“Sometimes I don’t have enough laundry to make the minimum weight at Drop Off. I look for stuff to wash. Same with Art. Look for weight, bro.” Playwright John Patrick Shanley.
This tweet showed up today on Twitter. Reminds me of my post from the other day. Weight counts, not volume. “…the plastic-foam peanuts authors sometimes toss into a story to give it volume, without realizing that they’re adding no weight.” That was an observation from NYT reviewer Jennifer Senior on the biography of Margaret Wise Brown.
“Look for weight, bro.”
Here are a few tips from writer K. M. Weiland. While she’s talking about increasing word count in a skimpy novel, her advice is perfect for adding “weight” to the story. She suggests adding characters. Not for the sake of filling space. You want the characters to enhance the story with their own heft, their connections to the principal characters. “Never add a character just for the sake of adding him, but take a look at the needs of your story and sniff out any likely gaps where a new character could add dimension.”
Weiland also suggests adding dimension to existing characters. Deepen their relationships to the main characters. Or bring in an element of conflict – a strained relationship between characters, perhaps.