Not to put too fine a point on it...

While walking through Costco this last weekend my son was gathering samples. He always wants to try one of everything but often won't eat them once he's gotten one he likes better. So when our cart gets to the point where I can no longer load items in without spilling one of the samples, I begin chucking them in the trash when he's not looking. Unfortunately, this last time I got caught throwing away a small cup of drinkable yogurt. Immediately my ears were met with cries of sadness and disappointement.

"My yogurt mommy!! I need my yogurt! That's not yours! You can't throw it away! Go get my yogurt!"

You get the picture. I tried to tell him that there was Gogurt in the cart and that he could have one once we got out to the car because it was yogurt too, but he was having none of it. He just drew his little eyebrows down in the middle and looked at me very seriously and said, "That's not the point!"

This made me think about my writing (of course, everything does). Sometimes when I'm rereading a scene or conversation I realize my characters are saying alot, but it's really not taking them anywhere. I have to ask myself, what's the point of this scene or conversation? I'm much better now about making sure that each section, each conversation is moving the story forward. I know some conversations and scenes build your characters, but I think for the most part you can do character building while simultaneously moving ahead with your plot.

8 comments:

  1. Your son sounds quite intelligent for his age!

    And thanks for bringing up this point. Of course, now I have to go back and read every bit of my dialogue to make sure it moves the story forward. :-) I'm trying not to think about the possibility that I will be editing this thing FOREVER!

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  2. Linda, well I think he is. :) Your stories are so character and emotion driven that it's hard for me to imagine that there's much superfluous conversation. I think a little for the sake of character building is okay, but it has to be just a little.

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  3. I feel the same way! I'm always worried as I'm typing something that it is getting in the way of the story and not actually moving it forward. Thanks to all my plays that I've written, my mind naturally jumps to this though. I'm constantly thinking ok so they're here.. why... why is this scene so important, what will my audience get out of it? LOL!

    There was one scene in Emmalee (my Emma rewrite--which is done now, if you're interested! LOL!) where I was positive I would go back and cut it. But as I was editing, it ended up being a scene that was super cute and worked well and read fast... but as I typed it, I thought boring... let's move on... so you never know until you read it with the whole picture.

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  4. Well put... I get the point... now GO get that yogurt!... Hmmm, is it possible that that is how GOgurt originally received it's name?

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  5. Jenni- Um, YES! Please!! Also, I can imagine that being a play writer helps a lot!

    Nicki- Good deduction. :)

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  6. Wait, I have to have a point to my scenes. DOH! LOL I love that story about Benjamin. I could picture it perfectly. Speaking of, I think I need some yogurt. I better go to Costco and get me a sample.

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  7. ... Say I'm the only bee in your bonnett:)...

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  8. ...Make a little birdhouse in your soul.....

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