This part tripped me up and confused me. (A pothole)
  • This part took me out of the story (uh-oh. Big dangerous hole that will make a reader shut my book and never finish)
  • This character irked me. I didn’t like them. (When this is my main character, that comment means my reader found a huge hole full of snakes. Ick!)
  • The character seemed weak here. (a ditch that can carry a good character down the stream to failure)

I haven’t received all comments back yet, but I already know my story will have lots of these holes I’ll need to fill in and fix so I don’t make you as a reader have to dig yourself out of a sub-par crummy story. That is why my first-readers are priceless and I consider them my dearest friends. They read my rough first version and find all my holes I’m too blind to see and too calloused to feel myself falling into after reading it so many times. I thank them from the bottom of my heart for helping me apply first aid to my baby. They are the first-responders…the ones who apply triage and decide what sections in my story are in the direst need of medical attention.

Now, on a more personal note…I have several holes in my life that are fixing up quite nicely.

  1. My missionary daughter comes home one week from today from Korea. I haven’t seen her in 19 months (besides skyping her on Christmas and Mother’s Day). The hole in my heart that has been missing her will be filled.
  2. The trial I was to serve on as a juror just got a continuance and I was dismissed…which means August is now free to make plans. The hole of ‘limbo land’ I had planned on living in during the trial is now boarded up so I can do things with said daughter instead of going into court each day. Double Yea!!
  3. The hole in my fence where wasps were making a nest was annihilated today. Bless those pest control businesses that make wasp spray. I’m sick of getting stung every time I pick berries.

Whether you’re writing or walking through your daily routine, you’ll come upon holes that need fixing. Sometimes you see them ahead of time and can fill ’em in nicely before they become a problem. Other times, you might fall in them and get bruised up a bit (I feel that way with my story…and the dang wasps). But the silver lining is that holes can be filled and smoothed over. They’re not insurmountable. Have a great weekend!

char sig heart




20 thoughts on “Holes in the Highway

  1. Early readers are invaluable, no doubt. It’s not an easy job for them. We want to read fiction for enjoyment, but beta reading turns it more into work. So they are wonderful to give up their time like that.

    Great news about your daughter and the jury duty. Sounds like August will be wonderful. Enjoy!

    • Thanks, Carrie. It is true that beta readers have hard work. It’s uncomfortable to tell a writer what’s wrong with the work…but better to speak up front before it goes to press and everyone in the world poopoos their book. That would be even more uncomfortable.

  2. Good post! So glad you get to see your daughter soon. I can imagine how excited you must be! You also must be very proud of her.
    If you need a reader, I’m very willing. Love your writing and always happy to help you out.
    Glad you’re using first readers. I know my critique groups really make a difference in my writing. Plus, their discussion of my writing gives me great ideas.

    • I might need to use you as a reader on the second go-around…so I don’t annoy my first readers by making them 2nd and 3rd readers. Hee hee. I do that to a couple people, but they have to really like me or I burn them out (right?)

  3. How Exciting to have your daughter home 🙂

    There are all types of holes that is for sure! I just buried a hole in going from contractor to a permanent employee in mid-August. Then I can work on joining a gym and finally start house hunting again this Fall.

    Happy Weekend – Enjoy!

    • Yep, it’s super exciting! And your news is exciting too. Great hole to be filled. Good luck with the permanent status. I hope that’s fun for you…and house hunting. That’s fun too.

  4. I love that picture of the long road (there’s just something about roads leading off into the distance…)

    First readers are gold. They can pick up so many things that we just can’t see, you’re very lucky to have a good group of them.

    It’s wonderful your daughter is coming home – you must be SO excited! 😀

    • So, so, so excited!!! I hope I don’t smother her with my love and attention too much when she gets home. She might want some distance–hee hee. I loved looking through pictures of highways. This was one of my favorites.

  5. Sorry to tell you Char, but this post is full of holes. Haha! (Yes, I am my own best audience).

    I remember you posting about your daughter going away, I can’t believe it’s been 19 months already, how exciting! 🙂

  6. I found a strong handful of early readers, and I would be lost without them. Basically, I’d be in one deep hole!! Good luck as you continue with your book.

    Have fun when your daughter comes home!

  7. That’s fantastic that you’ll be able to spend time with your daughter instead of a courtroom! Such a more pleasant way to spend the time. 🙂

    Those early readers are priceless. I can so easily leave those potholes, whirlpools, and ditches in the story. As you say, it’s so much better to find out about them and fix them before publishing!

    • Yes, it is. It’d be pretty embarrassing if we just published without a lot of revising from our first readers first. And thanks. I’m glad I’ll be able to spend time with my daughter too. 3 more days now!!!

  8. I’m really late to the party. Sorry about that! We had company for a long weekend and I’m finally back to real life–after catching up on some much needed sleep. I’m reading your book, Charissa, and now that my life has returned to normal, I’ll be quicker. So far, I have a few comments, but I’m waiting to see how the book plays out. I feel like I can’t comment until I read the entire book and see where you are going with everything. Does that make sense? Really enjoying it so far!
    I hope you have a WONDERFUL time with your daughter! Congrats to her for fulfilling a mission! That’s awesome!

    • 2 more days now till daughter arrives. It’s hard to focus on much else right now. Thanks for reading, and I have a few things I’m wanting to change about the story already too, but am forcing myself to wait until all comments come back to me in case there are other things that are pointed out that I need to revise as well.

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