And last, but certainly not least, what do you do when you forced the narrative in the wrong direction? How do you know? How did you force it? How do you rectify it?
How do I personally know? I can’t write another word. My subconscious shuts things down without mercy, no appeals. Not one more sentence until I go back and figure out what I was doing wrong. Almost always, it’s because I’m trying to take a shortcut with a character, or I’m insisting on a scene because I like it for some obscure reason but it just doesn’t fit into the narrative. You’ll hear a catch phrase once in a while: kill your darlings. Some writers and film makers too think that they have to automatically go back over a work and cut the thing they love most, the perfect scene, the perfect bit of dialog.
That’s a little too extreme for me. I don’t go in for hair shirts, and I do believe you can get gain without pain. But sometimes when I’m stuck, it’s because something does indeed need to be rethought or, even, cut.