Monday, March 14, 2016

And Then There Was One

So, sometime on Sunday I started writing this post for today, right? And it was all about how I had somehow, against all odds, whittled down my Unresolved Shit Deemed Too Much Work To Deal With The First Time Around revision list to one last item.


I went on to tell you, gentle readers, that this one last item was the M.J. Fifield of items (Translation: Difficult, and Needlessly So.). It was something I had been putting off and putting off the entire time I've been marooned here on Revision Island because it was something for which I just didn't have a solution.

See, I had this one character whose arc somehow went all wonky. Seriously, while doing my initial read-through, I was all, "Did I write this? Was I on drugs when I wrote this? This isn't going to work. Why did I ever think this would work?"

So fixing the arc went onto the revision list. Where I proceeded to ignore it because—again—I didn't know how to fix it.



Toward the end of last week, when I started to accept that this item could be put off no longer, I started making pages and pages of notes, and brainstormed solutions with my trusty beta reader/brother (Wait...should I have put 'brother' first?), but nothing felt quite right, so I wrote this post about how my goal for this coming week was to solve this one last problem so I could get the hell off of Revision Island (you know, at least until my entire flotilla of beta readers have a crack at the story and send me back there to fix more things.)

So, I pre-wrote and scheduled this post, right? It was done sometime Sunday afternoon. Anyway, following the writing and scheduling and publishing of this post, I stayed up late last night, making more notes and more plans without actually getting anywhere, and shortly after 1am, I decided to call it a night. Live to fight/write another day, you know?

Then it happened.

I had been in bed for probably about thirty-freaking-seconds when my brain—who, for the past 90-freaking-days has been all, "I don't know, man, that problem seems pretty unfixable. Why don't you think about donuts and cupcakes instead?"—was suddenly all, "Hey, here's the entirely-simple-solution-you'll-be-kicking-yourself-over-for-the-next-week-for-not-thinking-of-it-sooner answer to your problem!"

(My brain is gigantic jerk. It's also way too into hyphenating words to create ridiculous adjectives. But that's another post for another day, maybe.)

Needless to say, I sat up and furiously scribbled down notes in my handy-dandy notebook that I keep on my bedside table at all times.


The Man, by the way, is always thrilled when these late night/early morning epiphanies happen, and I scramble around to find my book light and my pen and the proper page within the handy-dandy notebook (That's a reference to the children's show Blue's Clues, in case you didn't know.) on which to record this brilliant epiphany. It's not disruptive at all. (Translation: it's incredibly disruptive.)

So I thought that would be the end of it—I had the epiphany, it was properly noted in the handy-dandy notebook—I could at last go to sleep.

I didn't. Instead, I got out of bed after my entirely restful 30 seconds of not sleeping, and returned to my office and went to work implementing The Plan.

I'm pleased to report that it's been almost three hours now, and I think that The Plan still holds up.


In fact, it's holding up so well that I felt the need to completely rewrite this post at 4:30 in the morning because I no longer have the big problem I had when I originally wrote this post just twelve hours earlier.

It's not even really feeling like a problem anymore. All I have to do now is go back through a few scenes and do a few touch-ups here and there. Surely, I can accomplish that before the end of the week (and bonus points to anyone who makes an Airplane! reference in the comments!).

I may be getting off this island after all!

I just may need to take a brief nap first.



What's on your agenda this week? Ever have one of those late-night writing epiphanies?

32 comments:

  1. There is much rejoicing! Glad you figured it out even though you lost a lot of sleep. I do see a nap in your very near future though.
    And my brain shuts off completely by ten o'clock, so no late night writing for me.

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    1. Fortunately, I have years of practice being an insomniac, so that helped a little. But yeah, I'm guessing I'll be passed out snoring on the couch this afternoon.

      I would love it if my brain shut off completely by 10pm! Think of the peace and quiet!

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  2. Whoo hoo! I love when that kind of thing happens, especially when it holds up later. I've lost track of how many times I was drifting off to sleep, thought of something "wonderful," then saw it in the light of day. Yuck. So, excellent for you! :)

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    1. Oh, me too. We're coming up on the twelve hour mark, and I haven't thrown the plan out yet, so I'm feeling pretty good about it.

      And even though I have the notebook and the book light and the pen handy, there are times when I'm still too lazy to write down an idea. Then I spent hours the next morning trying to remember it.

