But it’s not a hygiene thing, it’s a creative thing. Wait a minute, did that sound totally wrong?
So this whole week (and if you count the weeks I was avoiding this, really its about a month), I’ve been struggling with this section of my novel that’s roughly Chapters 11-19 (the book actually gets really good starting about Chap 19). Kurt (my main character) goes in circles a tad and I’ve been trying to work him out of that. One of the ways I am doing this I can’t describe accurately without creating a spoiler, but to be über generic — through happenstance he follows a suspect and ends up in a specific location. Once in that location, he loses the suspect. Recently I had been thinking that he could then, through happenstance, see a different person of interest there and that this would be a great way to introduce a newish plot line.
PROBLEM: When it came time to write it, it felt, well, too implausible. He “just happens” to see Mr. X and then just happens to see Mr. Y right after. Really?? Is that the best you can do (it’s that second-person-speaking authoritarian voice again, except this time it has taken on the persona of a junior critic at a small-time print publication with an over aggrandized sense of self). Bottom line, I couldn’t do it.
So after thinking about it Sunday, staring at it for 30 minutes Monday morning, then skipping past it, only to find myself staring at it for another 20 minutes Tuesday, and skipping it again. I repeated the process today. I felt a wee bit stressed and frustrated. But I knew it just wouldn’t work the way that I had been thinking about it.
Then I was in the shower, mostly thinking about how little time I had to finish showering, iron my clothes, and pack up my son and my self for the day And BAM! I just started seeing how Kurt would not see Mr. Y and how he would leave the location and what he would do next. I made a tie in to a minor character that some readers had wanted more from, brought a major character in, did some character building, and hit some of the points that my readers had been suggesting. All while fixing the original problem.
I almost tripped getting out of the shower. I had to get to my legal pad before this evaporated. I wrote down one key idea to trigger me later. Finished getting ready, making sure to pack the legal pad and two hours later while waiting for a meeting I grabbed the pad and sketched out the scenes that I saw while in the shower. I am actually excited to hit the writing tomorrow morning because I think I’m about to apply some ideas that will definitely improve my novel.
I’ve got another doozie like this in Chapters 30-40ish, but one step at a time.