I’m back at work on GLAMOUR again, working on my fourthdraft.
I’m calling this my sparkle draft. The first two drafts got the story structure in place. Draft three was a rewrite; where I fixed the plot holes, rewrote the ending, and the story really came together. I’m calling my fourth draft, my sparkle draft. Where I add my telling details.
If you want a good example of what I mean by sparkle, check out the movie, Moonrise Kingdom. I saw it the other day, and I’m not going to spoil it for you if you haven’t seen it yet, but I will say that it is a charming and delightful movie. The romantic plot is forgettable and ordinary. The marvelous cast includes some very fine actors (several of whom are my favorites) who do an exemplary job in supporting roles, but the stars of the movie area pair of total unknowns. For me, it’s the unique, telling details, which make this movie sparkle.
As writers, we know all about telling details; those unique elements of a story that define or deepen character, advance plot, or resonate as a symbol or critical element of the story. Think the port key trophy from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, or Dorothy’s ruby slippers in The Wizard of Oz. But telling details can be anything. From the very first seconds of the opening scene, there is not one thing in Moonrise Kingdom that is not a telling detail of something else. The movie fairly sparkles with them.
From the heroine’s blue-green eye shadow, to the hero’s corn cob pipe, to a precarious tree-house, to a simple pair of lefty scissors, there is nothing in that movie that is ordinary, yet in sum total, everything in the movie is important and thus everything becomes extraordinary. It’s positively chock-full of sparkle. That’s the kind of story that’s fun to read and fun to watch.
It’s the kind of story I want to write. Happy fourth to you, too.