11 June 2010

The Mannequin in the Room

After that initial scene, do you ever go back to your setting and make sure it works? Do you continue to build on it? Take away? Tweak it?

Have you ever had to change it?

While we were in Bolivia, we stopped to take this picture in the city of Santa Cruz. That's my friend and I with the owner of a small shop.


Do you see it?

I screamed the first time I saw this picture. And pretty much every time after that. Creepy!

Have you ever read your manuscript and found one of these? It's easy for us to get caught up in the story, or even the nuts and bolts of technicalities, and miss something so obvious. Whether it's a season that's out of whack, room decor that doesn't quite fit, or something more serious--a character flaw, a character's existence, a story thread that doesn't go anywhere, etc.

Sometimes the problem isn't as difficult as we think it is. While we need to be willing to dive deep to fix the story, sometimes all we have to do is move the mannequin.

Or just be aware of our setting. :0)

See y'all Friday!

20 comments:

  1. Hahaaa! That is hilarious and freaky! Good comparison to writing though.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh that's awesome. I've had to knock off a few mannequin heads in my time.
    ~ Wendy

    ReplyDelete
  3. Awesome anaology! You're right that sometimes just a tiny tweak--like trimming a misplaced detail--can make a big difference.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great picture. I see it and your point! :O)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Too funny and so true! Have a great weekend, Kristen!:)

    ReplyDelete
  6. That's creepy--especially because it's smiling! I've been tweaking my first scene all week and I still don't think it's right. This is where I leave it alone and come back later with fresh eyes :) Have a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Too funny! I love it. Great illustration. I love how you think :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is one analogy I won't be forgetting soon. It's going to take a while to get that mannequin out of my head. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. So true! we're lucky when it's an easy fix!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Mannequins have always creeped me out! Excellent points.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Good lesson!

    Have a great weekend:)
    Blessings,
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Kristen -

    What a great picture to illustrate your point! I spent today beefing up the setting, motivation, and deep POV of my first chapter.

    Off topic - I know you're big into photography. I'm looking for a digital camera that's not too techy and a reasonable price. I want to take pictures for my blog. Any suggestions on what to look for regarding a sharp image and whatever else I'd need?

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Tamika--I've bene thinking about you a lot! How are you?

    ReplyDelete
  14. What a wonderful picture for a book cover, especially if the person in the picture had been frowning. Or something less friendly. Yes, I change it a lot. If not, it has the same stagnant feel as my first impression which is usually so basic there's no pizazz!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Sometimes you just have to move the mannequin. I LOVE it!! You did a fantastic job of linking your picture (it is a little creepy - LOL!) to writing. Awesome post! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  16. That's a mannequin? I thought it was real, haha. Great analogy. the difficult part, for me at least, is seeing these things. I too often miss them entirely.

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is why I ask for help from crit partners. They are terrific at catching those mannequins in the windows, and I'm so grateful. They make me a better writer.

    I thought she was real, too. HA!

    Love you, dear,
    Jen

    ReplyDelete
  18. LOL That face in the background can be story al on its own. Are you sure it was a mannequin???

    ReplyDelete
  19. Sometimes the jarring or out-of-place image is intentional, a way to make a subtle point or add nuance to the mood of a particular scene. I sometimes go in to ADD these kinds of images.

    ReplyDelete