Causation is the Story


When 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.


2 thoughts on “Causation is the Story

  1. Kim

    Wow, such a simple concept. I’m still a total beginner and need all the help I can get. Thanks for this useable idea. Yay! I’m off to edit and kill more unneeded, hard won sentences.

  2. This is an ah ha moment and a simple, but brilliant concept. I read this a long time ago (can’t remember who published the post), but I am off to read the article you have recommended. I can always use a refresher course. Thanks for sharing this useful and helpful writing advice.

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