Truth Is Stranger

Imagine this: you’re writing an expository scene featuring your newscaster protag. She’s covering a big story where an ill-loved political leader is giving a big empathy building speech.

Your protag announces the speech on air live from the event. When the poltico starts blabbing she bails for the powder room with a girlfriend. While there, they take care of all their important business, while dishing on boys and family and boys and relationships and boys and boys and... more boys. Suddenly, your protag discovers that her mic has been on the entire time and the whole known universe has been listening to her trash on her sister-in-law. And flush.

So you write this, right? And then you read it back. And you kind of scrunch up your face and say, “Sure. Right. Like that would ever happen.” And you throw all of that out and start the whole sequence again. Because the whole “Oops, this mic is on,” thing is trite and tired and you know your readers are smart and sophisticated and they’d never buy such a lame plot twist. And you? Well, you know you wouldn’t be able to live with yourself if you tried to sell them such an unlikely crock.

After your re-write, the storyline is much more plausible. Much more real. And then you go and read this and you realize that some days, it’s just not worth getting out of bed.


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