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The all-important “Eureka!”

November 11, 2013

First thing’s first: my WIP novel is now truly back in progress after over a month’s worth of inactivity. Getting back into it, thankfully, didn’t turn out to be all that difficult. I went over and revised my plan on the weekend before last, and then started writing during the week. Thus far, I’ve averaged around 500 words a day; a bit slower than before, perhaps, but progress is progress. Writing around a day job, it seems, is something I still need to get used to.

Where planning was concerned, there were still a few issues. I couldn’t decide on a climax, for one thing, and I was beginning to have doubts regarding the specifics of a certain important character. I simply went in hoping the answers would come to me later. If I didn’t start writing the book again sooner or later, after all, then it would never get finished.

And then, last Sunday, it happened. It was early(ish) in the morning. I was having a shower. I was half-thinking, half-daydreaming about the story and the bothersome character in particular, only for the answer to strike me in one fell swoop. As soon as I was dry, I raced to my computer and begun jotting stuff down. I changed a single detail about the character and considered how this change would impact upon my storyline.

Soon afterwards, almost everything fell into place.

This character, I realised, could now be used to initiate the climax of the story. This climax would not be the one I had planned on originally, but rather an event that was due to take place slightly earlier. By using this event as my finale, I could streamline my story’s final stretch considerably. The original ending and the events surrounding it, I figured, can be used in the sequel instead – assuming, of course, that I ever make it that far.

Only a few issues remain. I’m not quite sure how I’ll reveal the new detail to my protagonist, though I do have ideas. Furthermore, the role of the protagonist’s mother in the story is still something I can’t quite pin down. Even so, I know I’m getting close now. I even reckon I’ll have a first draft done before the year is out.

Had any big “Eureka!”s lately? Seeing at its NaNoWriMo, I reckon more than a few people will have done so. Go ahead and post your thoughts below πŸ™‚

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From → Blogging, Writing

14 Comments
  1. I’m almost 10 000 words in with my NaNo novel and would kill for a eureka at this point. Currently I’m just plodding around, hoping it will all make sense in the end.

    How are the studies going?

    • 10000 is still really good, though. What kind of issue are you having, if you don’t mind me asking?

      Studies are going well, thanks. I get on with my supivisor really well, which definitely helpts. Most of my time has been spent learning how to write programming code and to use software, as opposed to actually learning more physics, though I gather that’s pretty normal at the beginning.

      • Not at all. Am actually planning to blog about it today as well. I struggle to write about the everyday stuff, like going shopping and making dinner, without it being boring. Those scenes are important in establishing the relationships between the characters, but boring to write. I foresee much of my rewriting of these scenes will be to make sure they’re not boring to the readers as well.

        Oh, and I’m very easily distracted. It takes an insane amount of discipline to keep seated and writing. πŸ˜‰

      • I’ve had similar issues before; this is one of the reasons my opening came out so much longer than it should have done, in fact. Can’t say I’m particularly bothered about it, myself, since I know a few redrafts ought to fix it. I saw that extract you posted on your blog, by the way, so I’ll be sure to give that a proper read over the weekend :).

        And yeah, agreed :D.

  2. Glad to hear its coming back together. Seems to go in ups and downs with me as well, and I guess a lot of people. Had a minor eureka moment at the weekend – my WIP needs an extra POV character (taking it from 2 (which is ridiculously small) to 3). One of the supporting cast was screaming out for more time, and I eventually realised they could really aid the tension and perspective of the story.

    Trouble is that now it means a bit of a rewrite of the synopses of the other characters (what I’d written for scenes will still be more than usable though). Still, thats why I’m using the snowflake method. Get all this out before I really let rip. Can you imagine how annoyed I’d have been if I’d figured that out tens of thousands of words in and had to have reworked so much of the early parts of the story.

    • Glad to hear things are moving forward :). I only have one POV character at the moment, but I might add a few specific scenes from other points of view in a later draft.

      Pretty annoyed, I’d say :D. I’m actually going to have to rework a fair bit when I start my next draft, but it’s safe to say that the snowflake has saved me a lot of grief in this area. I’m still glad I found out about it.

      Where are you in the snowflake at this point, out of interest?

  3. Still working through steps 8 (scene list) and 9 (narrative description). I’ve decided to combine them, but I may have gotten a little distracted playing around with Scrivener to get it to work effectively (and look cool )… Hoping to get a complete scene list done by end of the year, but as per above, need to add in a new POV character and as a result, tweak the plot lines of the other POV characters.

  4. First of all, I’m really happy to hear that you’ve found time to work on your WIP novel while studying for your Ph.D.! I also understand the struggle to find the balance between work and writing (since I have the same predicament) and love that you’re making things work out nonetheless. Go you! πŸ™‚

    Eureka moments are awesome. They pop on you when you least expect them to, like in your case. In the past I’ve experienced Eureka moments only for my CD reviews – and those moments would always come when I was driving in my car. Although I did have one with my novel last night, during a conversation a friend and I were having about the novel. The idea would actually have a greater impact on the stories that follow this WIP – but it would add so much juicy tension and conflict that I can’t not include it now. *lol*

    • Thanks a lot :D. I don’t know how long it’ll last, but it seems to be working for the time being. How have things been going on your end, lately?

      And yeah, Eureka moments are indeed awsome. One of my favourite parts of writing, to be sure πŸ˜€

      • Progress is progress, no matter what. Keep it going for as long as you can – but don’t spread yourself too thin. I imagine classes and studying must take up a good chunk of your time…?

        Things have been going very well! I just posted a “Chronicling The Craft” article last night to celebrate passing 30,000 words. πŸ˜‰

      • They certainly are. The good thing, though, is that they’re taking up time at much more regular hours than my undergraduate studies did. This has made it quite a bit easier to schedule my writing time.

        Glad to hear :D. I’ll take a look before the day is out.

  5. Sorry, I’ve missed getting your updates for the last month, because I changed my email address. I’ve resubscribed with my new address, and look forward to catching up with your posts πŸ™‚

    • Glad you’re back on board, Bobbie :). Though to be honest, you haven’t missed much: I’ve been neglecting this site a little, lately.

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