My creative ship Revenge ran aground of the Shoals of Uncertainty this week, when I realized that the scene I was working on literally had no point to it. There was no narrative purpose served that could not be better served in a dependent clause summation…and even worse I wasn’t sure my heroine would actually have put herself into the situation to be in that scene in the first place.
I could, I suppose, have simply scrapped the scene and possibly the reference to its happening offstage, and moved on to the next actual plot-furthering scene. Something stayed my hand from the delete key, however, and the thought was…what if it’s not THIS heroine, but one of my OTHER (future) heroines? The possibility has been compelling enough that I’ve not yet erased the scene and moved on. The problem is, I then have to hammer out enough of her story to be sure there isn’t anything I need to allude to or allow for, for her story to work, in the action of this story.
That’s the problem, or the delight, of having a repository of characters and scenarios and plotlines to draw upon: you just never know when your brain is going to make a connection to one of them in the current work. On the one hand, the end results will be better–layered stories where the minor characters have their own motivations that are obviously extant, but not necessarily obvious, to the other work, and all the events fit together seamlessly and sometimes even influence each other so that the various works considered together make a rather lovely symphony of life.
But on the other hand…dear God is it ever annoying to have your brain shoot off like a rocket in an entirely tangential direction when you’re working on something else entirely.