Something happened to me this weekend that I bet happens to every writer. It's both exciting and irritating. I'm not sure yet. I haven't decided.
It started on Friday with a simple thought. The possibility of a new scene, not in the outline. You know... "It'd be really cool to have a scene where X, Y or Z happened."
You tell yourself there isn't room for this scene in the story. It doesn't work with the greater storyarcs - heck, it doesn't work with the subplots either. Except... well, there is that one place, you know, where it'd fit?
Not quite, though. So you put this cool scene aside and stick to your earlier guns. Let's not derail the whole plot for one epic action scene, right?
The problem is that as time passes by, you can't help but think back of this scene. You list what needs to be changed for it to work. You mentally smoothen transitions from this scene to others, and all the build-up around it.
It'd be a lot of work, changing it. Too much for what it's worth? This is where it starts to get messy. This new scene has consequences on the entire outline. Changing it will require a good deal of rewrite, and replanning the end before you get there. You ask yourself if you should. If it really makes your book better.
You list all the ways in which it does. More tension. Bigger stakes and obstacles. A whole new world of dangers and complications added, both at the scene and for the climax.
The writer in you sees the potential. The human being recalls the hours of plotting and the pain of yet another rewriting.
Except... we all know it's not really one, right? Once I find a way to make my story better, there's no way I can abandon it.
That's where I stand right now. I'll have to rework the ending and rewrite quite a number of scenes. Perhaps add a POV and cut another one. Right now I'm not sure if I have a handle on this story anymore. All I know is, my brain is fried from thinking through all the possibilities over and over...
At least I still have one scene to write where this whole new storyline branch doesn't change much. Gives me a bit more time.
Does this ever happen to you? How do you deal with it?