What a difference a day makes

You never know where the answer to your problems is going to come from.

Wednesday I was ready to start beating the keyboard with my forehead because everything about the book I’m working on just feels wrong at the moment. Then yesterday, in an email conversation with a fellow writer, I explained what the story is about and she asked, Is this a YA?

It’s not, but her question got me thinking. I went for a run a little later (word of advice: don’t go running outdoors at noon on an orange air quality day) and that’s when I had my aha! moment: my main character is too old. I’ve been writing her as thirty-five, but everything she’s going through will make a lot more sense if she’s more like twenty-five. Her younger brother becomes her older brother, and things with her parents take on a different sense of urgency.

Of course, coming to this conclusion halfway through the first draft means I can either stop and revise or keep plowing forward and fix the unevenness later. I always opt for forging ahead in cases like this. If you’re lucky enough to have forward momentum, it’s not the time to reverse course.

3 thoughts on “What a difference a day makes

  1. Don’t you love those moments of revelation? Non-writers will never understand what it’s like to have the heavenly choir of enlightenment suddenly singing overhead. (or, if you prefer, a light bulb clicking on)

  2. Yes, yes, YES. What Kathleen said.

    Even when it makes you cry. (“Hrm. This will only work in first person, not the third person I’m writing in… and I’m at page 259…”)

    • Which, if you’ll recall, happened with Detours after I finished the second draft. The heavenly choir of enlightenment sometimes takes an awfully long time to get in tune.

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