Monday, January 21, 2013

It's in the Details

There you are. 


The words flow.

It's a happy day!

After while, you pause. 

And lean closer to the computer screen
You squint, and think, 

Should I use that or which in this instance? 
Who put that twist in the plot?

Should I place a comma there?

Is that active voice? Or passive? 

What IS passive voice, anyway?

Wait, no. That wasn't in the outline. 

And then...
It hits you.

You feel like you're tangled in a ball of twine.  

Does this ever happen to you? What do you do? 

Depending on the extent of untangling needed, I pray, consult resources, take a break, or ask another writer for input. Or all of the above. 

After all, writers need to be expert un-tanglers, don't we?

As challenging as this aspect of writing is, I believe it's important.


Because it provides the opportunity to persevere. And this is key to reaching the finish line. 

It also stretches thinking skills, and teaches us new things.

The details, whether grammar, content, or otherwise - when properly attended to, help our writing shine.

So if you're feeling tangled over details today, take heart. It's all meant to take us to a better writing place.

Do details get you down? What helps you work out the tangles

Happy writing,


Photo credit:  Stock Exchange 


  1. Haha, well... it's my guess we can ALL relate to this.
    I usually write in a flow when it hits me and do not worry about details or style or mistakes. Once the story is out of my head into the computer I'll start fiddling, untangling... rewriting and editing.

  2. I'm in the details now and so thankful for a good writing partner who sees many things I don't.

  3. I write first then amend mistakes later.


  4. It makes us grow!
    Usually a test reader or critique partner help with my knots.

  5. When I get tangled, I have to go back and untangle and edit right away. I can't go forward until I fix it.

  6. Details and I are not friends. LOL I usually don't see the tangles and they have to be pointed out, I think. lol

  7. Marja,
    Yeah, I think we can in one way or another! :) But we get there, and learn much, don't we?

    I know, another set or two of eyes is a great help, isn't it? :)

    Now see, I'd like to have your fortitude for that. I have a tendency to stop too often and look over things. :)

    So true! I love my writing friends too, they help with those tangles.

    Me too. And it depends on what it is, some things I can let rest, others I must tackle (or untangle!). :)

    Ha - I hear you! But after reading your book, I think I can attest to you getting the tangles out! :)

    Happy writing,

  8. Oh, yes. The details do tend to weigh me down, especially during revisions. Thanks for the upbeat post!

  9. Emily,
    Sometimes revisions can seem daunting because of this, don't they? But we keep plugging along, right? :)

    Well, I didn't realize I was, but as long as you don't mind! :)

    I am and I'm not - just depends on when you ask me! LOL :)

    Happy writing,

  10. Hi Karen...If I'm getting really tangled in the writing process, I take a break....go make supper or clean the floor. By the time I come back more refreshed, it usually rolls along quite smoothly. Susan

  11. Yep. The writing IS the details. What stops me though is not details but doubts. Is this good enough more than is this RIGHT.

  12. Susan,
    Sounds like a good plan! I need to do that with my kitchen floor the next time I am tangled. It could use it! :)

    Ah, now see, there's another good point. Perhaps another post? I wrestle with that one too. :)


  13. Haha, I do all of the above, too! I also visit the fridge or the cookie jar. I need to stop doing both. Which reminds me, I need to bake more cookies.

    Have a super day, Karen.

  14. It's like that old saying, you sometimes can't see the forest for the trees. :)

  15. These are good ways to untangle a knot. I get tangles in my life a lot lately. The Lord is helping me to take steps such as you suggest to get through them. And you are right, at the other end there is a sense of overcoming.

  16. I love first drafts. Then, I discover at least 10 ways to fix them.

  17. thanks for the glimpse into a writers world!

  18. Joylene,
    Oh right, I forgot about those! I'm totally with you on this one! lol :)

    This is so true! Tangled in the forest, so to speak. Good point.

    I like the way you put that - "a sense of overcoming." I think this can help us look at the big picture, don't you think? :)

    Oh, I hear you, at least 10 ways! I think we can be forever tweaking things. Now there's another topic, knowing when to let it rest. :)

    Oh you are welcome! It is an adventure! :)


  19. Hi Karen .. oh dear I'll always remember my uncle's pieces of twine, or string he had floating around - as we did growing up ... everything was saved and reused ...

    I get myself in a bind with my posts sometimes ... too much info and how do I break it down and make sense of it ...

    Sometimes I just defer the posting - one advantage of not having a posting schedule - I'm pleased to say!!

    Cheers Hilary

  20. We can all relate to this Karen. I can relate in a big way.

  21. Yes, lots of tangles. I find leaving something and coming back fresh helps. Approaching an old tangle the next day can sometimes be all it needs for detangling. That and much prayer... xx

  22. *reaches for the detangler* This is me. Everyday. In every way. *sob* Take us to a better writing place?? *jumps in the car*

    Great post amigo. <3 you!

  23. The best thing to do in such situations is to come back the next day and take a fresh look.

  24. Hilary,
    Saved and reused - not such a bad thing, right? Thrifty, for sure. I think your posts make wonderful sense, so you must be untangling just right! :)

    I am glad that I am not alone - not that I want hardship for my fellow writers, of course. Happy at least, that we are all in this together! :)

    Yes, coming back does help, doesn't it? :) And prayer, can't do without that either! :) xo

    I'd say you're pretty good at untangling based on what I've seen, amigo! :) Expert untangler extraordinaire, you are, I'm thinking! :) xo

    Good to meet you! Glad you shared your thoughts. I think you are right; a fresh look is a good thing!


  25. I so relate to this post! Completely tangled in passive voice vs active voice at the moment!

  26. Nas,
    That happens to me too! Sometimes passive is chasing active in my head, and vice versa. And then I need a break...LOL :)
    Happy writing,

  27. and happy writing to you too!

  28. I write every single day on my blog about things that inspire me...nice to find your blog. I'm a writer too!

  29. Annmarie,
    Hope you have a great week! :)

    It's nice to meet you. Your name looks familiar - I must have seen you around on other blogs or something. :) So glad you came by and commented!



Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Have a blessed day!