Monday, March 14, 2011

Advanced Problem Solving Methods

I think I should be complaining about Daylight Savings Time, but strangely, this is the time change I adapt best to. It would have helped if I hadn't had to sing for the early service at church on the day of the time change. As a result of getting up more than two hours before I usually do, I was a bit groggy all day, failed at napping, but the napping attempt made it hard to get to sleep at night. Even so, I got up at about the time (clock-wise) that I normally do instead of waking up at my usual time (body clock-wise).

I spent much of the weekend fretting about the current project, trying to untangle a logic problem I'd realized was there. I was worried that I'd have to scrap a scene that I really like that also sets up something major for later, and I couldn't figure out another way to work in the part that sets up the something major for later if I scrapped the scene. But then as I was falling asleep last night, the solution occurred to me. I just have to change the bad guys' plan. I had them trying to do one thing, but it makes more sense if their goal is something different. The genius thing about this solution is that it means I don't actually have to change anything because their plan is still off-stage. I'd just been worried because their actions didn't really fit what I thought their plan was. Now their actions fit, and I can move forward.

It does seem strange to spend the weekend trying to work out a problem that got resolved by changing nothing, but that change will matter as I move forward, and I'd rather spend the time just thinking now than scrapping and rewriting large parts of the book later.

Not that this thinking involved slaving over a computer or notepad. Mostly, it involved long walks, hanging out with friends, petting a dog, reading, lounging on the sofa and watching way too many crime shows on TV. We're talking advanced problem solving methods here.

Speaking of which, is all electricity in Las Vegas diverted to the casinos? Because it seems like the cops there are always searching houses for evidence with the lights out, using little pocket flashlights. That's not even when they're searching for trace evidence of biological fluids using black lights. It's in the "let's see if there's anything in there that would tell us anything" searches, and they could miss entire pieces of furniture by searching with a tiny flashlight, let alone scraps of cloth or footprints. I got hoarse from yelling, "Do you people not know how a light switch works?" so many time at the TV. (Yes, I'm very late to the game on this one, but I thought that watching crime shows would be good helping me learn to write twistier plots.)

Now it's spring break in my area, but I hope to use the time I gain from not having ballet or children's choir to get some momentum going on this book. I'm way behind on something that I planned to be a quick project.

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