The ones you get when you thought you had everything lined up for the novel, and just needed to write it, and the Muse drops a big What If? in your lap, and you go Hmmm!
And it might be a GOOD IDEA, but it is certainly coming at a BAD TIME.
This happened this morning, and I have to admit it is a) a good idea, and b) fills a small plot hole I had, but hadn’t really thought about much except peripherally.
I think what happened is that as I took care of all the other ideas, assigning them to where they will be developed in the plot line, I cleared up some thinking space, and this little one came out, like Hope from Pandora’s Box, after all the rest had gone.
It provides a nice little conflict, and small but connecting plot line, and fills an empty space on the story’s calendar.
CONFLICT FOR READERS – KEEPS ‘EM HAPPY
On the other hand, it is new, puts things in a different light, and will worry my readers.
THAT was the touchstone.
My motto is ‘Torture Rachel.’
This will nicely torture Rachel.
I hope it will torture other readers, too – making them anxious and slightly unhappy, and annoyed, and…
REAL LIFE IS NO DEFENSE
And I have a nice solid example from Real Life where I know exactly how things worked out to use as a template, one I actually understand and liked when it happened.
Not all RL is usable this way: ‘it actually happened’ is a sorry excuse for work that is not also story-true. RL doesn’t have stories that open and close neatly – which is why we crave stories, Lisa Cron of Wired for Story tells us.
IS IT A GOOD IDEA TO LISTEN TO YOUR BRAIN?
It DID derail forward progress a bit, while I suss out the implications and the necessary connections, and carve it some space, and make SURE it is justified.
Yes, I think it WILL do.
Brains, even brain-fogged ones, can surprise you when you’re not looking.