Rubber Duck Writing

The other day, I learned about Rubber Duck Debugging. The idea is a programmer describes a problem to an inanimate object, and upon reaching the problem in the code, they will more easily notice the problem

Photo by Tom Morris, 2011I’ve often noticed that one of the best ways to learn something new is to teach it to someone else. Also, a good way of realizing a detail you’re taking for granted is trying to explain a complex concept to a complete idiot. This sometimes frustrates the idiot, but it affords them a rare opportunity to do something more useful than convert lite beer to urine*.

*My wife tells me that by making this statement, I’m being unkind to complete idiots, therefore if you are an idiot and desire an apology, please send me a stamped self-address envelope along with the customary $15 handling charge. You will receive your apology in four to six weeks.

I often find that discussing my plot lines with my wife helps me sort out which scene to write next. While she is neither a complete idiot nor an inanimate object, I often find the exercise rewarding. Above and beyond the call of duty, she even provides me with valuable insights.

urlSo, the next time you’re stuck in your writing try talking it out with a lamp, or a rock, or your local village idiot. The results may surprise you.

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