Every writer will get stuck. You’ll start a mystery and suddenly realize you have no idea who the killer is. You create a masked villain and have no idea who is behind the mask. There are plenty of sources of advice for what to do when this happens.
I’m going to give you some tips for the opposite problem. When the Muses inspire you; revealing the guy behind the mask at the most inconvenient time. When you simply have no chance to immediately go write the suddenly brilliant ending or twist in story. I’ve had this happen in the middle of the night, in the bathtub, at family events and during power outages.
What do you at a wedding or funeral when you realize your solution other than shout,
“I know who the killer is!”
Your first solution is to carry around a notebook or piece of paper. The problem with this solution is that it could be awkward to start taking notes in the middle of a family dinner. The
advantages of a notebook are that nobody in the room won’t know what you’re writing. You will spoil the mystery for them and they won’t be able to spoil it for anybody else.
Your second option is telling somebody. The obvious drawback here, is that they might blab your ending. However, two heads are better than one.
My personal favourite option is carrying a recording device. You can immediately record your ending before you forget. As an extra bit of advice, you don’t need to buy a fancy digital voice recorder. Most of these are difficult to use or don’t pick up what you’re saying. high-quality voice recorders are expensive. Most smart phones will come with free a voice recorder or the ability to leave voice or written memos to yourself. If your phone is nearby you will never find yourself stuck unable to record or jot down your muse-inspired ending.
Whatever solution you choose there is nothing more disappointing than having a sudden good idea, going to write it and forgetting what it is.
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Lee Ward - author of superhero and sci-fi stories.