So AJ was editing The First Hunt and she wrote this explanation for a writing group she’s part of and wound up answering her own problem. This method of problem solving is called Rubber Duck Debugging. AJ uses it on a regular basis when she’s working on code. And apparently it works for all sorts of things. But for AJ it only really works if she writes it down. Brain to finger coordination is so much better than brain to mouth.
Here is what AJ wrote:
So I’m editing my novel. And in order to keep the scene, I need to be able to define the elements of a scene/sequel pairing otherwise it’s trashed. This particular scene could be cut, but the facts involved in the scene establish a little bit about Nox’s ability that you really can’t see otherwise.
Nox has just been informed that he’s going to be Valedictorian of his class and he needs to give a speech. Which he doesn’t want to do because the rest of his classmates would make it epically horrible and he wants to avoid it at all costs, so his plan is to fail the remainder of his tests and papers to drop his grades down to the third in the class. Which we will say is theoretically possible, but I’m not going to actually calculate exact numbers or anything. Nox calculated the precise number of questions he can answer to fail the tests but still does all the work on the scratch/test paper but doesn’t log the answers in the key he’s turning in.
Goal: To become third in class and not give a speech
Conflict: Only finals and a on paper left to turn in for the end of the class
So I need some sort of disaster. He has to graduate today, I’d prefer his ploy actually work so I don’t actually have to write his speech or work it into the story since he has never given it any version.
I suppose I could rework the goal/conflict/disaster
Th goal is not to give a speech
The conflict is he has straight As
The disaster is he only has two finals and a paper he’s willing to fail in order to achieve his goal
The reaction then would be to use his ability to calculate the exact number of answers he has to leave blank for each test in order to just lower his grade just enough to become 3rd in class
The dilemma is his mentor will be upset with him if he fails his tests
His decision is to go through with it and deal with the consequences from his mentor.
I think that worked out well enough… thank you Rubber Duck Debugging!