Fictionally immovable

One of several reasons I’ve been struggling with the fantasy-in-progress is that I had created a nearly impossible problem for my characters, a corner they couldn’t get out of, a dead end that blocked their forward movement. It was going to take extreme ingenuity to give them an escape hatch so they could get to the remaining three-quarters of the story. Lots and lots of ingenuity.

You know what? In fiction, the easiest way past an immovable object is to declare “What obstacle? I don’t see no obstacle here! What wall? There never was any such wall…the real problem is over there, and if you just use your head or your muscles or your friends or all three, you’ll solve it in no time. And land in worse problems, but that’s not my fault. Well, really it is my fault – I built the trap you’re heading toward. But you’re supposed to cope with all sorts of problems. That’s what you’re for.”

(No, I’m not announcing that the characters solved their problem effortlessly because they’re Just That Awesome. I need to toss parts of the story as written so far, remove the insoluble problem, and set up a different problem. The nearly insoluble problem for me – as opposed to my characters – was realizing that I needed to take a different path instead of continuing to bang my head against the rocks.)

If I finish the fantasy-in-progress, if I publish the f-i-p, if you read the f-i-p, you’ll never even know when or where or what the impossible problem was. I unwrote it. My kind of deconstructionism.

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