In THE CANTERBURY TALES IN NEVERLAND there is a reason Benny is introduced as wearing a blue shirt, a
reason that is still resonating more than a hundred pages later when she is telling the story of Deacon Brown.
There are reasons why the innkeeper at the beginning of MOBY-DICK is named Coffin, reasons which resonate from the sinking of the Essex (in the real world) to the bobbing of Ishmael at the end of the novel. But in THE GIRL IN THE BLUE BERET there is a pigeon that pissed me off; not because I have anything against pigeons per se, but because it looked like another detail thrown in to, at best, repeat the setting of scene and as I am
getting more serious about being a professional writer I am getting less tolerant of other writers wasting my time as a reader. The scene is a conversation at an outdoor café. The real work in the scene is being done by the conversation between two characters. I am interested in the conversation (even if it is a bit flat) and what I am learning of character and plot from the conversation. And then a pigeon walks on stage to peck at some bread in the street . . . and to distract me with wondering why it is worth two sentences plopped down in the middle of this
conversation. Different readers are allowed their own responses, but mine is that that pigeon should have been edited out.