I’d written recently about a big plot hole problem which has been stalling the book for a while. Late on Friday night, while I was futzing with a new scene that wasn’t quite working, I had an idea. I revised a couple of lines of dialog, and suddenly the rest of the scene just flowed. Because I’d figured out the solution to the plot hole, and once I’d made the choice to go with it, a bunch of other things starting falling into place…
I made some notes in the project file explaining the solution, so I wouldn’t forget it, and even went back through some of the earlier scenes and flagged them to revise accordingly. Once again, I’m really glad that I found and bought Scrivener a while back to be my writing program. It makes it so easy to add these notes. Back when I was using a standard word processor, I would have to either start a separate file to put the notes in, or try format inline comments so I could find them. There was always the danger I would miss them and send a manuscript off to someone with something like
[[[Remember to change to location of X]]] sitting in the middle of a scene.
Once that was done, and I had saved the file, and made sure the back up had synched to the cloud, I went to bed. (You don’t want to hear the tales of times in the past when a solution to a problem occurred to me just before I went to bed, or when I was somewhere else where I couldn’t stop and write it down, and then later could not remember what it was!)
For the rest of the con I wrote a few more scenes, and spent a lot of time running through earlier scenes making changes if I could, or making more notes about which ones needed to be updated later.
I credit being at the convention as an important part of the solution. I had contemplated something very similar to the solution to the one I came up with this weekend, but the variant I had thought of created more loose ends than in cleared up. I had been close, oh so close, though. Being away from my usual routines, I think, helped me this solution.
It’s one reason I have my laptop at the table with me at cons. I’m in a different environment, occasionally talking to strangers, explaining the project, or laughing as an old friend I don’t see that often tells of the bad repairs a previous owner had attempted on the house said friend has recently bought. It makes me think differently. It makes me see things from a new angle.
And sometimes, that’s all I need.