My 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.
- 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.
- 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!!
- 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!