“Well, it’s just… during the first six months, you’re more likely to forgive someone for their knickknacks.”
Mom started laughing.
“What’s so funny?”
“I’ve just never,” she managed through giggles, “heard knickknacks used that way before.”
“Wait, what are knickknacks?” I asked, suddenly afraid I’d used the wrong word. Again.
“They’re those little figures, an inch or so tall. Like those Star Wars ones, that you always leave laying around.”
“Right,” I said, relieved. “Those. Those little things that just hang around and get annoying.”
Thoughts: Sometimes, random conversations are fun. Aside from plot heavy scenes, which are required (though navigating that minefield takes some work in longer prose) these are what people read stories for. If everything was strictly plot and progression, every novel would read like some sort of…. well, I don’t know because I’ve never read a story that was strictly plot progression and kept reading. I normally put the book down. I read for the characters, and I’m sure most people share my enthusiasm in that department.
Besides, if this were a short story or a chapter in a much longer one, who knows what seemingly idle details might pop up again later, when the narrator is sure the reader has all but forgotten. I can think of two instances in the passage which are ideal for such extrapolation.
1. The narrator refers to using words wrong, frequently. That tells the reader not to take what he says out loud seriously, but that he also does know what he’s talking about, so maybe his internal monologue is worth appraisals.
2. The boy is a bit a wreck, leaving his toys all over the place. Suggestive of a younger child, who hasn’t learned the concept that his room is where things ought to be left.
See things differently? Let me know.