The Oubliette of Writing.


An oubliette is a small dungeon, a hole in the ground a prisoner is dropped into, often never to be retrieved, which is not a good place to be, at all – There is no way out – Many situations can have similar attributes, and writing is no exception.

Working on writing a book is a repetitive exercise, you have to go back over it again and again, writing, editing, polishing, changing, rewriting, re-editing, re-polishing, changing, etc.

Sometimes you’re working so hard on one area of your manuscript that you get bogged down more in the work itself than the storyline. I’m sure I’m not the only one to have done that.

It starts off by staying in those pages for too long. You read them so many times, they become old news to you. You know every line. If you stay there for too long, however, a different sort of problem crops up and you might find yourself trying to deal with the length of something that turns out to be a fault in your perception rather than a fault in your work.

I’ve done that. I have worked on a scene that feels way too long, as though it goes on for too many pages, only to realize that it feels that way simply because I keep reading it over and over again. That’s what I mean by getting bogged down in the work rather than the writing.

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