Yesterday, I posted a bit from one of my Lonnie and Tiny stories. I read it to my critique group, and they made some little suggestions, so I guess it was good enough. But “good enough” isn’t good enough. The story felt thin to me.
So I thought about it.
Here’s how the story went:
- A throwaway incident, included only to justify a little exposition.
- A conflict expressed between Lonnie and Character B, foreshadowing the climactic incident.
- Stuff goes on.
- Suspicious quietness of the children.
- Character B pranks Lonnie.
Amusing story. But thin. Practically anorexic.
Plus: I FORGOT ABOUT THE DOGS! Tiny alone has three dogs; there are probably others in the neighborhood.
Now the story goes:
- An incident that seems throwaway, included only to justify a little exposition.
- A conflict expressed between Lonnie and Character B, foreshadowing the climactic incident
- An encounter between Lonnie and B, involving the previously apparently throwaway incident, which encounter motivates the prank.
- Stuff goes on, dogs locked up to keep them and the crowds on the street safe from each other. Dogs are making noise.
- Kids and dogs are quiet, probably amusing one another. BUT THEN
- B pranks Lonnie.
This all added about 500 words to the story, and gave it some body. It’s still a thin little story, but it’s no longer a sketch. I’m happy with it now.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Do you have a scene that feels a little thin? What are you leaving out? What could you fold into it that would connect to other parts of the narrative or even other elements of the same scene?