How to Conquer Writer’s Block: Tip 43

whippingboy_cover-330‘FESS UP! Another terrific piece of advice was something I learned from the late Sid Fleischman at a talk he gave at SCBWI a long time ago. Sid’s words on craft were always simple, yet brilliant. If your work comes to a screeching halt because of a plot difficulty you just can’t get past, or can’t solve logically—draw attention to it! Actually mention the piece of illogic to your readers, and almost magically, it solves the problem. I was working on the copyedit of my new book THE FIVE LIVES OF OUR CAT ZOOK, and couldn’t decide whether my main character used italics or quote marks around words she found interesting. I wanted to use both, and this seemingly minor problem was driving me nuts. The solution was right in front of me, once I drew attention to it: my main character does use both, and gives us an interesting description why.
Thank you, Sid. You and your magic tricks are missed, and your books will always bring joy and laughter.

I’m still learning from Sid…

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