Life can, at times, be surprising, exasperating, and disconcerting… as well as invigorating, electrifying, and rewarding. It is a twisting road of dead ends, wrong turns, and detours that somehow carries us through without us ever being entirely sure of where we’re going to end up.
Writing a novel can sometimes be very much the same. A writer can start down a path, only to discover that he’s hit a dead end, and the realization hits that he needs to go back and find a better way.
My life has gone through some of the same upheavals; my wife and I moved across country, back to our home state, an experience that was equal parts stress and exhilaration due to the circumstances surrounding the move. Being focused on that, and being forced to take a break from writing, has made me reevaluate the path my new novel has been taking; helping me realize that I should backtrack a short distance and take a new path.
One of the enjoyable things about writing is being able to change the universe you are creating to fit what you want to achieve. It’s one thing to tell a story; it’s something else to tell the story in the way most true to the characters and the journey they need to take, knowing that the detour will make the journey that much more fulfilling and enriching to pursue.
It can be frightening, or even frustrating, to realize that the need for a detour has come upon you; but knowing that the detour will take you to a better place can be empowering and exhilarating, even as you turn around.