hen I read this blog post by Carrie over at Magical Words, I felt really silly. It was such an Ah Ha! moment that I couldn’t believe I hadn’t realized it earlier.
When I write scenes for my short stories or novels, I think X happens and then we see Y happen. What I should be saying is: X happen therefore Y happens but Z happens therefore AA happens. That causation keeps the story purposeful and moving forward, cutting self-indulgent scenes that do nothing to advance the plot.
Carrie explains it with a Princess Bride example (and who doesn’t love that?), but she also links to a clip of Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the originators of the idea, explaining it. I can’t do any better, so go take a look.