Creative inspiration is everywhere. The writer’s trick is to filter the chaff from the sublime. And sometimes it takes a while to realize the merits of an idea that’s fallen from heaven.
Does the new idea fit or blend into another plot that’s on the agenda? Does it provide a needed twist or fillip to the ending you’ve planned? Mull it over for a bit. Sometimes quiet manual work gives the brain opportunity to concentrate on inner thoughts. Forget housework! I have in mind potting plants, raking the yard or walking alone on a trail with no obstacles so your mind can wander.
Sometimes a new plot idea can serve to take a series forward. I already have two full plots for books that will follow “The Murders at Elk Bend” which was published in November. A series brings new writing challenges, but endless opportunity to try new story lines.
I suspect plots need to be edited just as words do. They need to be kept fairly simple, driven competently to a finale, but with spice thrown in.
As a writer, I tend to overcomplicate a plot trying to weave in more story lines than necessary. On the other hand, as a reader, I know I don’t want to guess the action too far in advance. I like a full cast of characters and I don’t want to know, without some initial puzzling, what’s going to happen too easily. I appreciate a little weaving and bobbing on the part of the writer.
And I very much appreciate the effort it takes an author to provide a terrifying twist or two! Readers will keep coming back to a writer who surprises them.