I was in at the doctor’s this morning for my annual physical, and after she heard about my piled-up deadlines, she asked about inspiration. I basically told her my inspiration comes from the need to pay the mortgage. Paying the rent and utility bills and buying groceries have long been the source of inspiration for writers. I learned long ago that ideas begin to flow after I get my fingers moving on the keyboard. If I waited for them to strike first, I would never get anything written.
But I must admit, I do love those epiphany moments when something in a book hasn’t been going right and all of a sudden, Pow! I’ve got the answer on how to fix it.
That’s happened to me twice over the past five days as I’ve worked on this massive rewrite of an historical. When I started work on this rewrite awhile back, I changed the motivation of the heroine and I changed the reason she ends up traveling with the hero and I changed who the villain is (all this early in the novel). Those are three big changes that ripple through all of the remaining story, requiring rewritten scenes and huge cuts and many additions. They also caused me a couple of major problems when I reached the middle of the story.
On Friday, I was in the shower when the first epiphany happened. I wasn’t consciously thinking about the story. But all of a sudden, I had the answer. I knew how to fix the scene so that it worked with the previous changes. And yesterday, while I was preparing my lunch, Pow! There was the second answer I needed.
Feels good. Too bad those moments are so rare. I’d like to order up a huge helping of inspiration and epiphanies every day.