I’m currently in the midst of majorly revising my latest cozy mystery and I’m all too aware of the hazard of falling plot dominoes. Even though I’m barely a third of the way through my revisions, I’ve already heard the clickety clack clack of toppling dominoes several times. Usually that sound (so loud in my mind) threatens to send me into panic mode because when you see the pattern of your previous plot getting destroyed in your mind’s eye, it’s more than a little scary and overwhelming.
However, instead of freaking out every time the dominoes start to topple, I do my best to remind myself that it’s unlikely that every single domino will fall over. It’s also unlikely that I won’t be able to find a way to pick the dominoes up and slide them back into position or, in some cases, slide them into a new position. In fact, experience has taught me that a few minutes of brainstorming will typically solve the problem and stop the cascade of plot pieces.
It’s still overwhelming at times to know that changing one element of the plot can have such an effect on so many other parts of the story, but the fact is that panicking doesn’t solve anything. So now when my plot dominoes start to clickety clack clack, each one hitting the next, I put on my hardhat, wade in amongst those plot dominoes and find a way to solve the problem, whether the solution is to switch some dominoes around, take some out altogether or substitute some with new ones.
As long as I stay calm and keep the big picture in sight, I know I’ll end up with a new and complete plot pattern. And, hopefully, at the end of the revision process I’ll find that my new plot pattern is much better than the one I had before.
Thank you so much for having me here at the blog for the past two months! I’ve had a great time!