I have been working on a new novel for a bit now. It has flowed well. Then stuttered to a stop mid-scene. Something was off about this scene. It would just not play out right.
What do you do when you falter? When you know beyond a doubt that something is just off about a scene or a chapter or where you are going with a story?
I let it simmer first of all. I step back, stop and let the ideas stir in the brain. I play it out over and over in different ways. No, that way doesn’t feel right. That, not going to work. Is that character even necessary? I could write it out over and over but at this point, that would be a waste. I need to just think about it a bit.
I take this thinking time a generally go back and read through what I have written. I get back into the flow of it and see if I want to change anything there. Is that working for me? If it is, then we are good. As I go I usually tweak things and get back into the storyline. When I am trying to sleep at night (chronic insomniac here) I think about that scene. When I am exercising. When I am just pondering at moments of quiet.
It does not take long for a sudden idea to strike that resolves the conflict. That fits the puzzle you had. Fits the contexts and resolves that feeling you had that things were just slightly off.
And what I realize is that you seriously cannot underestimate the power of daydreaming. I know writers daydream a great deal. I think it is an essential trait. I think we should never mistake writer’s block for just needing to daydream a little. Just needing to ponder. To let some ideas simmer a bit.
Anyway, back to that scene. Itching to write it out now.