September 8, 2012

What some fresh air can do

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I decided on the story that I want to write next but there were some problems with the plot. It turned out that those problems were more nagging than I thought. For days, I couldn't get the story to make sense end to end. I tried re-working it and changing the backstory that it relied on, but I never felt satisfied.

Then one day, I decided to take a walk outside. Maybe it was the fresh air or just being away from my notebook, but during the walk, I thought about the plot anew and changed the premise a little. Pieces of the story suddenly fell into place. Plot elements that didn't work before either started working or became unnecessary to the new universe I created in my head. As soon as I returned from the walk, I wrote down a new outline for the story.

When I was blocked, it was a scary feeling because I'd never felt that way before. With my first two novels, the initial ideas I came up with worked from the start. All I needed to do was fine-tune them and add the details. The skeleton never changed from the moment I started working on it. However, in this case, I felt like a paleontologist trying to piece together a  fossil where the pieces didn't quite fit until he realized that it belonged to a different species. At least I think I've got the correct species figured out. Now to finish putting the rest of the skeleton together and fleshing it out.


  1. I'm a huge believer in walking as a technique for writers. There's something about being outside and moving the old body that loosens up plot machinery in the brain. Glad you were able to solve your plot glitches... :)

  2. Thanks, Angela. Walking doesn't usually work as well as it did this time, but I agree that it's a good technique, and it's good for you too! :-)