All may not be as simple as it seems

I have reached a type of writers block that would not surprise me if many, if not most, writers experience in their work.

It is a metaphor block, when the crucial metaphorical stepping stones that bridge between points A and B have not made themselves visible to complete the journey from points A to B.

To complicate the journey, there is “clear and convincing evidence” that there is no need to go from points A to B, a position supported by powerful forces that do not want to see any movement beyond point A.

Standards and conventions have in fact been promulgated to address the relevant issues from the perspective of point A, obviating any perceived need for moving beyond point A.

As the Wizard of Oz attempted to dissuade Dorothy as to her curiosity by stating “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”, I am looking for metaphors to encourage readers to look behind that carefully designed and constructed curtain that hides a deeper, and unexpectedly less complex, truth.

I am fully aware and cognizant of the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) acronym that means to remind us of the beauty and power of simple solutions.

In response, I quote the often cited parable that “Nature abhors a vacuum”, when in fact, by sheer volume, the universe is well over 99.99999999% a vacuum.

Writers, possibly above all others, appreciate the power of a well placed metaphor as a tool to bridge between points A and B.

I would welcome any and all thoughts toward my own nacent effort at this craft we all share here.

Thanks for reading,

Toto looked behind the curtain first.

So maybe a seemingly insignificant minor character will show your readers the way?

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Hi kewms,

So, so true … thank you for the (movie) reality check[1].

Perhaps Toto is herself a metaphor … with such a direct and impenetrable headwind, perhaps a seemingly insignificant minor character may be the only way to approach the issue and keep readers reading.

That could add a few more crucial metaphorical stepping stones to bridge between points A and B; but worth it if it works!

And as for “Nature abhors a vacuum”, the more the universe expands at what I understand is an increasingly accelerated rate, the more a vacuum will become the norm, not the exception!

Thanks for the correction,

[1] Terry (November 17, 1933 – September 1, 1945) was a female Cairn Terrier performer who appeared in many different movies, most famously as Toto in the film The Wizard of Oz (1939). See Terry (dog).

I think that i would pick however you subtle you want to be and wait for your beta readers to say that they saw clues or did not. If they did not make hints/forshadowing more obvious. Use a text clue such as FFF in body of text and remove before compile for forshadowing or a keyword so can find forshadowing points to pump up the brightness or dim them based on feedback. Trust your readers intelligence.

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In line with @GoalieDad’s comment, one of the most common errors that editors complain about is giving too much detail. Readers enjoy being asked to make connections and figure things out for themselves.

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I’ve read this several times and still am not really clear what you’re actually asking… So I’m going to guess that you’ve reached a certain point in your writing and realised that the ending you originally envisaged no longer makes sense as you near the end of your first draft.

If that’s the case, you have three basic options:

  1. Forget your original ending, and embrace the fact that you gave your characters free will and they used it. You’ll need a new ending, of course. This is the easiest, and you may be surprised at how well the new ending works if you can let go of the romantic attachment to your original idea.

  2. Instead of writing forward to your original ending, work backwards from your originally proposed ending to where you are now. Given that these two “lines” don’t currently bisect, you’ll need to come up with some short sharp shock to bridge between them. This will be jarring, like re-breaking a bone to let it reset properly. Such a jar may actually serve the story well (a hidden twist) if done skilfully.

  3. Go back to where you originally got off track and moved in such a way to make meeting your original ending difficult, and rewrite from there. It was likely a small shift of only half a degree which is why you didn’t notice at the time, bit over a novel’s length took you significantly away from your destination. This is the most transparent fix. It’s also the most time consuming, potentially a complete re-write.

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Hi pigfender, kewms and GoalieDad,

Your words are why I am here. Scrivener represents so much more that just a software app. It is a collective of minds that share a common craft, one that has existed as long as humanity itself. Thank you.

I will need to read and think on your words to review the direction my own words need to take. To those with limited resources to continue reading, I say adieu.

To those who have a bit more flexibility, a few words to describe my challenge …

Today, with the likes of Champagne wine now being grown in the U.K., Tasmania, and even Norway, the signs are omnipresent … the sky IS falling. The shift in the wine growing regions of the world is just a beginning. A few words may be relevant …


"The antagonists to Bradshaw’s paper may see an opportunity to portray the paper as a “Chicken Little” story and little more, naively or blithely ignoring the sign and signals nature has posted round the globe for at least the last half century. For almost two centuries, the childhood fable of “Chicken Little” and the like captured the essence of what the Merriam-Webster dictionary defined in 1895 as "one who warns of or predicts calamity, especially without justification”.

As part of an oral folk tradition, the Henny Penny story of Kylling Kluk was first published in the Danish language in 1823. The protagonists, Kylling Kluk, reacts when a nut falls on his back, knocking him over, by proclaiming “I think all the world is falling” prompting Kluk and the other characters in the story to all flee in panic. The sly antagonist, the fox Ræv Skræv, proceeds to join Kluk and the other characters as they flee, taking advantage of the chaos to devour them all, one by one."

To proceed from point A to B, my path is already a few degrees divergent from what has become a well established path supported by thousands with a far higher level of intelligence than this writer, but perhaps lacking a certain perspective.

In essence, this writer is asking those in the larger community of experts to consider if they need to shift their perspective more than just a few degrees. Such a shift is more aligned with thousands of years of experience and hard lessons, a seemingly stricter path for the residents of this planet, but except for consumers and producers with vested interests, one that has the sustenance of human experience to actually resolve the issue we all face.

I am, in effect, a devout ‘Chicken Little’, with but one small voice.

The questions include: Am I facing a “complete re-write” to be heard? How do I bring two “lines” together that “don’t currently bisect”? Or, what sort of “short sharp shock (will be needed) to bridge between them”.

And a thought I myself have had regarding the approach of the thousands of experts who have come before me:

Thank you all for your thoughts and suggestions. They are more than just heartwarming encouragement.

Thanks for reading.