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Rubber Duck Outlining

David Gane
David Gane
1 min read

I saw this quote from Andrew Errington on what he calls the "Rubber Duck method of debugging":

1. Beg, borrow, steal, buy, fabricate or otherwise obtain a rubber duck (bathtub variety)
2. Place rubber duck on desk and inform it you are just going to go over some code with it, if that’s all right.
3. Explain to the duck what you code is supposed to do, and then go into detail and explain things line by line.
4. At some point you will tell the duck what you are doing next and then realize that that is not in fact what you are actually doing. The duck will sit there serenely, happy in the knowledge that it has helped you on your way.

I think this is the best (craziest) way to sort out the structure of your script, sequence, or scene. I think it would work amazing when you don’t have a writing partner.

One last thing would be to make sure no one can see or hear you talking to the duck.

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Co-writer of the Shepherd and Wolfe young adult mysteries, the internationally award-winning series, and teacher of storytelling and screenwriting.