|Posted on August 20, 2017 at 5:25 PM|
From Facebook post on 12-22-16
Is there anything more fun than giving someone the axe? It's better than killing your darlings, because you don't shed a tear!
About a month ago I was minding my own biz, giving the ol’ slash with the red pen, when I realized that one of my characters, an e-mag intern, popped up with nary an introduction. Oh ho! Newbie mistake! So I wrote myself a note: “Give Zane a proper intro, stupid.” Because I’m a delicate flower and need to be coddled like that.
Recently I was going over the edits and realized that Zane's entire role consisted of entering a room, reacting, and beating it out of there. It was the literary/human equivalent of what my husband (the infamous Joel Wicklund*) refers to as The Obligatory Cat Shot™ (trademark pending).
Your basic OCS* is a pan or cut to a well-timed reaction from an animal, often during a moment of crisis. It's not necessarily used for comic effect, though it can end up going that way unintentionally. Cats are unrivaled in these roles, yet have terrible unions and remain largely unrecognized by the Academy.
Anyhoo, if you need a gangly, apish doofus for your story, I have one hanging around my novel's deleted scenes file all dejected-like. He has great timing and could use a few lines. But the kid does not stay in this picture.
*Click here for a great example from Silence of the Lambs. Apologies for the shitty quality.