This one’s going to be fast, because I’m running out of time, but it’s one I hope is useful to other writers.
Recently I was reworking a story because of length issues. Amazingly, it was because the story was too SHORT for a market by about 3,000 words, and if you don’t know how rare that is, then oh, my sweet summer child. As I worked on it, I realized that I had made a blithe assumption about how possible it was to do something involving helicopters.
So I consulted an expert and simultaneously realized that a) there were two really obvious workarounds if “something” turned out to be impossible. As it turned out, the expert got back to me and told me that “something” was quite workable so long as you did, in fact, have really GOOD helicopter pilots.
So now I had three possible ways of solving my problem, but the following issues:
Most Dramatic/Awesome Approach (i.e. “something”) is also Least Plausible Approach.
Least Dramatic/Awesome Approach is also Most Plausible.
Most Plausible Approach also is Most Likely To Surprise Protagonists (which needs to happen).
Middling/Plausible Approach makes it difficult for the protagonists to ever find out what happened.
I turned to my research to see if it could nudge me along the right track, here. No such luck. The research basically said you could do whatever and justify it from there. So what should I do?
I still don;t know. But I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going with the high action/drama, because that shit is FUN, and why the hell else do people read science-fiction?