Sometimes I get ideas for stories. In my head, the stories are excellent. I plan them out. I have plot lines going. I write plans and flow charts and I sit down ready to write the excellent story.
And that’s when it all goes wrong.
The story I write goes off on a weird tangent and it ends up not being the story that I’d set out to write. Sometimes the new tangents are good, better than the plan and so I go with it and things turn out well. Sometimes the new tangents are terrible and really the only way to save the story would be to go back to before the tangent and start again. Maybe there are parts of the tangents that could be reworked and added to the story but they would require a reworking.
And that’s where it actually goes wrong.
Because there is no real problem with the tangents. It’s good to go with them, see where they lead, learn things as I write but the real problem is not being willing to turn back when it becomes obvious that the tangent has led to a dead end.
I have so many stories that are half finished. That have turned down a dead end and then desperately tried to find a way other without ever turning around.
Sometimes, in life as well as in stories, it can be difficult to say that you’ve taken a wrong turn and even more difficult to turn back. But wrong turns aren’t worthless. Things can be learnt and with a little bit of reworking those things can be added to the final story and make a far better story. Yeah, it’s difficult. It takes a bit of effort but in the end it’s better than attempting to write a story around a brick wall.