Girls Write Out
Friday, August 06, 2010


So thanks to YouTube, I taught myself to knit. As you can see by the big HOLES in my little scarf, I'm not very good. As I'm now editing my book, A Billion Reasons Why, it dawned on me how each new skill requires another new skill. Writing requires working with others who see your plot holes, and then it's your job to go in and fill them. To make a pretty, smooth manuscript that a publisher wants to publish.

It's not unlike knitting. Everyone sees the holes. They stand out. The difference is, for a knitting hole, you have to go in and rip out a whole bunch of stitches. Editing can be like this, but I know how to fix it. I know the characters, I know what I'm doing, I only need a pair of fresh eyes and a skilled editor to tell me what isn't working. Everyone can see what isn't working on the scarf, but the difference is, I don't care enough to fix it. It's a scarf. It has a hole in it, get over it.

With the scarf, people will just assume I'm unskilled and learning. With a book, people will assume I'm stupid or worse, don't care enough to fix it so I see it as God's work. Ouch! Maybe that's why I find the strength to fix the plot holes. Which, if you're looking for advice, can always be fixed with motive. If you don't have a motive for why your character acts a certain way, you have a plot hole. So always be thinking motive if something isn't working. People do idiotic things. We don't question that. We question WHY they do idiotic things. Give us the answer, and you have filled your plot hole.

Example: Why did Mel Gibson rant against Jews, when he works with the most Jewish population there is -- Hollywood? Answer: drunken binge, Nazi-raised father, bipolar??? Take your pick. They all work. They fill in the hole.

The other major issue in plot holes? Consequences. There are consequences to our stupid actions. Case in point? Michelle Obama took a glitzy vacation. Now, she is under fire for ignoring a state warning for African-Americans traveling to Spain, but also for the apparent HIGH cost for the trip, which is seen as a Marie Antoinette move when most of our country is struggling to make ends meet (see the article here
http://news.rediff.com/report/2010/aug/06/michelle-obama-compared-to-marie-antoinette.htm

So, now, if we were writing, we could create a motive. Michelle is revenge-spending for the country getting her husband on his birthday (making this up, don't get all political on me!) and she's telling him, dude, you better pay attention to me, or I will get the country to pay attention to my actions, and it will cost you. NOW we have the consequences next. Obama has to explain why he can't control the spending in his own house. Obama has to explain to critics why Michelle needed this trip, and if he's smart, Obama will pony up the cost for his wife's gaffe and tell the American public they're not paying for it.

So now, I'm back to fix my own plot holes. The knitting holes will stay.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Kristin  
posted at 1:13 PM  
  Comments (12)
 
 
Delicious Delicious
12 Comments:
At 1:38 PM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

Oh my goodness, this is a GREAT post, K!! And I think you're doing a super job on your knitting!!!

Really good explanation on the pot holes, motives and consequences. And since I haven't heard the news for a couple of days, I think I'll look it up now. :-)

 
At 3:59 PM, Blogger Elizabeth Byler Younts said...

Terrific post! Love all of your explanations and relating it to LEARNING! So many people assume that writing is automatic...not a craft...not something that can be learned. Oh boy, are they wrong. There might be something natural about it to some degree...but it is still a craft that has a huge learning curve.

Again, great post!

 
At 4:56 PM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

You are so right, Elizabeth! Great post, K!

 
At 5:04 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

The bad thing about writing, is the more you learn, the more you realize how much more you HAVE to learn. That part gets a little disturbing, but it's also good because there is always something to strive for, so that keeps motivation up. : )

 
At 5:26 PM, Blogger Tonya said...

Awesome post Kristin! I love the analogies! I want to be a writer so that was encouraging BUT i also taught myself to knit and crochet. I get the frustration, it's hard at first but don't give up. Soon it'll be second nature and you could do it with your eyes closed!
After I conquered knitting, I started crocheting and am
now learning thread crochet so I can make these earrings!
IMG_0159.JPG
after five years of knitting and crocheting my practice earrings have more than a few plot holes....these are not simple

 
At 6:23 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

Tonya, your picture didn't show up. Send it to me please at KrisBeck@aol.com I'm anxious to see it. My church coffee shop has a group that meets on Saturday morning to knit, so I will get better and work at it, but I wanted to just keep going while editing, and work on it without thinking. I'd love to be able to make something eventually.

 
At 6:24 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 8:16 PM, Blogger christa said...

Great post. I couldn't find the link to the article...

 
At 8:54 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

I tried another link. The first one showed up, I don't know why it wasn't there. Hmmm. Anyway, the article is there now.

 
At 5:39 PM, Blogger Rachel Hauck said...

Great post, Kristin. Knitting holes can be explained as "that's they way it supposed to look."

Plot holes, not so much! :)

Man, You Tube is amazing!

Rachel

 
At 1:06 PM, Blogger Katy McKenna said...

I WAS looking for advice and didn't even know it till you supplied such a great answer regarding plot holes and how to fill them. Thanks, K!

Now, as to holes in knitting: Back in the Jesus freak era, I taught myself to knit from a book. My grandma tried to teach me but gave up do to my persistent left-handedness. Eventually, I gave up trying to find a physical teacher and learned right-handed from a book. I made some small items and then decided to tackle a full-size ripple afghan for the guy I just KNEW would eventually fall in love with me, Doug.

At a Bible study one night, while Doug played guitar and led us in worship and we all sat around on the floor, a chick asked if she could see my knitting. I handed her the circular needle with about a 12" long afghan in making, closed my eyes, and continued to enjoy my future husband's music.

She tapped me on the arm a minute later, handed it back to me, and I very nearly keeled over. She'd accidentally (she never even realized it!) pulled both sides of the circular needle out from the stitches and managed to unravel inches of the afghan!!!!!

I realized right then I there that I was made to CROCHET. These things cannot happen to those who crochet. There's an analogy in here somewhere relating to my ability to fix my own writing, but we won't go THERE.

 
At 1:07 PM, Blogger Katy McKenna said...

I WAS looking for advice and didn't even know it till you supplied such a great answer regarding plot holes and how to fill them. Thanks, K!

Now, as to holes in knitting: Back in the Jesus freak era, I taught myself to knit from a book. My grandma tried to teach me but gave up do to my persistent left-handedness. Eventually, I gave up trying to find a physical teacher and learned right-handed from a book. I made some small items and then decided to tackle a full-size ripple afghan for the guy I just KNEW would eventually fall in love with me, Doug.

At a Bible study one night, while Doug played guitar and led us in worship and we all sat around on the floor, a chick asked if she could see my knitting. I handed her the circular needle with about a 12" long afghan in making, closed my eyes, and continued to enjoy my future husband's music.

She tapped me on the arm a minute later, handed it back to me, and I very nearly keeled over. She'd accidentally (she never even realized it!) pulled both sides of the circular needle out from the stitches and managed to unravel inches of the afghan!!!!!

I realized right then I there that I was made to CROCHET. These things cannot happen to those who crochet. There's an analogy in here somewhere relating to my ability to fix my own writing, but we won't go THERE.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home



The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

www.KristinBillerbeck.com

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

www.ColleenCoble.com

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

www.DeniseHunterBooks.com

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

www.DiannHunt.com

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

www.HannahAlexander.com

 
Subscribe
Enter your Email


Powered by FeedBlitz