AHA Moments

We’ve all had them. Those moments when we feel as if a light bulb has come on and we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. But what about the times when you WISH you had an AHA moment and can’t find one to save your life? You know what I mean. When you’re sitting there staring at your WIP, scratching your head trying to figure out how to fix that pile of garbage staring back at you from the computer screen.

That’s pretty much where I’ve been. I knew what I’d written wasn’t working…it didn’t feel ‘right.’ i.e. it sucked pond water! I wrote an outline of the entire book, hoping to see what the problem was.

Didn’t work.

Then I decided to do a quick and dirty outline with just the bare facts. My ten page outline became two. My problem was, I’d gotten stuck on chapter ten and wasn’t sure how to proceed. But when I cut it down to just the two pages, I FINALLY had that AHA moment! Woot! Seems kinda weird, doesn’t it? Going to a shorter outline instead of the other way around, did the trick.

Now I can see what I’ve done wrong and what I need to do to fix my baby. Seems so simple. (Yeah, now!) I couldn’t see the forest for the trees. And since the last part of my book takes place IN a forest, I really was lost. 🙂

Do you have any tricks to get yourself out of a rut, to find your AHA moment? Critique partners? Meditation? Medication? Booze? Come on. Tell me what your secret is. Next time I’m stuck, it might just be what I need because I have faith that what worked for me this time, won’t the next. *major sigh*

Linda Trout

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11 thoughts on “AHA Moments

    • Hi, Andy,
      The nice thing about writing is you can’t take a cookie cutter approach with the craft. Each path is different.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  1. The oddest thing for me is: I just walk. I walk around the house, I walk beside the lake, I walk through a stand of trees…as I walk I’m “zoned out”, meaning I’m walking around in my character’s frame of mind. I imagine what she is seeing, how she processes what she’s seeing, how it relates to her life. Most of the time what I’m searching for just “clicks”, or becomes my aHA moment. The neat thing about this is that, even if my husband is with me, he can tell when I’m “in the zone” and he doesn’t talk to me because he somehow knows (though he doesn’t understand) that I’m in character and my character doesn’t know him, therefore she won’t answer him. Then when the aHA moment happens, I grin and start telling him what my character just discovered. He smiles like you do at anyone wearing a jacket that buckles in the back and keeps walking beside me.

    • LOL Love the part about the jacket that buckles in the back. I think at one time or another, ALL writers should be strapped into one. But that’s what makes our writing so good, we see/feel/live our characters. It comes across on the page and our readers love us for it.

      Thanks for stopping by, Gloria!

  2. What gets my creative juices a-going is listening to music(cause come on, its me) and then sometimes pictures peek my interest. Check out Deviantart.com for some out of the box art that tends to get me all kinds of creative.:]

    • Very good point, Jackie. A lot of times you can fix a scene by simply switching POVs. That wouldn’t have helped me as what I had was garbage all the way around, but I need to keep this trick in mind for future reference.

  3. Mowing the yard. Running the chainsaw. Anything that distracts me from thinking too much about the book. It works itself out while I’m otherwise occupied.

    Though booze sounds good, too.

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