There is a well-know bit of writing advice out there that apocryphally comes from Raymond Chandler: If you don’t know what to do next in the story, send in a heavy with a gun. Yesterday’s writing session focused on one of the scenes I had come up with during idea development with the way magic could be used and how it would work practically within the story, and I had finally decided to use it in the second half when I have introduced a major crises and then successfully managed to throw enough rocks at my protagonist she hasn’t had a chance to breathe or even think about solving this major crises.
But the scene was feeling flat and not helpful in any way towards her growth, just a scene she had to get through. So I decided the Chandler method was needed and took a small character I didn’t know anything about and gave him a gun. Then I needed to explain why he had a gun and why he was using it and that led to the introduction of new magics, more conflict, and even discovered a reason why solving the big crisis I introduced will also help her win the final battle of the book.
Score one for Chandler.