Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Stroke of Not-Quite-Genius

This morning, on my drive into work, I was thinking about some of the recent work I've done of my novel-in-progress, and I had what was initially a horrifying realization: I'd accidentally introduced a glaring plot error into my most recent chapter.

What had happened, basically, is that the line between what I knew as the writer and what the characters knew had gotten blurred (this is what I get for having been away from the story for so long). So, I mentally kicked myself, and then started thinking about how I could take those bits out and smooth them over so that the error would be repaired.

And then it hit me: what if I used this to my advantage and actually let the characters deal with this information that they weren't supposed to have?

To make a long (and vague) story short, after even just a few minutes of brainstorming, I realized that I could turn this once-error into what's actually (in my opinion) a pretty awesome plot point, and one that propels this section of the story along in a way that, embarrassingly enough, makes more sense than what I'd originally planned.

I'm not sure what to make of that, if only to just let it reassert my assertion that, as a writer, you very often discover the story more than you actively create it.

1 comment:

Tim Susman said...

That's why I think taking time away from a story is often beneficial. You let what you've done drift away, and end up thinking about the story as it makes sense to you. Of course, sometimes you get things just horribly wrong and have to go fix them, but that's part of writing too. :)