I is for Indecisiveness

I is for Indecisiveness!

You know that moment when you just can’t continue working on your manuscript? Not because you’re out of ideas, or because you’re out of general steam, but because you’ve hit a fork and you just can’t decide which way to turn?

It’s kind of a cool moment, sometimes. I’ll have been writing a story, with a clear idea of where I want it to go, when all of a sudden a new opportunity poses itself, and I realize that if I take it, the whole story is going to change. And then, it’s like I’m reading some suspense thriller or something…I start getting a lot of nervous excitement jumping through me, because I don’t actually know what decisions my characters are going to make!

But other times it can be brutal. One idea sounds awesome, but it could destroy the rest of your otherwise sound plot. You could take the risk, but on the other hand, you’ve already got a wonderful sequence of events lined up that you’d really like to see through.

Ultimately, there is no specific way for me to solve this issue. Sometimes the new ideas get thrown out, and other times I end up changing the whole story because of an unexpected inspiration. But it’s that moment of indecisiveness, when you stare at the page and it’s like you’re about to make a choice in a Choose Your Own Adventure book. There’s nothing else quite like it!

How do you handle this kind of indecisiveness? Do you have any breakthrough strategies that help you work through your dilemmas, or do you take it on a decision-by-decision basis?

7 Responses so far.

  1. cleemckenzie says:
    Indecisiveness is the worst. I go in circles, writing a line, erasing it, rewriting it. Then if I walk away to think a bit, it usually settles me down and I can move on.
  2. S.K. Anthony says:
    *This* is exactly my problem. I can't tell you how many times I changed this particular ms I'm working on…and I still have a for going. I sent it off to my CP to get some guidance on it…of course after I hit send the light bulb went off and I think I know what I want to do. Go figure! Ugh. But yeah, I hear ya!
  3. I get into this kind of plot tangle all the time. I find it helpful to jot down many possibilities and think through the ramifications of following each. Sometimes when I'm torn between two, I either freewrite both, or use visualization. Here's an older post I wrote about that: http://laurelgarver.blogspot.com/2010/12/new-approach-to-drafting-reel-it.html

    Happy A-Zing!

  4. Lexa Cain says:
    I normally have everything planned out before I start writing. The only time I change is if a great idea occurs to me. However, my most recent WIP is a giant mess of forks-in-the-road. And I keep choosing the wrong ones and then have to go back and re-write. Ack!!!!
  5. Glenda says:
    This is not something I can answer as I do not write.
  6. Indecisiveness is something all of us face. When I face a problem of indecisiveness, I either bounce ideas off my friends who help me out, or I think as a reader of my book what would I want to happen next and I follow that path.
  7. I handle it by not really handling it 🙂 I tend to rewrite every story so many times that by the end I forget what decisions I've made . However, with some good editing, I usually can still end up proud of what I have done.

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