“Don’t forget the boat!” A lesson in plotting and a moose

Author Bob Mayer’s blog, Write On, always has the most interesting posts.
Like this one:

Bob Mayer

Sometimes my obtuseness astounds me. Early in my career, while writing one of my Green Beret books, I knew my characters would need a boat later on in order to conduct a mission. Except, the thing is, they didn’t know they would need it. So, to get around this problem, I simply had one character say “Don’t forget the boat” and they sling load a zodiac underneath a Blackhawk helicopter.

My wife, with the memory that allows no winning of arguments about the past, reminds me about this every so often. Where, when we know the plot ahead of time, we tend to move the plot to those events, rather than let things unfold. Because maybe, if they didn’t have a boat, they’d have figured something more interesting out?

I used to outline a lot. Now I go with the flow. But there’s a problem in the other direction. I…

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