Daily Archives: December 20, 2010

Weak Writing–when it all crashes down

Diehard football fans already know that the Metrodome in Minneapolis caved in last weekend.  Others married to diehard football fans are likely in the loop as well.  The footage was amazing and if you haven’t had the chance to see it yet, I recommend checking it out.

Not necessarily for the historical value, but rather for the writing metaphor that it captures.  This decades old sports arena simply could not uphold the weight of the snow storm.  Whether the construction had a flaw or the integrity had simply deteriorated over time, the pressure of the accumulating inches  was too much.

Often we construct stories based on a character, a theme or an inciting incident.  We may fail to truly consider the intricate structure needed to support an entire, cohesive body of words.  Topping it off may be poor mechanics, poor character development, gaping plot holes or any number of flaws that can create the roof of our story to cave in under the pressure of close scrutiny.

This past week, volunteers were paid to shovel the heavy snow that had filled the arena.  For those unfamiliar with shoveling snow, it is back-breaking work.  It makes you sweat.  Your nose drips.  Your fingers freeze and your toes turn to blocks of ice.  Sometimes when I’m done shoveling I want to vomit.

I feel that way with editing sometimes. 

Do you?  Have you ever written a manuscript that can’t stand up to the tight market?  If so, have you shoveled out the slush, cleaned it up a bit and pushed forward with the shell?  Or, have you trunked the whole thing and started on a new manuscript, leaving behind the rubble of hard work and dreams?