July 9, 2013
“John. . . ,” I said, and checked to see his reaction to my familiarity. Saw nothing more than a hint of a smile. “I want to thank you for the help you’ve given me.”
He nodded. A little more smile this time. “Come on, sonny, out with it.”
I’ve written a scene and something about it. . .” I closed my eyes and shook my head as I remembered my reaction when I read and reread the words. “Something about it doesn’t ring right. And before you say anything, I know I should keep charging forward. But I can’t help it—my mind goes back there. What do I do?”
“It’s happened to me more times than you can imagine. That scene in the boxcar in Grapes of Wrath. Part of what I wrote never made it to print. Like you say, it didn’t ring right.”
I nodded. “I understand the need to edit and tighten. This is a whole scene. Grapes wouldn’t have been right without the boxcar scene.”
“True.” He cupped his chin between thumb and forefinger. “Hmm. For your problem. . . If a scene or a section gets the better of you and you still think you want it—bypass it and go on. When you have finished the whole you can come back to it and then you may find that the reason it gave trouble is because it didn’t belong there.
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Until next time, that’s it from The Storyman ….