Fumee D’Ambre Gris, John Singer Sargent
44,006, “Sweet Taboo.” Yesterday I discovered the importance of trusting the words, even when they seem useless. A scene I thought pretty, but useless, managed to redeem itself. I call it the Dice scene (the Dice is a nightclub) and was seriously considering cutting this particular scene between Randall and Deidre, and had at one point set it aside, but I pulled it back in because it showed their relationship and provided some characterization, but it didn’t do enough in my opinion to earn its place in the story. The dialogue was good; it was a “pretty” scene–I liked it; it was a sweet scene–a darling that had to be done away with.
Then yesterday I added a significant bit of action that marked a subtle turning point in Randall’s and Deidre’s relationship and the Dice scene redeemed itself. I asked myself why was I holding on to the scene when, despite its charm, it didn’t do much for the story? Now I know. I wasn’t trusting the scene to be what it needed to be for the good of the story. You might say the scene knew better than I did, so I wasn’t able to throw it away. It struggled to survive until it could bloom into place.
The Dice scene had potential and yesterday’s writing brought some of that potential out of the dark. Lesson for me–let go of doubt, trust the writing.