Writing Wrongs

December 19, 2005

Overheard while at the writing desk:
Kyra: Mommy! Ah-rew say he not be my friend.
Andrew: disgusted sigh Oh, my goodness. Kyra, you LIE.
Kyra: I not lie. Booty-butt Ah-rew.
Andrew: Youíre the booty-butt.
Kyra: Mommy! Ah-rew call me booty-butt!

So how was your weekend?

In the comments on the previous entry, D. asks:

Say you've got a scene that is entertaining and decently written. It supports the theme or deepens character or something but the scene as a whole doesn't offer anything all that new -- except for a couple of minor bits that just happen to be crucial to something that happens later on. How do you go about cutting the scene but keeping the bits?

Well, Iím no expert, thatís for sure. And I think itís tough when the overall scene is entertaining and works really well as a scene. Letís face it. Some scene do not. Work. At all. Even if those have crucial information, itís fairly easy to cut them.

What I do is play the ďwhat if this scene/series of events didnít existĒ game. How else can I convey what I need to convey? New scene? Existing scene? Summary? When do the characters need to know something? Sooner? Later? Not at all? Is it something that absolutely needs to be established so later events make sense/donít look coincidental? And so on.

I have a block of 4,000 words in The Boysí Club that I know Iím going to slice and dice next time around. What I need from that block is: a conversation between Kit and Vic (which really should come earlier in the story), a secret revealed, and essentially the establishment of ďthe club.Ē

So, as of now (and this can change), Iíll move that conversation to an earlier scene that takes place in the o-club. The secret and the establishment of the club go hand in hand, but instead of spreading it out over three days, Iím changing it so itís a matter of hours to give it more urgency. It means some additional writing, but this new scene wonít be as long as the 4,000-word segment I have now. Iím hoping for: Boom. Boom. Boom. Instead of boom . . . boom . . . boom.

And if all else fails, you can always resort to having your characters call each other ďbooty-butt.Ē

Charity Tahmaseb wrote at 12:44 p.m.