While at Con-Volution Friday night, Melissa Snark and I discussed a problem I saw coming up in my story. I intend for Chaos Wolf to be a multi-book series. I am sketching out the ideas for the follow up books. I told her I was having a problem deciding which of the characters were going to have a major plot point as in their background. Instantly, she said “It’s obvious it’s [redacted],” naming a character I haven’t even considered for the role.
I have one of three reactions when I have been given suggestions like this one. The first is I love it and embrace it. That didn’t happen. The second is that I outright reject it. That didn’t happen either. The third reaction is that, as I put it, my head hurts. My brain will seize up like cogs with a crowbar jammed into them. Melissa said that it was the funniest thing to watch, because my eyes circled in my head before I buried my head in my pillow.
I’ve been turning the idea over and over, spinning out the implications. Making [redacted] would cause some rewriting of his background, but no major changes to what I’ve already written. In a way it solves a second problem nagging at my brain. It also creates a hosts of new ones.
I attended Jennifer Carson’s panel about knowing when to accept feedback and when to discard it. I’ve learned that when my brain cramps at a suggestion, it means that there is something about that idea that I need to dig into. It may not fix the problem, but it may be a stepping stone to the solution. So while I may not fully trust my reaction, I’m going to be paying attention to it.