Captain Obvious

I just spent the entire weekend having long, contentious arguments with Captain Obvious.

Who is Captain Obvious?

Well, it’s simple really.

Captain Obvious stops by for a visit every time I read a sentence, paragraph, or, regrettably, sometimes even a page, where I’ve told my reader repeat, or unnecessary information that doesn’t move the storyline along.

 Here’s a snippet of a recent conversation…

“Hey!” yelled Captain Obvious. “You’ve told them that already!”

“But, no, you don’t understand,” my stammering protests filled the air. “These words—they’re so beautiful, so brilliant; I simply can’t bear to send them away.”  

“Loser!” Captain Obvious charged forward with the harsh truth, completely oblivious to my tender fragility. “There’s only so many times you have to tell the reader that people on the Oregon Trail who don’t have water ARE THIRSTY, AND LOOK FOR IT A LOT!”

Regrettably, Captain Obvious is usually right.

Highlight. Delete. Move on.

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7 thoughts on “Captain Obvious

  1. It’s so hard to delete those brilliant phrases that you’ve just birthed, isn’t it? Sometimes they’ll lead to a poem or short story. Maybe even a blog entry!
    Merry Christmas, Christi. Victoria

  2. I like Kristan’s solution; also don’t forget if you told it better the second time, you have the option of deleting the first instead.

    And the Captain isn’t always right — sometimes people need to be told twice.

  3. oh crap. i read this post and Capt. Obvious gps’d my location. now he’s headed this way to point out the repetitions of my work in progress.

    Example:

    CO: You’ve said about 8 times that Ash is going to die. We know the MC is sad about it but she is whining about it a lot. It has to stop.

    ME: But she LOOOOOVES him and she’s soooo sad and it’s allllll she thinks about….. (whimpers)

    CO passes sharpie to ME, stern but sympathetic.

    CO: Don’t be a doofus. If you ever expect an agent, or anyone but your husband to read this, get to cutting!

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