So, just the other day, I was looking back at one of my older stories. It was overall a good story, but I walked away from it for a while because there were a few gaping plot holes I didn’t know how to resolve. The other day, I finally looked again, and realized that the plot holes I thought were there, well, weren’t.
I was looking at the section of backstory where I was concerned about these plot holes, and it all made perfect sense. Sure it could probably use some revision, but there weren’t any major plot holes, like I thought there were.
I was overthinking it.
In trying to make the story perfect, there may be that time when some element makes more sense than I think, and I end up trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist. Or maybe the plot holes are so minor that a reader won’t notice them. I want the story to make sense, but I can’t sweat fridge logic. Trying to explain away too many really minor issues may just bore the reader.
I want the story to make sense, but if I try to fix a problem I don’t have, I might just end up making things worse. Everybody has a tendency to overthink a problem now and then. When you get caught up in the situation, it’s natural to take it a little far.
I guess this reiterates that old piece of wisdom that says when you have a problem you can’t solve, you should step away from it for a while, and look at it with a clear head. I’ve had enough experiences with this to know it’s true.
Thankfully, my writing philosophy of not trying to force the ideas out fits this perfectly. If I get stuck, I don’t try to force myself unstuck. I mull it over, and if I was overthinking it, I’ll probably realize it before I get back to writing.
So, in general, not only would stepping back and getting a fresh head help solve a problem, it may help me realize that I don’t actually have a problem at all, or perhaps the problem I have is different than the problem I originally thought I had. We all have a tendency to overthink problems, and a fresh head can usually see when you’re overthinking. Anyway, I’d better get going for now. White Rakogis is signing off!