Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Solution to Every Problem

I don’t know about you, but I can’t count how many times I’ve slammed my fists against my desk and growled, “This isn’t going to work. My novel has so many issues, I don’t know how it will ever fit together.”

I’m not talking about simple things like using passive voice. I’m talking about big stuff, like getting from point A to point B when the leap is impossible. Problems that make me wonder if I might have to trash the whole thing.

It’s a million times worse with historical fiction. I might make Tuccia, my main character, do something only to discover it was historically impossible, or it was unlikely for a Roman woman.

(A piece of advice for historical novelists; you can save a lot of time and heartache if you don’t even think of plot or characters until after your research is done.)

I’m here to tell you that whenever a problem starts with me pounding my fists, it always ends the same way: I hit my head on the keyboard repeatedly and say, “Stupid, stupid, stupid.” Why? Because when I come up with the answer – and the answer is always there – I realize how simple it is.

I was inspired to write this article because today, I made a discovery that could potentially fix a problem I’ve had since I first started this novel. A four-year-old question has been answered today, and it was so simple.

It’s like I’ve said before: there's an answer to every question, a solution for every problem, and a cure for every weakness. Always.

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1 comment:

  1. Well said.

    Sometimes it takes me setting something aside for a while, to come up with the most obvious solution to a problem.


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