I typed my fingers to the bone yesterday, trying to get an important scene just right. It’s one of those “and the character realized” scenes, what I call a pivot point — where something happens which serves as a catalyst for the main character’s change.
If I do say so myself, I wrote a darned good scene. It was tight, evocative and connected to the story. I felt pretty smug when I shut down the computer for the night. The old girl still has it.
When I woke up this morning, in those foggy few minutes when your body’s awake but the brain hasn’t caught up yet, it hit me. That entire scene — the one I’d been so proud of a few hours earlier — had to go. I’d been so caught up in the frills of the scene — working in the mc’s relationship with her grandfather, as well as delicious historical facts about the Central Park menagerie, AND Ellis Island — that I committed a cardinal sin. I was so wrapped up in the words, that I forgot an important rule. You see, it was through a conversation with her grandfather that the mc gains new insight.
And that’s nothing more than a lecture. A “the wise adult will show the child the way.” Blech. How could I have fallen into that trap?
So, that scene will be deleted as soon as I finish the post and I will do my best to turn Grandpa into a pattern on the wallpaper and put my young heroine front and center in her own story.
OH heck, Kirby. I have one or two of those in my current WIP. I’ve been thinking I manage them okay by having the real pivot point kick in afterwards, in something my MC needs to DO — but now I’m going to have to go back and look at that again.
Thanks a lot.
Sorry, Linda. But miser loves company!
I love that Thomas Mann quote and use it all the time when telling loved ones how very hard it is to be a writer. I’m not really sure if they believe me, but at least I have Der Zauberberg to back it up! 😀