I have a line in my first chapter of Faerylander that I knew was a problem when I wrote it. But I liked it so much, I left it in. It passed muster with the first 4 people I read it to (or they didn't notice it) but the fifth reader called me on it.
The line is spoken by the villain, who has just been released from 10 years in prison. He's trying to charm a girl. "He had to remind himself that a smile on the Outside was the same as a frown on the Inside."
Martha says, "That's sounds good but it doesn't really make sense."
So, I agreed with her at first. But then I started thinking about it. What I meant was, just as you'll go further in the world with a smile than with a frown, in prison your fall back position would probably be a frown, not a smile.
Of course, that still doesn't make it valid or true, but at least it makes more sense. But -- if you need to explain a line, it doesn't work.
But it "feels" true, you know. It makes a kind of poetic sense, at least to me.
If you don't think about it too much.
So would he say it?
I've decided to leave it in, just because people sometimes say things that don't really make sense if you thought about it.
3 days ago