^ Favorite line written today. Because Ella can be snarky and get away with it now and then.
Anyway, today, I had to be reminded of two things that have made all the difference:
1) The story wants to be told, and it will be.
2) It's not going to happen exactly the way I want it to, just because I say so.
I messed up, and I'm taking the blame for that. The other day when I was writing, the story took a twist that I hadn't been expecting. I didn't like the idea at first, I thought it was too out of character for the person, and so I didn't write it. And for the first time since I've started this novel I had the feeling that something was profoundly wrong, like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. It just didn't work.
The way I wrote around the twist was flat and boring and it simply felt wrong, even if it seemed to me to be more realistic. No matter how much I tried to force the explanation I'd come up with to work, the real one- the one that I'd refused to write- stayed embedded in my mind.
It took me two days of feeling out of sorts and off balance around my poor novel to realize that I'd made what could've been a fatal error. By forcing my opinion into things instead of letting them progress organically, I wasn't being true to the story or myself.
So today when I sat down to write it wasn't too hard to tell myself that the offending scene had already been corrected and to simply write from that point- especially since I'd been unable to get the real explanation for it out of my head. And the most amazing thing happened when I did- everything just worked. Suddenly it flowed as a natural connection right into another scene I'd had plotted out for weeks, and the character who I had thought it was so out of character for? Turns out it's not at all, and in fact is exactly the kind of thing she would do. Two large parts of the story just connected themselves on their own, and they wouldn't have if I had continued thinking I knew best and that was that.
Lesson learned: Do not try and force a story to go where you want it to. Ever.