I spent this just-past Thanksgiving weekend at the beach with a rotating cast of family members in attendance. It was a blast. And, I got some writing done. I woke up early every day and sat at the dining room table and wrote on my laptop. (It helped immeasurably that the house has no wi-fi.)
I’d been struggling with rewriting two chapters, the segments of which needed rearranging. I had looked at them every which way from Sunday and back again. I would get to a point where I thought I had it all figured out and then I would realize it wouldn’t work. So I’d go back to making notes and lining each chapter out and again, it would all collapse and go to that place where plots that don’t work go.
Finally I started writing. I went with my latest organizational scheme (because I thought I had it all figured out) and just freaking started writing. Which is when I realized that what I thought would work wouldn’t. Again. However, this time I found the answer in the writing. The arrangement of scenes flowed effortlessly, organically. No angst or wringing of hands.
While we were at the beach, we spread out a jigsaw puzzle, which turned out to be a very difficult one, so difficult that there was much cheering every time a new piece got fit in. That’s how I felt with my chapters. I figured out the order. Much cheering.
But here’s the main takeaway: START WRITING. It amazes me over and over again how the answers always lie in the writing itself. Why I forgot that and need to remind myself so often is a mystery.
How do you find answers to your writing problems?