Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tell Me a Story

So my 3 year old step daughter and I have begun something of a nightly routine. Upon telling the kiddos that it's time for bed, she promptly runs up to me and begs "Daddy!? You read me a story?"

What daddy could say no to a request like that? Honestly though what she really means is, "will you tell me a story."

So, I take her to her bed and make up something cheesy along the lines of a "once upon a time...something about a princess...gets married to her prince after... and lives happily ever after."

The wonderful part is, no matter how terrible those "..." details are, she always loves the story. Unfortunately our writing critiques don't hold that same mentality when they read our manuscripts. For us, the details are what it's all about. Anyone can make up a character and a scene (yes, some are more dimensional than others) but it takes a lot of skill and effort to pull those characters together and fluidly detail a believable, if not lovable, story.

Question: Does your plot command the details, or do the details determine your plot?


Elana Johnson said...

Excellent point! I think the details can sell readers on your plot. But your plot might not command the details. Does that make sense? Yeah, not to me either. *sigh*

Dana Elmendorf said...

I have a heavily plot driven MS and it demands the details. Some details are overly complicated so I have to scale them back to simplify but my plot is the boss. (Glad to have you back Void.)

Charles Gramlich said...

I made up a lot of stories for Josh back in the day and he enjoyed 'em. So did I. I've written a few of them down and will eventually get around to revising them. I've got to give some thought to the detail/plot issue.