Happy May Day! However, please don't celebrate it by getting yourself into a mayday situation. πŸ˜‰

Speaking of mayday situations, I did manage to rescue the stranded baby rabbit from my window well. After much confusion about which government office was the right place to talk to, I got the info I needed about how to handle things. The window at the bottom of the well opens, and I was able to gently catch the rabbit and release it in our yard. I also found the window-well covers and put them on both wells so we hopefully won't have any more involuntary residents.

Whether in real life or in a story, sometimes the solution to a problem is easier than we first think. It may not be easy, but it's possible once we--or our characters--get past the lies, misconceptions, or fears that hold us/them back.

For instance, when I finally got connected to the right animal person, I mentioned my concern that if I touched the rabbit, it would smell like a human and its mother would reject it. The man explained that that was a myth and I could catch the rabbit by hand. Thank goodness, because the window well was way too deep to reach down into, and when I'd tried to make a ramp for the rabbit to climb out, the angle was so steep that I didn't think the rabbit would be able to use it. Using my hands (with gloves on) was much easier!

In writing, we do have to be careful with this technique. If the solution, especially for a major problem, is so easy that it seems obvious, the audience might feel cheated. That's how I felt at the end of Mary Poppins Returns, when <spoiler alert> it turned out that the late Mr. Banks had had an account with enough money to save the house, and all the pieces of the necessary proof had been right under the family's noses the whole time. </spoilers> All that effort for something that was readily available for the entire movie if the characters had just been paying attention? πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

A good way to check if your solution is too easy is to have someone (or several someones, if possible) from your target audience read your piece. For best results, explain that you're trying to see whether the solution feels satisfying or feels too easy. People typically give better feedback when they know what they should look for.Β 

Write on,


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(Thanks to πŸ‡¨πŸ‡­ Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum for sharing their work on Unsplash.)