Yesterday, we got caught up in a widespread data outage, so no post got through. Yesterday, I had a whole other post prepared. Then last night wrote this one for me.

Last night, an idea happened. In plot terms, it was an idea big enough to change the course of a river. That the idea arrived to close an exhausting day: That was wonderful.

But deciding what to do with it—or whether to do anything at all: something else altogether.

In the ahahhh moment that was the ending of The Spiritkeeper, the idea was so eye-opening, so immediately right, I knew instantly that the ending of the book had spoken to me.

This idea, not so much.

To take up the challenge of this idea would mean changing what we have spent the book believing about one of the main characters. It would mean rejiggering hunks of the plot. It is idea that tickles with thorns. It is a Tinkerbelle for whom your applause might save not a fairy but a monster.

Prove yourself, you tell the idea. Make me believe.

Good news, bad news. The bad news is that this idea does not give me the end of the book, as the idea that powered the end of The Spiritkeeper did. The good news is that interesting ideas are like gold nuggets: Find one, and there may be others may be close by.

This is one of those moments in which one wishes for the return of the absolute, arrogant, doubt-free confidence that attends a writer’s choices, sometimes…the ability to know (to revisit the analogy above) which ideas are gold and which are lumps for fools to gather.

Is our caution-of-the-moment a message from indecision? Or is it a more highly honed instinct trying to tell us to stop digging and look elsewhere?

The answer of the moment: I have no idea.

What I do know… The state of not-knowing leaves us three options: 1) Fugeddabouddit. Put the idea down and walk away. 2) Let our story be dragged kicking and screaming toward the idea and see what happens. 3) Let it simmer, and discover what other treasures the head finds in the vicinity.

Which of the choices is the right one? Your guess is as good as mine.

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