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  3. Good for you! Although my husband would kill me if I got up to write in the middle of the night.

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    1. Mine has (perhaps begrudgingly) become accustomed to it. If it's happening a lot in one night, though, I'll just get up and leave the room to help minimize the disruption to him.

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  4. I'm impressed! I almost got up the other night to write, but I was too warm and comfy. I regreted it in the morning when I realised I hadn't written down the important part of the idea :-(

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    1. I've done that, too. I'm so seldom warm and comfy in bed that when it happens, it takes an act of god to rouse me. That, or a puking cat and/or dog. :)

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  5. That's awesome! My epiphanies almost always come when I'm trying to sleep. I usually use my phone to make a note of the idea. I think our brains just like to play tricks on us.

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    1. I can't work my phone fast enough to get an idea down. It's my last resort to recording ideas.

      And our brains really do love to play tricks on us.

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  6. Epiphanies are supposed to come when you are going hell-for-leather in another direction on a completely unrelated and urgent situation. So you're right on track. (And very glad I am that it came! Welcome to being back in the groove!)

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    1. I'm so excited to have my groove back. I do hope I don't lose it again!

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  7. Boo. Ya.

    Fantastic news, M.J.! You've finally found a way off the island! Hooray for The Plan! However...

    Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit accepting bonus points.

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    1. I don't care if you did quit accepting bonus points. Bonus points are coming your way!!

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  8. I actually usually don't have them at night. They often come to me during walks and then I can't wait to get home and work it in. Congrats on solving the big problem.

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    1. Walks are great for problem solving. I used to have a lot of story-related epiphanies at my day job, too.

      But these days, they primarily show up in the middle of the night. I'm not really complaining...I'll take them anywhere and anytime I can get them. :)

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  9. Woohoo! Love it when the idea still looks good in the sober light of day. That's a win. :)

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    1. I know! It is a win! I even took a nap and still liked the idea when I woke up!

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  10. Good for you! I'm thrilled you have a plan...and I'm awed that you stayed up so late to work on it. I haven't stayed up that late to write in many, many, MANY years. ;)

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    1. I don't do it as often as I used to—it used to be pretty much a nightly occurrence—but I am an insomniac, so there's still plenty of late night work happening here.

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  11. I hate those problems that you don't know how to solve. Sometimes ignoring them is all you can do. And then a solution just pops into your head. Or explodes. So good luck and go take your nap.

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    1. I hate those problems, too. It's always such a great feeling to finally stumble across a solution. Even if it's generally tainted with some irritation at myself because I didn't think of the solution sooner. :)

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  12. Congratulations! So glad you could work it out. I did have one of those late night epiphanies, but didn't get out of bed and went back to sleep. Next morning I couldn't make sense of the notes I had written myself. So, you were smart to get out of bed and get to work on the problem. You definitely deserve a nap and cake:)

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    1. Cake! I didn't even think of having cake. Look at what this story has done to me!!

      I've had a few mornings where I couldn't decipher my notes from the night before. I guess somewhere in me I just knew not to risk it with this one. :)

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  13. Your brain wasn't being a jerk by making you think about donuts. It was distracting you so it could work on the problem in the background without you stressing it out. =D

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    1. Well, it failed miserably in that regard. What my brain should have done was supplied the answer earlier so we could have celebrated our success with donuts. :)

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  14. Hurray for epiphanies! I desperately need some of those right now, LOL. Glad to hear your brain decided to stop being stubborn long enough to allow one to come to you, even if it did cause you to lose sleep in the process. Best of luck wrapping this up before the week ends!

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    1. I know, right? I'm like, "How long have you been sitting on that revelation, brain?"

      But I suppose I should have expected my brain to be stubborn. It is my brain after all. :)

      Wishing you many epiphanies of your own!

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  15. Don't call me Shirley!

    It's always when you give up that the epiphany comes. I'm in the struggle at the moment as well. It's chapter 18, and my group tore the thing to shreds. They had a good point. But I'm still not quite sure how to fix it.

    Congrats on your fix. I hope it's still working for you and that you're off Revision Island soon.

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  16. I'm not certain I understand the situation...
    Are you saying that God can or can't create a rock He can't lift?

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  17. Writing. Cleaning. Voting. Cooking. Grocery shopping.

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  18. Woot! Awesome that you've got it figured out. :)

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