Writing Fiction: Problem Solving

There was a machine featured in many British comedy films of the 1960s called a computer.  It was the size of six filing cabinets, had two massive spools, and blinking lights.  You fed in a card at one end and, after several squeaking, plonking noises, and the sound of a car backfiring, another card would be dropped out the other end with the answer to your question.  The Carry-Ons used it (and I wish Stanley Kubrick had).

I seem to have a similar system when I encounter a problem with my writing.  At the moment I’m trying to re-write the main male character, a comedian.  The problem is that he has changed so radically that the routines I wrote for old character can’t just be transposed.  They have to come from who he is.  But the thought of writing new material, which might actually be considered funny is daunting.  So, in December, I posed the question, what would his new jokes be?  Then went away and did other stuff.  Since then, it has started to come through in my daily writing.  Mostly in the form of rants linked to some episode in his life.  Whether it’s any good or not, I don’t know.


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