Include It or Forget It by Mary Deal

Include It or Forget It


Mary Deal

For those of you just starting out in the writing profession, you may be having doubts as to your ability. You may have the makings of a great story. You may know how to write well. But how much do you include in your story to make it appealing to readers of your genre?

When I first began to write, I thought I would never include the obligatory bedroom scene. Me? Write about sex? My heart thumped and it wasn’t from excitement. It was from fear of making myself look stupid. That soon changed. As I read more and more published books, I learned I didn’t have to write graphic scenes. I wasn’t writing porn or anything for shock value. I found a way to know exactly how much to include.

My way was to write out everything about the first bedroom scene I needed to include in my story. I wrote everything, including all the sighing and grunts and groans, conversation, even emotion, color of the bed sheets, the sound of fingernails scratching against skin, everything I thought the characters might experience.

Wrote it all.

Wrote it all from a vivid imagination and felt my own eyes pop out of my head as I stared at the page reading and beginning to laugh at myself.

Then I deleted the whole thing after reading it, knowing I could write a great bedroom scene to fit whatever my story required. If I could write everything about sex once, just once, I could write only what I needed for my story.

What a lesson that was!

I encourage you to write out the thoughts you have on a difficult area you need to develop or perfect. Once you have written all you think you know, you will have no difficulty knowing how much to include and what you will thankfully omit.

Please visit Mary Deal’s website for more wonderful articles like this one: Write Any Genre.

About Mike Angley

Mike Angley is the award-winning author of the Child Finder Trilogy. He retired as a Colonel from the Air Force in 2007 following a 25-year career as a Special Agent with the Office of Special Investigations (OSI). He held 13 different assignments throughout the world, among which were five tours as a Commander of various units, to include two Air Force Squadrons and a Wing. He is a seasoned criminal investigator and a counterintelligence and counterterrorism specialist. In his last assignment, he was Commander of OSI Region 8 with responsibility for all of Air Force Space Command. He’s fond of saying, “If it entered or exited Earth’s atmosphere, I had a dog in the fight!”
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