How much is too much?

A scene could be wafer-thin but still be potentially harmful
This slightly expository scene is practically wafer-thin. What harm could it do?

The rewrite continues, with some of the suggested changes being implemented.

Some, not all.

I take each suggestion into heavy consideration.  First and foremost – will it make the story better?

There’s no argument about some of them. They work, and that’s it.

There are the ones that are “maybe”. Purely optional.

Fortunately, there aren’t any that are straight-out “no”.

It’s the ones that suggest going into more detail (tell us more about this world you’ve created, explain why a character acts like they do, etc.) that are giving me pause.

I understand the reasoning behind this, but my concern is putting in too much information that it bogs down the whole thing. I’m as much for explaining things as much as the next writer, but I don’t want to overdo it.

I’d much rather leave a little to the audience’s imagination, rather than bombarding them with why things are happening.

Think of it this way: the flux capacitor makes time travel possible. Do you need to know how it works?

I suspect my subconscious creativeness let it’s two cents be known by coming up with a wonderfully bad joke to explain something. My initial response is to take it out, but it may actually be just what the scene needs.

-Movie of the Moment – The trailer for the next Percy Jackson movie came out earlier this week (hitting theatres in August), so now V is splitting her time between reading the book it’s based on and watching PERCY JACKSON AND THE LIGHTNING THIEF (2010) again.

I don’t have anything against the movie. It’s adequate popcorn fare with excessive CG (which this kind of story couldn’t be told without), and V likes it.  The more I think about it, the whole franchise just feels like a semi-successful attempt to be the next Harry Potter.

We also checked out the trailer for PACIFIC RIM, which has growing potential to be a family outing to our local theatre this summer.

4 thoughts on “How much is too much?

  1. My suggestion for a “bright line”:

    Soft sciences: explain.

    Hard sciences: hand wave.

    Arts: who can explain that?

    Somewhat genre dependent, of course.

  2. A lot of times it’s about the note behind the note. Admittedly, that makes the process even more frustrating. In your case, it may not be that they really want more details about the world. It may just be that the world doesn’t feel real enough right now, and that could just as easily be a character problem.

    It could also be that you’ve got a number of different elements that don’t quite feel cohesive. Perhaps you simply have too many different things going on and need to pare back a couple in order to allow the rest to feel more authentic.

    Regardless, I sympathize. Handling notes is a hard process, especially when they’re coming from someone who can have an impact on your career.

  3. NG – valid points all. I also suspect they (the management team) want the story elements to be as rock-solid as possible before sending it out.

    Should be interesting to see what they think of the next draft.

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