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Monday, March 25, 2013

What Wreck-It Ralph Taught Me

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*WARNING: This post contains spoilers, so if you haven't seen the movie Wreck-It Ralph, I recommend you skip this post until you see it.*

A few weekends ago, my family and I watched Wreck-It Ralph together when all of a sudden a thought occurred to me. Every element in a plot, every little detail, is all used for a greater purpose.

You're probably thinking, and how does this relate to Wreck-It Ralph? Well, I shall explain.

In the movie, going "turbo" is mentioned a lot. We find out it means "abandoning your game" soon after, but it's not really explained why the term "turbo" is used. That is until Felix explains the story of Turbo, a character in a racing game who got unplugged, so he tried to take over other games.

When I first watched this part, I was like, "What's the point of this?" Sure it provided background, but there had to be another reason for it.

Sure enough, at the very end, the story of Turbo comes back up again. In fact, Turbo has managed to take over another game, Sugar Rush. He is King Candy, the leader of Sugar Rush. Vanellope, a glitch and also the rightful leader, was in his way. To get rid of her, he erased the memories of the people of Sugar Rush, destroyed Venellope's code making her become a glitch, and said he was the king of Sugar Rush.

This just blew my mind. I totally did not see that coming. It also taught me an important lesson about writing. I learned that stories don't have fluff. Meaning everything is there for a reason. For example, the writers of Wreck-It Ralph didn't add Turbo's background in there just to fill up space. They put it in there so the audience would know Turbo's motives and who Turbo is.

Another example of this is in Harry Potter, when it is said Viktor Krum's wand is made by Gregorovitch. At the time, this detail seems unimportant, but three books later, Gregorovitch is said to have had the Elder Wand! There are tons of examples in the Harry Potter books that prove that everything in a story adds to the plot.  I can name at least six right now.

A lot of my novel is purely fluff. This is where the beauty of revising comes in. I can take out all the scenes that just take up space and add new ones that contribute to the story. Now I understand that every single detail I put in my story must have importance. It must add to the plot. 

How do I determine what's fluff and what's important? I ask myself just one question that can be very hard to answer, "What does this add to the plot?" The tricky part is making sure I don't make up excuses to keep that "scene I really like". If it doesn't move the story forward, it's gone. It really hurts knowing that you'll have to write a chapter all over again, but in the end it's worth it.

Inquiry of the Day:

What did you think of Wreck-It Ralph?

Obviously if you're reading this post you have seen the movie. Unless you don't really care if you see it or not, in which case you read this post and don't have to answer the question. Personally, I loved it! It was a good story, with good characters, and it had some humor The animation was pretty well done, too. Actually, it was a bit like Toy Story. Different plot, of course, but there were a few similarities. 


  1. I haven't watched it yet, so I just read the first two paragraphs!

    1. lol. That's ok. But when you do watch it, make sure to come back and read the post! ;)

  2. Swiftie229/22/2013

    And once again, you read my mind! Like, really. I thought the same thing when I finished watching the movie. But what really amazes me is how the director/writers coordinate everything so perfectly that it all makes sense, and, like you said, moves the story forward. That is specially true in time travel movies. Like in Men in Black 3. If you haven't seen it, they travel in time, and well, something surprising happens. And, information that seemed unnecessary, is later used for a bigger purpose. :D

    1. No, I haven't seen Men in Black 3, yet. But I really want to! And now that you said that I want to even more! lol :D


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