Thursday, 12 January 2012

Have You Ever...

...had a story you knew was brilliant--perfect characters, excellent plot, high concept, etc.--but still had something missing? You couldn't quite put a finger on it (or you knew but couldn't fix it), so you leave it be in the hope that someday that missing puzzle will plop into your head?

Well, last night, while I was watching TV, that very "link" swooshed into my mind. It was like having an empty bowl with nothing to pour into it and turning for only a second to discover a most glorious array of sweets and biscuits when you return. Have you ever had this happen to you? Isn't it fantastic!? Holy shit I feel like all my troubles have been solved--not only in the story, but with everything!

For all these years this missing piece was an egg. A frickin' egg! It's so simple I couldn't believe I hadn't thought of it before. Months on end I toiled in vain to solve the plot hole with regard to my MC's motivation. It was good but, for me, it just didn't feel right. Ya know? I mean, we're the gods of our worlds, and we know when something isn't working; we might try to glaze over it, but deep down we know...

So, has something like this ever happened to you?

13 comments:

Vicki Rocho said...

An egg. I'm intrigued (and will refrain from any chicken-egg jokes)

I do get sudden inspirations though not quite as profound as yours. Usually just a perfect bit of dialogue or a better way to set up a scene.

DRC said...

I'm there...with my last piece. The MC, Blake, is fine. I have him and his motivation down to a Tee. But his colleague is a different matter. She's not so 3D at the moment. I need to give her a reason for doing what she does, and it needs to be urgent and substantial as this feeds Blake's mistrust in her. I'll keep stiring that bowl.

T.D. McFrost said...

Vicki - So good of you to stop by. The egg, in question, plays a very pivotal role in the plot. At first it was a box, but it really didn't hold any emotional ties because it was an inanimate object. But an egg...now that has so much more potential. You can love an egg unconditionally because of what is inside, and what is in this particular egg can change the world in my novel.

I'm excited just writing this!

DRC - I hope your bowl comes to a simmer soon. For me, I find reflecting on the story before I go to bed helps, as I put it all into perspective. Perhaps this can help you.

Tracey Neithercott said...

Yes! It's maddening and then euphoric, depending on what side of the aha! moment you're on. My egg was a VHS tape. It's funny how the little things can change a story.

I also find talking it out with people helps a lot. Sometimes I just need to work through it and have someone listen and give me reasons why my solutions won't work. Or if I know something's not working but I have no idea what, I'll send it to a critique partner and their feedback usually helps a lot. I think I'd still be pre-VHS if it weren't for my CPs.

Cynthia said...

Now you have me wondering to, an egg? Do tell. And yes the Ah ha has happened to me too. It's a great feeling!

Tabitha said...

Yep, sure has. I've been working on a story for frickin' ten years. Ten years!! It took me *this long* to find that missing piece, and now that I have it I actually have a completed first draft. I was so excited I actually thought I could fly off my roof. I didn't try it, of course. :)

So glad you found your missing piece! It's an amazing feeling, isn't it? :)

Roland D. Yeomans said...

All the time. Luckily, my characters back talk me. LOL. Thanks for visiting my post. Roland

Nicole Zoltack said...

Oh, sounds intriguing! There's nothing quite like that feeling when everything clicks into place... although nothing beats typing The End.

ryan field said...

These things happen to me at the weirdest times...usually when there is no paper or iPhone to write them down.

SA Larsenッ said...

Of course. I find when I relax, put the work aside and let life happen, that's when I have those Ah-ha moments. They are priceless.

Misha Gericke said...

I know exactly what you mean. I actually had a massive flash of inspiration like that last year. It had me floating for days. :-D

The Golden Eagle said...

Yup. :) I had one earlier this month, and it solved a problem I had been stewing over since I started the novel--which was back in 2009. Ah well, at least I figured it out in the end . . .

Michael Offutt, Evolved Monkey said...

Oh yeah. This kind of thing happens to just about everyone I believe. The reason behind it is that your subconscious continuously works on a problem whether or not your conscious mind is aware of it. That's why sometimes you can go to bed with a question and then wake up in the morning with the answer.

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