4.20.2011

The Fortune-Telling Monkey On My Back

Did you know there is no fortune-telling monkey in the newest Disney movie "Tangled?"

You did? Me, too.

BUT.

Did you know there used to be?

So THAT'S who drank my caramel-apple cider.

I was watching the special features on the DVD the other day, and one of the deleted scenes was a quirky bit where they run into a gypsy and her pet monkey, who just happens to tell the future. It was cute. It was entertaining. But, I could see the parts of the story that it told, and I thought, "Huh. They don't really need that monkey."

I kind of held my knees up against my chest and rocked back and forth in excitement, because my story used to have a fortune-telling monkey, too!

No, not really.

But kind of.

My first draft had some scenes that I reallyreallyreally liked. Only problem is, they didn't drive my plot forward. They were simply episodic. Cute, funny banter, or thoughtful, empty prose. Sure, if I turned my head a certain way and squinted my eyes, they served a purpose. I guess...

I've cut most of them, but it wasn't as painful as I thought it would be. The funniest banter finds its way back in, one way or another. The details that made those scenes "important" in the first place have usually been shown somewhere else.

So if you notice a cute, fortune-telling monkey in your story that doesn't quite fit, don't be afraid to cut it. Your story will be great without it, I promise!

Now lanterns, on the other hand...My story must.have.floating.lanterns.

12 comments:

Luanne Hardy said...

I'm interested in finding out what you cut out. I wonder if I'll notice.

Ruth said...

I just watched Tangled for the first time a couple days ago. A-dorable.

When I start my revisions, I'll keep a keen eye out for fortune-telling monkeys. Great post:)

Sarahie said...

Make sure you work Chuck singing with Mandy Moore in there somehow too. It adds to the beauty.

P.S. I knew about the fortune-telling monkey.

Jeigh said...

Ahhhh...Zachary Leeeevi...siiiinging....Oh. And Mandy Moore. Yes. *cough*

Anime said...

I am cracking up. Just s'os you know. And I meeeeeeeeeeeees you! LOL *sobs like a little girl* I love this post for many reasons...one being the Tangled pic you haz at the end. *nods lots*

Anime said...

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Chris Phillips said...

I think I'm going to add a fortune telling monkey in all of my books, just to see if they get cut.

Red Boot Pearl said...

Man I love that show, and now I gotta find me a copy with the special features :)

Juliemybird said...

Fortune telling monkey: Cute, but unnecessary.

Floating lanterns: Beautiful and compelling and oh, how I cried.

I'm definitely going for the lanterns. :)

Mason Ian Bundschuh said...

That's right! Kill your darlings... even if they are fortune telling monkeys!

And definitely kill your darlings if they're named Jar Jar Binks. D'oh! Too late Mr. Lucas!

Michael Offutt said...

I love Tangled.

Rachel Morgan said...

I am in the process of looking for all my cute, fortune-telling monkeys...
I haven't watched Tangled yet, but that picture with the lanterns makes me think I want to! *sigh* It looks Disney-perfect...