Do you ever get to a point where you naturally sense what to include where in a book, rather than forgetting to add details (small to big) and having to go back and edit them in? Maybe it’s just because I have ADHD, but even when I throughly plot things out I’m always forgetting something, if not multiple things, that I eventually have Ah ha moments about then have to go back and include and sometimes rework to make them fit. Do you ever get to a point where this at least happens less often? 😣
I do have a good natural “on the fly” sense for this kind of thing, but I tend to backstop it by making sure that all but the most casual details are slotted into the “step outline” for a book where I expect they’ll be needed. The motto is: if something gets forgotten, let it be something minor. (And the corollary, of course, is that Nothing Is Minor.)
I prefer to handle this kind of issue in hard copy, rather than just letting things float around in my head to deposit themselves where needed on demand, because let’s be frank here, I am nearly 65 and the brain chemistry operates in a more leisurely manner these days than it used to in the 30s and 40s. (I.e. my brain is still like a steel trap, but the jaws close more slowly.) 🙂 Something once jotted down / slotted in can always be moved later.
When I get what seems to me a good idea about a piece of character business or a buried motivation or whatever, I pull out the project file immediately (this is one of the joys of Scrivener, in that I can now use it as an app on the iPad as well as on the big machine or the laptop) and put the thing in place. Barring that, at the very least I dictate a note into Evernote (or type one) and then set an alarm to remind myself to transfer it to the main project file when I get home. (This is one of the things IFTTT is good for: I have a “recipe” in there that, when I’ve been away from home, uses my phone’s GPS to (a) notice when I’m back and then (b) screams bloody murder at me to move any newly made notes into Scrivener and lock them into the structure where they belong. Yes, my life is a noisy place.) 🙂
As for the Ah Ha moment: we all live for these, I think… the times when it becomes plain that the unconscious mind / subconscious mind / Back Of The Shop has been quietly processing away on some issue for days or weeks or MONTHS… and then, suddenly, without warning, hands you a solution to something that’s been bugging you for days or weeks or months or YEARS. (I had one of these the other day and it blew me away. This particular thing had been bothering me on and off for FIFTY YEARS and suddenly the answer popped up. Now all I have to do is figure out what to do with it.) 🙂 …Either way, all you can do when one of these happens is sit down with the Work At Hand and figure out where it belongs (assuming that’s not already blindingly obvious).
Do the go-back-and-fix-its happen *less* often as you work more? I think probably they do. But best practice is to always, always ALWAYS be prepared for something to appear out of sequence or at the worst possible time. Being prepared is best. 🙂