Mark Terry

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

The Missing Puzzle Piece

September 7, 2010
I have two novels I'm consistently working on at the moment. One is the next Derek Stillwater novel and although it's a fairly tough nut to crack, I think I've got a handle on it.

The other one is an espionage novel titled CHINA FIRE that I've been working on for a year or two off and on. I sort of got stuck around 48,000 words. I wasn't really sure why, but I was, and I found other things to work on and occasionally would go back and nudge it along or rewrite what I had or toy with different approaches.

Recently I printed out what I had on it and started going over it with a colored marker. Somewhere around page 100 or so I thought, "What really happened to..." and an idea popped into my head that spun the whole novel and filled in all sorts of missing pieces and gave me a sense of direction for the whole novel.

Because I plot as I go, these Eureka! moments are most welcome. It's possible, of course, that it still won't work, but I don't think so. I think this missing puzzle piece was what desperately was needed to make sense of the whole novel.

Sometimes that happens, and thank God.

How about you? Is it inspiration? Have you ever had to wait a long time for the right idea to come along before you can finish your wip?


Blogger Kath Calarco said...

Mark, I'm still waiting for the "right idea." But, good luck on China Fire. Really like that title. Really do.

7:34 AM  
Anonymous Eric Mayer said...

I'm not so sure I've ever had the right idea. Mary and I thrash out the main lines of our plots and send them to our editor for approval before we actually begin writing so at least we can write without worrying about running into an unseen wall someplace. Whether we come up with better plots that way than if we were to let the plot develop as we went along is probably open to question. The idea of running into some sort of problem 48,000 words into a book -- after all that work -- is not pleasant. Hope you solved it.

11:42 AM  
Blogger Natasha Fondren said...

For me, I'm not sure if it's inspiration so much as waiting for the time when I can re-read the beginning with concentration. Everything is always in the beginning for me, and re-reading it always reminds me of the threads I need to be weaving.

1:01 PM  

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