Brain Glitch

by Arianna

Hey, so, I have this problem.

I'm almost finished this manuscript that I've been working on fr 4 months. For a month, I distanced myself from my work so that when I came back to it I would have a completely new, fresh perspective to work with.

However, that new perspective has done more harm than good, I think, because now I find myself pulling hairs and scowling at myself when I read the same work which I used to enjoy reading. I'm noticing flaws and getting frustrated when I can't design a solution to them.

The plot of my story was great until the dreaded Chapter 28.

In Chapter 28, there's this escape scene which to me, seems too unrealistic to be in what's considered realistic fiction; however, the scene is absolutely necessary for the rest of the plot to continue. I'm stuck on how I can fix this problem, because this part of the story is a major dilemma for me right now.

I'm not sure what to do. Please help <3

Suggestion: The great thing about leaving a manuscript alone and then coming back to it is that you can see it with fresh eyes. Don't think of it as a negative. Think of it as an opportunity to take the book a step further.

I suggest you use a formal process to separate the critical and creative modes.

First make a list of everything that's wrong with this chapter, but put all your objections in the form of a question. For instance, "Why would ...?" or "How could...?" or "What's another way of...?" (This is the critical mode.)

Once you've finished your list, circle the most important/glaring questions.

Then switch to the creative mode and draft a list of possible answers to each question. Don't be critical at this point. Write down every answer you can think of, no matter how crazy.

(You may want a little break between each of these stages.)

Next, go back over your list and cross out the worst answers for each question until you are left with only the answers that you like best (or that suck the least). This is the critical mode, again.

Finally, rewrite your chapter incorporating the new choices you've made. (Back to creative mode.)

You might have to repeat this process more than once. But each new version should be better than the previous.

P.S. Even the most unrealistic scene can be convincing if you find and illustrate the right motivation to justify the character's actions. It's rather how an actor, given a corny line to deliver, makes it real by putting a depth of emotional memory behind it.

P.P.S. You say this is a key event in your plot. Remember, as you do this process, what important change this chapter needs to illustrate that will drive the story forward in the right direction. That's the part that needs to stay true with each revision.

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