I understand if this question puzzles you. It puzzles me as well. I’m sure everyone has a mind-boggle-moment at times in which this comes to pass. Or not.
Authors have this more than others, I think. Authors and mad scientists that play games with dimensions and alternate realities.
At this point, in one of the works in progress, I am facing this very question.
What is the best reality?
The work in progress in question here is the third story in what seems to become a “Nude in Space” series. That story has only progressed to chapter 2, but that’s where the problem originates. I see three, perhaps even more possible ways that this story can unfold, and each way has a severe impact on where the story goes from here.
It would be easy to say: “Just start writing way 1, and if that doesn’t pan out, start way 2”, and so on until the final highway, but that might end up in writing most of the book for way 1, deciding it’s not good enough, then doing the same all over for way 2, and perhaps way 3 as well. That sounds like a plan, but it will take a LOT of time, and it might even destroy my joy of writing the story, because of the doing it again and again.
This part requires a lot of thought, to decide which would be the best alternate reality to torment the characters involved. It’s therefore a good thing that I write several stories at the same time, so things are happening and moving somewhere.
Still, this puzzle of how to approach the next paragraph in chapter 2 is a real reality crisis (as opposed to an identity crisis). It’s been bugging me for a while now, and I haven’t made it to the end of reality #1 yet, so there’s a lot more thinking to do before the story continues.
That is also a disadvantage for a book in a series. I need to beware of stuff that already happened, and the more that has happened, the more there is to avoid. I may have to reread the first book in the series, even.
So there you have it. A peek into the mind of a
mad scientist author who is struggling with realities before they even exist!