Dealing With Roadblocks

Do you know where you’re going? Most of us have a destination in mind when we start on a journey. If the route isn’t entirely clear we may check Google Maps or program our GPS because we like the security of knowing how we’ll get there. What do we do once we’re under way and an unexpected roadblock crops up? On well-travelled roads our GPS may suggest an alternate route, but that’s not always an option.

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This summer, many miles from a public road, we worked our way towards our northern cabin. We always travel well prepared with chainsaw and shovel for such things as fallen trees and mud holes. But around a curve we encountered an obstacle that left us stymied.

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Now what? In this remote location there was no one to offer assistance. Our best friend was our Dodge 4×4 dually. We backtracked and came at our cabin from a different direction, an eight kilometer adventure.

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We found a solution, but if, as I’m sure you’ve caught on, this were an allegory for writing, and the insurmountable obstruction happened in the middle of your story, how would you deal with it?

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When your characters suddenly carry you to an unexpected dead end do you abandon the story, start over again, or do you use a little ingenuity and take the opportunity to embark on an adventure?

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