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That halloween costume

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She knocked on our door and said “trick or treat” as cute as can be.

I’m not as up on my little girl costumes as I was when my kids were younger but I’m guessing she was dressed as a princess (it could have been a queen).

We didn’t have trick-or-treating on our street until last night but her parents said she wanted to come by on Saturday while they were making the rounds.

We dutifully filled her bag with candy and invited them in. The minute she was inside she started asking if she could take her costume off. She had a turtleneck and jeans on underneath.

Her parents said ok.

Last night we had the official Hurricane Sandy delayed trick-or-treat night. There were a dozen kids who were trying to shed parts of their costumes. Some of their parents wouldn’t let them and others made them put the oversized mask on before coming up to our door.

We heard several parents give the lecture that parents always seem to give. “I told you you wouldn’t want to walk around in that costume but you just had to have it.”

During this month of writing on writing this, of course, reminded me of something writers have to confront.

We have a great idea. Maybe it’s a great plot point, a dramatic scene, or the perfect example for our book. It looks great on the shelf.

Then we start writing our book and we try to incorporate this thing that was so great in our head and it just doesn’t work.

What you do next can make or break your book.

You can discard it because it just isn’t working. You can rework the idea and see if you can make it fit. If it does then include it, if not throw it out. Too often, writers include their great idea in the book anyway.

It’s going to stick out. Either people won’t like it because it just doesn’t fit the rest of the book or this will be the only pages that people like in your book. In either case, it doesn’t suit you well. Throw out your best ideas if they don’t fit.

Maybe this scene is the stone that you use to write your next book.

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