Monday, July 11, 2011

Learning from side trips

Sometimes when you get stuck and you think about how to get unstuck, your mind will come up with a really cool idea.  But when you go to put this idea down on paper (or screen as in my case), it doesn't translate in the same way.  No matter what you do, you can't make the scene come to life the way it did in your mind.

This was my WIP last week. I had let it sit while I worked on another project, and my mind came up with a fantastic opening, complete with a Fairy Godmother for my prince.  Unfortunately when I tried to put it into words on the page, it wouldn't flow right.

Eventually I went back to my hunting scene and found a way to add in dialogue.  Now, not only do I have an action packed opening, complete with dialogue, but my female MC has a character flaw I didn't realize--she's a perfectionist.  And the fact that the male MC caused her to flub a shot with an arrow is grating on her in more ways than one.

Do I regret the time I spent playing and writing scenes I am not going to use?  Not at all.  They helped show a few places I had plot holes, and helped me find some new insight into my characters.

How about you?  Have you ever gone done a path with your characters that you had to backtrack from and re-do?  Did you regret the trip, or did you learn something from it?


  1. I have complete manuscript that have gone down the wrong path. :)

  2. Yes, definitely. I think this happens a lot and the trip is always worth it if you can know your characters better afterward. Stories evolve on their own sometimes and so do our characters. I'm sure you'll work it all out.


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