The Slipper effect

As writers we tend to take things that don’t seem to fit and MAKE them fit. Like Cinderella’s step-sisters, we’ll chop off toes or heel to make the silly slipper fit what we need.

When in reality, maybe what we should be doing is stretching the slipper.

Human beings like their comfort zones. We like knowing precisely where everything fits and making sure that our world does not get out of control. Controlling our writing, making it fit, is a natural extension of that.

But sometimes making it fit will just make it that much more difficult to send the story where it needs to be rather than where we want it to be.

I’ve experienced that many times. Sometimes I get an idea of where I want a story to go, and I try to force it into that mold. In essence, cutting off toes to make sure it fits in the slipper. It mangles the story and it’s not as good when it’s finished–I usually end up going back to the point where I went off base and trying to reconstruct.

So the next time that your story starts to veer off from where you’ve determined it should go, maybe instead of chopping it down to size you could explore the new angle and see if it fits.

It might be much less painful, in the long run.


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