There’s a point I love in writing just about anything, but especially when writing a novel–when something important to the story, something that changes the story and ups the stakes, something that’s been floating around in the unconscious part of my brain for weeks, breaks through into full consciousness.
That happened today. Yesterday, I had my pen in hand and the sentence that started this big revelation came to mind, but instead, I thought “No, that’s not how the plot needs to go.” It was a sentence that came fully formed, based on one of those images I cut from magazines last week.
That idea, from the image, was still in my head this morning, so I thought about it a little bit more. And after a couple of minutes, even though I’d already written another scene where this one would go, I wrote it down anyway. From partly conscious but ignored to fully aware to the page.
And suddenly there’s a whole other layer of story to work with, and I see how it will move the plot forward, how it will help develop and challenge the characters, how it will reinforce conflict and theme. It’s so fun when this happens, because it lets me actually see the way I receive story. The key is to be open to everything and not be too wedded to any idea of plot that’s already there.