Thursday, April 22, 2010

The One That Got Away...

Every once in a while, writers need to trim the fat from their manuscripts. The reasons behind this are numerous: word count's too high, story doesn't flow nicely enough, too much info dump going on, yadda yadda yadda. But one reason that can be really frustrating is realizing that a subplot isn't working. No matter how hard you try, the darned thing just keeps getting lost in the trenches, or confuses the bejeezus out of your betas.


Wanna know what this reminds me of? Only the worst night of my life.

Chris Evans came to Puerto Rico to shoot the upcoming movie, The Losers. One of my friends told me, but I didn't think that I would ever get to see him.


One night, while I was out with my friends, I. Saw. Him.

I lost control of my knees. My ears throbbed like there was no tomorrow. Everything was a blur.

After one of my friends shook me so hard I thought my brain had rearranged itself, I decided to ask him for a picture with me (everyone around him was doing it, so I thought it would be okay). Problem? I didn't have my digital camera on me, and since it was really dark in the nightclub, my phone wouldn't do the trick. So I asked my friend, the only one with a camera, to use hers.

Other problem? Some douche slammed right into her, and the camera fell hard on the dance floor. When my friend tried turning it on, it didn't. The screen went black and the buttons weren't doing anything. It. Just. Died.

My friend tried to comfort me by suggesting I just go talk to him, but what was I supposed to say when the music barely let me hear her???? Plus, I'm very shy when it comes to attractive men, and I had zero guts to walk up to him. So there he was, standing RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME, and I let him get away.

So there you have it, friends. Your manuscript is a camera, meant to capture everything with precision and a style all your own. But when the camera stops working, you have to let that untaken picture go. Subplots are always tricky, but some mesh very well with the main plot. Others don't, and that's okay. You'll realize when to trim and when not to, especially if you wholeheartedly believe that the story you're telling deserves to be the best it can be.

That's the beauty of being a writer--giving up on your dreams is not an option. Letting go of what doesn't work surely is.


  1. It's okay. I once made a complete ass of myself in front of Sean Astin. Thank goodness he'll have no clue who I am if I ever meet him again. I hope.

    Great post!

  2. Before I comment, I had to tell you when I followed your comment from my blog to yours ... you had me the instant I saw on your profile that you are a Jensen Ackles enthusiast. I *heart* Jensen!

    I can feel your Chris Evans pain, but don't lose hope. I had a similar situation YEARS ago with Jordan Knight from New Kids on the Block. I was in love with that man when I was twelve...and when he went solo touring several years back he came to the Hard Rock cafe in Baltimore. I waited in line, got up to see him, asked for his picture, sat down next to him so my friend could take it ... and (just like you) her camera was unwilling to cooperate. I felt silly and stupid, and worst of all picture-less.

    I thought my ONE chance had gone by. But guess what? I've since met the man four more times and have two different pictures with him to prove it!!

    Fate likes to play with us sometimes, but don't let it get you down. You'll get your picture with Chris Evans some day!

  3. Chris Evans is adorable! What a frustrating night that must have been. However, I agree with Tracy. Fate can be a funny thing, and I'm sure you'll get a picture with him some day.

    By the way, I really like your blog! I saw that you were a self-proclaimed Jensen Ackles enthusiast, and being the ardent Supernatural fan that I am, I had to follow.

  4. I hope fate hears all of you!!! Thanks for your support, girls! Chris Evans should be someone I end up bumping into every day, right? ;)

    And yes, I'm a huge Jensen fan! Supernatural is something I really look forward to each week, not just because of him. But he's definitely the icing on the cake ;)

  5. I've never watched Supernatural, but after looking at those pictures I can't think of a reason why not to start. Like immediately!!

    Have a great weekend!!

  6. Thanks, Kimberly! You, too!

    And please hop on the Supernatural bandwagon! You are very much welcome here!

  7. mmm, Jensen....I lurve him and Supernatural. I've been there since the beginning and I'll be there when it's done...I'll just watch my DVDs over and over and over...mmmmmm, Jensen.

  8. HA major fail with the camera. It sucks when the sex-god gets away!

  9. Yes, the sex god slippeth from my fingers! But hey, I see my Jensen every Thursday night. Consolation prize, anyone????