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Thursday, August 18, 2011

The author as problem-solver

The women in my family tend to be good problem-solvers. Give us a problem -- at least, one that doesn't have to be solved within seconds to avoid mayhem -- and much of the time, we'll come up with a creative yet practical solution.

After a decades-long detour, I am back to writing fiction, and I've discovered how much of it is my old friend, problem-solving. The problem may be how to reveal key facts without a boring info-dump, or how to keep the reader's sympathies for a character despite her dismaying behavior. Whatever it is, if I park it on the mental stovetop for a bit, it doesn't take long before the pot starts bubbling. Well, it may take a day or three. Problem: how to find a better metaphor for problem-solving?...

1 comment:

Heidicrafts said...

I think you have a fine metaphor.

My lad has always been a muller. He needs time to think things through, but the connections are brilliant when they arrived. Since he was a wee lad, we've called it Mental Cud.