One of the things that I've enjoyed about the writing process this time around is that when I put together my story I had a definite plan and story mapped out from the very start.
Part of that was certain "scenes" or "moments" that I wanted to happen in the book. And as I got going and the characters came to life, certain scenes just didn't seem right, or perhaps more than not seeming right they existed in an alternative universe for these characters.
I could see that scene happening, I think to myself, but based on the order of events it just doesn't fit anymore.
Yesterday, at about 40,000 words typed, I took the time to remap out the rest of the story. There were certain event timeline conflicts that needed to be re-reviewed, and while the shell of the story stayed the same, I found and identified certain gaps or even moments I needed to reconsider.
This sensation of re-brainstorming was something I don't think I've typically read about or heard people talk about in the writing process, but I found it very fulfilling. Instead of being dedicated to push through with the original shell of my story, it gave it a chance to breathe.
So often, whether it's in books or movies that last half of the book has a less exciting feel. The goal of the first half of the book seems to be often characters, setting up the problem, and setting up the conclusion.
You say to yourself I want the protagonist to kill the man at the end with the gun, so let's have her at a shooting range at the beginning of the story to establish her gun skills (note: there is no gun shooting in my story).
I started by identifying the remaining major scenes in my story and made sure they all connected in a way that could be clear, reasonable, and logical. I identified some questions I had about my characters, decisions I've made about them that I feel I have not yet appropriately revealed to the reader. I've revisited the reasonableness of their motivates and intentions in these major scenes based on what I had been able to present so far. This was very helpful.
For me the process of re-brainstorming mid-stream was refreshing - it reminded me it wasn't just a race to end conclusion but an opportunity to still create some compelling moments, to continue to build the characters and create an opportunity for the story to remain cohesive and organized.