A time where most people are asleep, their minds drifting in and out of blissful dreams.
But, to authors, it’s better known as the time when their imaginations go into overdrive and keep them awake.
It’s not always a bad thing, but it sure is irritating when you’ve had a very long day with a hyperactive seven-year-old and want some good old fashioned pillow time.
We’re all plagued by it. My husband is a budding screenwriter. At least once a week, he wakes up in the middle of the night (sometimes I notice, sometimes I don’t) to write down an idea. We understand each other completely when the other one flips off the covers at ass o’clock and tiptoes into the kitchen to write in darkness.
We both get ideas in the shower, and frantically scramble (sometimes soaking wet) out of the bathroom to scribble the plot point on a note card. I keep a small notebook in my purse to write down ideas that come to me while driving. Don’t worry, I only write at stop lights.
Last night, at 12:47 a.m. (yes, I know the exact time), I scurried out of bed with an idea so fantastic I couldn’t write fast enough. Thankfully, my handwriting was decipherable this morning.
The only problem with said idea is that it completely changes a giant portion of the plot of my book.
But you know what? I’m not mad. I’m not disappointed that I have to scrap the chapters I already have written. I’m not frazzled by the prospect of starting over. I’m not pissed that my male protagonist has had his life path turned upside-down and completely.
Because these few late-night ideas are incredible.
I’m confident I can salvage a lot of what I already have in my first couple chapters and prologue and re-use it in other situations. “Scrap it, like in Fallout 4”, my son says. (Proud nerd mama moment right there, by the way.)
It’s all good. Sometimes you have to take a few steps backwards to move forward.
And forward I go…