I know where the weak areas are in my WIP. I saw them in the first draft, and I struggled with them again when I wrote an outline for Draft 2.
Since I started revisions last weekend, I’ve already deviated from the Draft 2 outline, because I knew my fix wasn’t going to work. Now I’ve hit that troublesome part of the story, and I have to decide: Do I come to a screeching halt until I fix this pothole for good? Or do I drive over the gravel currently filling it, ignore the bumpiness, and deal with it later?
Part of me doesn’t want to go on until I’ve figured it out. But the other part wants to push forward, regardless of the hole I’m running over. I have a feeling that I might need to finish the second draft (maybe even a third or fourth draft) before I figure out how to repave this road entirely – or discover an alternate route.
It bugs me. I don’t like to leave a pit behind me, nagging and vexing me while I move forward. But looking back at other manuscripts, it sometimes took distance and time before I discovered the right fix for plot holes and faulty character motivations. Sometimes it took a beta reader to point me in the right direction. Or perhaps it’s not even possible to see the fix it until I make some other, unforeseen change that reveals the correct solution.
What do you do when you know there’s a problem with your story? Do you stop until you’ve got it entirely worked out? Or do you fill it in gradually, draft by draft, until it’s no longer a problem?
P.S.- As of last night, I had the pothole filled with some fairly good stuff, although I still feel the bumpiness driving over it. I’m ready to move on, though — at least for this draft. And, a third of the way through the story, I’ve already cut 6400 words. Yay! Wouldn’t it be lovely if I could do the same for the next two thirds? I’d knock the whole thing back to below 80k! We’ll see …