J. F. Lewis
I’m not sure where I read it, but I remember reading an article featuring Roger Zelazny once where he recounted how a scene from the Amber series, the one where Coprwin makes a bird out of his own blood and sends it off with a message, was a scene where Zelazny had no idea why the character was doing what he was doing, only that it felt right… so Zelazny trusted his instincts and wrote it. (Was that all one sentence just now? Sheesh!) Moments like that in writing have always struck me as little gifts. In Corwin’s case, obviously the message was to his evil brother and it was all cool and imposing (and brief) and it made perfect sense, but it was still retconned.
In Void City book 4 (the current working title is HUNTED) I introduced what I thought was a throw away character, a demonic shock jock, who I used to take my main character to task and snark about him all in good fun. But as the book went on, I began to see more and more that I had a problem. There was a Big Moment in the plot I was writing toward, but the connective tissue… the how-do-we-get-there-ed-ness of it all was failing me. And then I realized I’d already provided my own solution. The proverbial other shoe could be dropped with nothing more than a call in to the shock jock’s show. My subconscious had been planning it all along, but my conscious mind had no clue.
For you writer’s out there, do you ever have moments like that? Aren’t they cool?