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The NovelFriends are four writers who met through Wisconsin Romance Writers and initially became bonded by our love of books. That connection has expanded, grown, and deepened into true friendship over the years. We look forward to sharing our experiences with you, so follow the blog and join in the fun - we're always happy to have more NovelFriends!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

More hang-ups than Imelda Marcos' closet - Delia

I'm not a huge fan of kids or pets.  I like the ones I've got in my life, but I certainly don't go searching out any new ones.  That's why you'll never see kids or animals as pivotal characters in any of my books.  Call me lazy, but I just don't want the added responsibility in my characters lives, because their responsibilities become my responsibilities.

Part of the problem is that I get hung up on little details.  I once started a romance about a widow with two little girls and a dog.  It didn't take long for me to abandon it.  My heroine went to work, then I got to wondering who watched the girls when they got home from school?  Did she have an outside pen for the dog?  If not, who left it out to pee when she was gone during the day?  If she wanted a romantic evening with the hero, who the heck was she going to get to babysit the kids?  If they're making out on the sofa, how are they going to deal with the dog sitting there watching them?  Because for some warped reason, all dogs do that.  All this was way more responsibility than I wanted to deal with, so I abandoned the story in mid-clinch and let the characters work it out amongst themselves.

I have the same problem with other people's books as well. When someone gets held captive, locked in a room, tied to a chair, I immediately worry about what they're going to do if they have to go to the bathroom. If I was held captive, locked in a room or tied to a chair, I KNOW I'd immediately have to pee.  Heck, I can barely make a one hour car ride without having to scope out a Shell Station somewhere, there's no way in the world I'd make it through an abduction without wetting my pants.

Because I get so obsessed with the minutia, I have a tendency to miss plot holes big enough for the whole Brangelina family to fall through. While I'm hung up on the fact that when the couple gets caught in the rain they throw their rain soaked clothes right into the dryer (Really?  You're going to toss your wet, used underwear into the dryer without washing them out first???) someone else will mention that there's no way the dog could have gnawed through the rope holding the hero captive because it was mentioned in the first chapter that Fido had to have all his teeth removed due to a tragic Milkbone accident.  I tend to miss stuff like that, the forest for the trees kind of thing, ya know?

Am I the only one who gets so caught up with stupid details that I sometimes lose the thread of the story, or are you guilty of detail OCD as well?


  1. LOL Fortunately I haven't come across many books that I couldn't suspend a little disbelief, but I end up having huge issues with movies. My son and kids don't always like watching movies with me because every five minutes I'm like, "Oh, come on, no way!" (don't even get me started on 'scary' movies.) And it's usually the little details, not the big plot hole staring me in the face. I guess I probably have some of those moments while reading, but not enough to make me stop.

    When writing, I do come across problems when I want something to happen, but getting there is an issue because what I want is just not plausible. I'm worrying about my readers going "Oh, come on!" :) And I know for a fact some still do, but as long as there are a lot more that are able to suspend disbelief, I'm good.

  2. I think I can be very OCD as well, not just about writing, movies or books, but in pretty much everything. I have a hard time getting past the detail gaps in movies, but I can read beyond most of it unless it is REALLY glaring. When it comes to my writing, I stall myself a lot because I get so hung up on the details. I'm working on getting beyond that.