A Writer’s Priority

It was going to be so cool! He’d climb up the tree trying to get his ball. Just as he nears the prize, he falls. He plummets to Earth! His skull nears the brain-shattering dirt – and he sinks through the ground!

(Crap!! I’m getting excited as we speak!)

Beneath the earth it is dark. Cold. He can’t breathe. Death. Can’t move. Death.

Then, the mutant rabbits strike. Then!!! Just as he was to be saved – I scrapped the story.

The initial concept – climbing the tree – was fine. But as my imagination ran wild, I stopped and wondered: What was this about again? Why the hell did he fall through the ground? Oh yeah, I guess that makes sense. What the booboo are the rabbits about? …No idea.

… .

… .

Trash it.

So, as of 6pm April 28, 2017, the entire story has been scrapped except for the tree and the ball.

Like I said, the ideas were cool, and who wouldn’t want to see ME draw mutant rabbits?! But none of it had anything to do with the message of the story.

My stories have meanings to be picked apart, imparted, and held dear. None of my stories are just “stories”. I am not portraying a cool set of events meant to entertain the reader…well I am, but all the flash has to serve a meaning in my mind.

I wonder if other writers put the meaning above all? Toss out their personal preferences to make sure the reader understands the story? Make the pizazz subservient to the theme of the work?

Reminds me of a quote in my favorite graphic novel ‘Bakuman.’

It says, “You’re a Pro. You’re priority is to create something the readers will enjoy.”

…Hmm. Should I be more thoughtful of the readers then?

Not MY message. But the readers enjoyment?

Would the readers would like the rampant rabbits and the fall to the “death”?

Is there a median? The most entertaining way to communicate my message possible! Or the most entertaining message possible?

No. No. No. Got to put myself in the shoes of the reader.

Am I enjoying this? Would I keep reading this?

Would I close the book?

No? Then what did I take from this story?

The reader experience must be my priority. I’ve got to grab him! I’ve got to tantalize her! Don’t get it twisted though my friends! The bombs, bikinis, and blasters ain’t just for show!! Hell those might not be the ones I use!

But if they are present, put the book down for a second (no more than that): Digest it; Assess it.

It’s there for a reason.

Micah Markray