There’s always been a plot point in my novel that bothered me. It first shows up in the first ten pages of the novel, so it’s been there since I started writing (let’s not talk about how long ago that was). It wasn’t an egregious problem–it just didn’t quite work. But it was necessary to get the characters to the next plot point, so with every edit, I’ve grudgingly left it in.
This morning, though, as I was showering and trying not to be annoyed by the sound of my kids bickering in the next room (they can’t give it a rest for ten minutes while I shower?), out of nowhere the solution to this troublesome plot point popped into my brain. It’s perfect. It not only solves this problem, but it solves a couple of other problems further into the book.
I’m mostly writing this to remind myself (and anyone else who might need it) that the first draft doesn’t have to be perfect. Writing is like golf: you want to get it as close as you can on the first swing, but you’re going to get another crack or ten at it. Sometimes I find myself getting frustrated that I’m not hitting a hole in one on the first shot and I’m tempted to quit. But you don’t get to be Tiger Woods by quitting any time you’re not absolutely perfect.