Cake Smash: Why Hard Scenes and Prospect Pain Are the Most Important Parts of Writing

How’s your week been so far? Mine’s been great–trying to get some emails finalized for client work, and blogging about the wedding I went to last week (I didn’t even get to my other cousin’s tiny dog that makes enormous poos–that’d have to be the subject of another post–and Will Smith will have to be in it, which will be clear why if/when we get there).

This will most likely be the last post about the wedding at least for now (mostly because tomorrow is Triple F–be sure to stop by…I can’t say the wedding won’t play a huge role in what I cook up for you).

Anyway, let’s get to it.

This is a bit difficult for me to write, even though it didn’t happen to me. I won’t name names, because there will be no point to that.

It starts with an Army recruiter–he toasted the bride and groom after the wedding was over, and he’s hung out with them for years and years.

Anyway, we found out that he also has a Master’s in Education, and was an English major in college (which may or may not have to do with anything that came after–I don’t know). So he corrects people’s writing and grammar a lot–as part of work, too, but I think it’s just part of the kind of guy he is–and I don’t know him well, but it seems to be he’d be more on the side of genuinely trying to help everyone than doing something to be superior.

He wants you to be all that you can be, kind of thing (I told you he was Army…even though they don’t use that catch phrase anymore).

The recruiter dude told us he got a snarky all-caps text from another someone when he corrected their grammar in the past.

Flash-forward, we’re talking with Johnny Paulicelli (think cell wall, cell division, and you’re fine), and the recruiter came to talk to us, too. Somehow or other, he got stuck holding a piece of wedding cake (red velvet?) that Johnny intended to eat later (on those teeny plates that are only good for holding cake, or maybe a brownie).

Another nickname that people have come up with for Johnny P. is Johnny B. Goode, or at least I don’t think I’m the first one to come up with that.

The Army recruiter guy told me that he remembered that Johnny B. Goode was part of the Back to the Future movie with Michael J. Fox (it’s the flashback where Michael is at his parents’ prom and imitates Chuck Barry).

We were about to get deeper into it (I’d just done some research on that movie and intended to thread it into an email for a client). Almost before I knew what had happened…

Another guy zipped in close and shoved Johnny P’s spare cake into the Army recruiter’s face.

And away he went. I was shocked. This was actually the first cake smash of the day–the bride and groom were super-caring when feeding each other cake.

The recruiter went to get cleaned up, and everyone stood around wondering what just went on.

This is pain and suffering–no way around it. In fiction, these scenes are hard for me to write, but I know they’re also the most real, and most relatable.

And I ain’t a-gonna make light of this no-how…far from it.

People relate to being embarrassed, ashamed, and what-have-ya because it happens to everyone, just at a different place or time.

And if you’re a copywriter, this pain is what you need to get your hands on and never let go–people pay money, sometimes a lot of it–to get their pain taken care of–emotional, physical, organizational, and on and on.

It may sound crass, but that’s where the money is–helping people lessen, avoid, or eliminate pain (there’s pleasure/good times too, but it seems that pain is more prevalent).

Fiction readers read to see this pain (or conflict) for your characters get solved. And prospects read to see if they have the pain you’re talking about, and if they do, if you’re the one to solve it.

If you’re stuck on any part of a fiction or copywriting project, dig into the pain, and see if you can come up with something to write about.

I’m sure you will, and fast. Because people–real, good, honest people–are looking to get those pains taken care of, or read about others who triumph over them.

Tomorrow is Triple F. Be sure to stop by.

Until next time,



About Ty Mall

Thanks for stopping by. I've almost always been interested in writing, among other things. Along with discovering pop culture, I've uncovered a lot about the craft over the past 10 years. And whether you're a fiction writer or email copywriter, I'm here to pass on what I've found out. And have a ton of fun in the process.
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