When You Come to a Fork in the Road in Your Writing

Most writers have probably heard that J.K. Rowling said Hermione should have ended up with Harry, not Ron. From a writer’s stand point, I can see how it is easy to regret a decision that could easily have gone multiple directions.

I have had this issue countless times. I’m writing my novel when all of a sudden I think “What if it happened like this instead?” That’s when I freeze up and stop writing.

It’s not necessarily writer’s block, but it sure does prevent my continuation of the story. I have two options for a particular scenario. Maybe she breaks up with him or maybe he breaks up with her.

I have encountered this dilemma many times while revising my novel. But, I think I have figured out how to overcome this problem.

What I do is map out each option. If she breaks up with him, how does that affect these other plot points? Same with what happens if he breaks up with her. It can be time consuming, which makes this seem less ideal of a solution. But for me, it feels complete and thorough. I’ve put time into understanding the consequences of my decision. This allows me to feel secure with which path I choose to go down. The last thing I want is to get too far past that scenario and find out I would rather have written it the other way. That’s not to say that this works 100% of the time. Of course I have written things and decide they would be better off the other way. But then I go back and fix it. I just find it easier when you try to account for those issues before they happen.


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