The end of last week I finished what was going to be the third to the last chapter of the eighth draft of the book I've been working on for just about two years now. I was ready to get started on the next to the last chapter. I had material to revise, but I couldn't seem to do anything with it. I finally realized that that was because the ending was rushed. The thing just wasn't coming together properly. My old enemy, plot, was getting the best of me again.
That was Friday. I wasn't happy, but I've been writing long enough now to know that at some point, something would come to me. I would have a breakout experience, and it would probably come over the weekend when I wasn't struggling in front of a computer screen. I wasn't filled with joy over the prospect of being up in the air like that because something was very wrong with the manuscript, but I wasn't filled with despair, either.
Well, sure enough, it happened. It didn't come in a flash of light. The idea sort of evolved. But what finally came to me was that I could change one minor character and that would change the plot. I would have to change things all the way back to chapter one, and I'd have to bring this guy in earlier. I might have to bring his big scene in much earlier, which would mean some restructuring.
And that, folks, means another draft. Yup. A ninth draft.
It's a great relief to know what I'm going to do. I so love having a plan.