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I’ve just read in a newspaper that, as a result of 50 shades, a couple have decided to divorce. It seems that sex is the problem; the woman wants to spice it up a bit but, the man doesn’t want any of it. Now, I can’t believe of any man, that he wouldn’t be up for a bit more adventure in the bedroom department, or anywhere else for that matter, so I’m surmising that the journalist has it wrong (no surely not, I hear you say) or, that there must be a deeper reason for their divorce, 50 Shades being only the trigger.

In a similar vane (okay, not that similar, but equally ridiculous), I once heard of a couple divorcing over stollen mushrooms. That is to say, she was preparing dinner and he kept stealing and eating the raw mushrooms as she peeled them. Very irritating I’m sure, if she’s in the wrong mood, but divorce material? I don’t think so.

These two examples show how people in real life make up reasons for why episodes happen in their lives; the ‘red herring’, and it seems people are prepared to accept them.

This all helps when writing, leading a reader down a path that might have little bearing on the actual plot. This could be particularly useful when trying to draw a story out, if you’ve got too close to the conclusion too soon in a story, and could save hours of rewriting. However, I think it would have to be used carefully; if you feed your reader too much bull, they will not thank you for it, but a well written diversion could be fun. Or would it? Perhaps, in the way that I read between the lines on the 50 Shades reason above, the reader will accept it only if they just don’t care? Actually, on reflection, as I write this piece, I don’t believe that at all! If you have to ‘fill a story’, it can’t be a very good one. So, bite the bullet, ditch that work and re-write it.

Ken Balneaves wrote, The Greatest Gift, available at http://amzn.to/QF7RLd (US), http://amzn.to/O12kgX (UK)

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