Home » Archives » January 2007 » No, Tiger!
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01/24/2007: No, Tiger!
Remember the Brady Bunch episode with the house of cards? No? Oh right. You're young, aren't you? Well, do you remember playing Jenga? Same thing, pretty much. When a structure is delicately balanced, making any addition, any subtraction, or any change at all, can bring the whole thing down.
I'm working with a script this evening in which I needed to remove a small plot element. A character can no longer raise a certain topic in a certain scene. But it had always been the raising of that topic that led to a certain disclosure by another character that is still crucial to the scene. House of cards! Jenga!
It's so tempting, as the writer faced with this situation, to point out the impending collapse of your structure and make it an argument for not making the change. But... just maybe... there's another way to get that second character to make that disclosure. In this case, there was. As soon as I calmed down and seriously considered other approaches to the scene, I discovered another way to prompt the disclosure that was, in fact, far *more* natural than the original configuration.
It's important to notice that this is really about a mental adjustment. There is a moment in which you decide to embrace the change instead of examining it for pitfalls. Sometimes you still end up falling in the pit. Other times, you find serendipitous new options.
Lunch: "Enchiladas Verduras" at Mexicali on Ventura followed by a "doughnut muffin" from Big Sugar Bakeshop. Fantastic. Just like a doughnut but shaped like a muffin.