Monday, November 12, 2012

Moments, and Lies

I ate a salad today, so that should negate any junk food I chose to ingest. 

Halloween candiesAlso, fun size candy bars are called fun size, because you can eat as may as you want and they don't count toward your daily caloric total. And since most of that candy was stolen from the dwindling pile that used to be my children's Halloween candy, those few calories that seep through my logic radar, are burned off by my remembering that I was the one who took those monsters trick or treating, so... obviously those calories were burned off Halloween night.

And also...since we are taking a look into the lies I tell myself, I can do everything I say yes to.  


I want to be able to do everything I've signed on to do, but trying to do too much has robbed me of my time and creative energy.

Eventually I'll get to my point here, (or is that another lie I'm telling myself?)...

We've had a lot of fun here this first year at the Prosers. We've had 57,045 page views, from all over the globe. That's amazing to me. I've met people, brilliant people, that I wouldn't have met otherwise. One of my favorite authors said hi, I embarassed myself, and I even think I've learned a few things. 

It's been awesome.

We're going through a bit of a shift here on Prosers. I think it's going to be a great thing, so don't worry about my casual use of past tense.  

First off, the great news, Sarah is coming back. Everybody sing "Glory Hallelujah."  She's going to be blogging once a month, on the first Saturday of the month.

Second of all, in news that makes me sign an inward Glory Hallelujah, we've decided to shift from blogging once a week, to blogging every other week. So from now on, Myself, Susan, and Melanie will blog Monday, Wednesday, Friday one week, and then the next week, MaryAnn, Sabrina, and Trisha will blog on their designated days. (Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday). 

That should keep those logic critters away for a while.


My favorite moment from any movie ever, is from the movie The Avengers.  Joss Whedon had a lot of story-lines and characters to  juggle. He had a love story, battling immortals, crazy action scenes, and freaking Robert Downey Jr. who can, and should, be on screen as much as is humanly possible. 

But my favorite moment doesn't involve any of that. 

I'll set the moment. Loki has attacked, and the Avengers have come together for the first time to try to determine what to do.  They argue, and start to leave the room. But then, the moment. An unnamed S.H.I.E.L.D. agent turns away from the heroes, and turns his computer back to a shooter game called Galaga. 

(Thank you, Google).

It's funny, and unexpected. That three second moment adds a level of reality to the situation, it gives weight to all those SHIELD background character's who's lives are at stake. It makes the world of the story feel like a real world.  It's so brilliantly done.

And yet, it adds nothing to the plot. Most people looking at the movie with a scalpel, might cut that brief scene out.  The movie is so complex already, why waste those three seconds on an unnamed character?

The answer is simple, because it adds to the experience. 

I think, so often, newby writers can get caught up in the rules of writing. We get so caught up in  the weight of our dreams, that we forget that what we are creating is not a recipe. We aren't creating a paint by numbers picture, or even a frame of words that tells a story. What we are trying to create is an experience for our readers. We are trying to create friends for the friendless, escape for the trapped, and guidelines for those just figuring out their own rules.

My advice for this week, ( or two weeks) tell the story you want to tell. Don't let anyone stand over your shoulder and instruct you on how to tell your story.  Once you have the story you want to tell, take your story, and fill it with crazy, fun, real life, or random moments. Flesh out your framework with life. Make the experience as full as you can get it. You can always scalpel out those things that don't add as much as they cost, but leave your own mark on your own world.

Those strange moments, or quirks of characters, are what will set your story apart from everyone else telling a story by number. It's what will make your story unique.

Because if everyone follows the same rules, then everyone makes the same recipe.

And I've eaten as much junk food as I can handle.*


* lie.


  1. My favorite moment from any movie ever... Ghostbusters. Dr. Venkman is meeting with Dana right after her rehearsal. They meet near a fountain, and afterwards, as the camera pans out, one of the extras is on rollerblades, and he spins in a circle. Watching him, Dr. Venkman slowly starts spinning in a circle as well. When I used to babysit my cousins, we would watch Ghostbusters every day (don't you wish I babysat YOUR kids when I was a teenager??) and my Kasey loved that part. He would rewind it and watch it over and over. Your favorite moment reminded me of that.

    In other news...YAY for Sarah! And hurray for bi-weekly posts. We're going to be so brilliant now! (Oh, the pressure!) Great post!

  2. NOOOOOO! Your posts are always the highlight of my Mondays and now I will only have a good Monday every other week. Sad ;)
    Brilliant as usual

  3. Fun size candy bars are so small that they have no measurable calories, even if you eat ten. :) I'm glad I'm not the only one stealing candy from my kids trick-or-treat pumpkins. How can they still have snickers bars? Don't they know that after one week all snickers bars are fair game? Well, maybe not. I don't think I told them.

    Great post as always. I agree that that one small moment of making those no-name shield guys feel like real human beings was brilliant. It just upped the stakes and got a laugh at the same time. I love multitasking in storytelling.

  4. I love the idea of creating, not following a recipe. Nano is great for that, because there really isn't time to do anything but let it all come out, the good, the bad and the absurd.

    Great post!

  5. I haven't seen the Avengers yet but I love moments like that. I think sometimes writers critiquing each other are very hard on those moments, always asking "is this important?" And it's hard to say that you *shouldn't* cut an extraneous moment because it takes finesse to make it fit and not seem self-indulgent, but when it works it really really works. Those are often my favorite parts of really good books, when the author goes a little deeper into character just to make it richer.

    I'm excited to be coming back! Of course now I'll have to think of something to write about...

  6. Sarah! How have you not seen the Avengers yet? It's 100 percent pure awesome.

    Thanks for the reminder, Sheena. Those little details are indeed what can really make a story stick out. I loved that moment too.


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