13 January 2020

I Didn't Ask for This Epiphany

Sometimes you get hit with an epiphany about a story. Sometimes it feels amazing, like everything is falling into place. That one chapter, that one scene that you couldn't quite figure out is suddenly crystal clear in your mind. But sometimes there's another side to these epiphanies. While you just know in your gut it's the right thing to do for the story, it also means a whole lot more work to do. Sometimes that doesn't feel so amazing.

So, yes, I was very recently struck with such an epiphany. And instead of the usual, "OMG finally!" my reaction was more like, "do I have to??" Mostly because I knew that yes, I did, if I wanted this particular moment to work. And if I could snap my fingers and have it all fall into place, I would be thrilled (can I do that for the whole book, actually?). But I have to go back and rewrite. Again. And I'm not exactly looking forward to it.

I was on the treadmill, of all places, listening to a song that I've always associated with a minor character in UL, Eric. But I started to feel like the song didn't quite fit him anymore. And then I suddenly realized why. There's a moment in Chapter 27 where he stands up to a long time friend, Brian, who hasn't always been the nicest guy. He finally stops being timid and shy and stands up not only for Jordan (who Brian is also trying to hurt in this moment), but for himself. Brian's been keeping Eric down for years and it takes seeing what he does to Jordan for him to finally say, "enough."

Here's where I went wrong. I didn't actually show the moment where Eric stands up to Brian. Another character tells the story to Jordan briefly, and he talks about it with Eric for about the length of two sentences. STUPID, I know. I was rushing through the chapter. It was difficult and I just wanted it done. And it was done. Until now. Now I have to go back and change a huge chunk of it. And while I know it's what the story needs, I just don't want to. I want to be able to still say that it's done. Alas, I cannot.

I know I need to show Eric standing up to Brian. And I know Jordan needs to have a final moment/confrontation with Brian as well. I even think this moment will help lead to the conclusion of the main plot. So in the end, it should help EVERYTHING. So why am I not happy??

It could be because adding this will make Chapter 27 waaaaaaaaaaaay too long. I'm going to have to split it into two chapters, but then that will probably throw off my total chapter length. I wanted it to be 29, and now it's probably going to be 30.

Or maybe it's because I just want everything DONE. But you can't really call it done if it isn't where it needs to be. Sometimes I think I'll be working on this story forever, that it will never feel quite right. But I guess every little epiphany will eventually lead to that moment where I can say, yes, it's done, I'm done, it's perfect.

One can dream.


  1. At least you know what to do. In my current manuscript, I'm doing a lot of that kind of rewriting, which I normally don't do. But it's needed.

  2. It's funny where we solve our problems and get inspiration. Now that you know what you need to happen hopefully the revision can move quicker.

  3. I had one of those today. I was reading over my latest novel and thought- this has to be slowed down. The pace is too quick. Then I won't repeat the next word that filtered through my brain...

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