For just about as long as I can remember I have been flirting with reaching a point very close to a position shortly removed from a location perched high enough to see by aid of binoculars an artist’s rendering of what an advanced computational model predicts may be the midpoint of my plot. Then I got stuck. A sort of inspiration-killing, hope-crushing stuckness.
I had been riding the momentum of two or three early, solid ideas that had all on their own propelled me to the aforementioned point but which unaccountably and quite stubbornly refused to budge another step. So it seemed I needed another “big” idea or maybe a few to push or pull me the rest of the way.
These would need to be brilliant, original, earth-shattering, mind-blowing ideas of the caliber of those first conceptions, the kind of magical, wonderful, awesome, inscrutable, inspired (possibly divinely) ideas that can’t be forced into being by sheer willpower. And yet, I couldn’t just wait around mindlessly for months hoping for them to pop into my head, either. So I sat at my desk, staring at my plot, thinking about the direction of the thing without letting it know that I was thinking about the direction of the thing, and this state (considered impossible by the computation model) lasted long enough to make its point.
As I am constantly forced to relearn, ideas from the beginning of the writing process can get lodged in the back of one’s head and persist far beyond their usefulness. The story is altered in hundreds of ways to the point where it barely resembles the earliest incarnation, and yet here these silly guiding concepts are hanging on as though nothing has changed. These push you toward thinking in a certain way, which will preclude you from thinking in the right way. Luckily, if you stagnate in the computationally-impossible state for long enough you will be forced to reconsider your early ideas, and freed of certain problematic mind grapes, you will most certainly find an answer. Given enough time.
The idea that finally seems like it will work for me wasn’t divinely-inspired or even earth-shattering like I had supposed it would need to be. Actually it was just to move one element from early in the story to later in the story, which in a black-magic sort of way bifurcates the thing into two very different halves. I don’t know yet if it’s really the right thing, but if the flood of concomitant ideas is any indication, it very well could be rather close to an idea shortly removed from a conception shaped similarly to an impression hinting at a thought filliping in the back a… well, you get the idea.