WRITING UPDATE: See below. Overall good!
There is a Little Miss Sunshine moment in this post, but it may not be the Little Miss Sunshine moment you think :)
On Boxing Day (yes, most Irish people do call it St. