Tuesday, January 11, 2011

'Cause It's Cool

I realized belatedly that I might have overstated my point in my last post, so I wanted to make something clear. There's nothing wrong with including something in your story simply because it's cool. I am a full supporter of stories that include cool things.

What I'm against is writing words just because the words are cool.

What's the distinction?

Something that's in your story has a place. It is thought out, considered, and connected to other story elements. It exists to serve the story - sometimes, simply by being cool.

Words that just happen to occupy the same page as your story are not connected. They simply exist, for their own sake rather than for the story's sake. They are selfish, disruptive, and parasitical. They take up space without contributing anything, not matter how cool they are.

For all my pontificating, I don't pretend to always know the difference between the two. Cool but parasitical words can be very good at masquerading as cool stuff. I am still a wannabe, after all. Though, I am swift to point out, I firmly believe that even when I am an actuallyis I'll still need editors and good friends to help me figure it out.

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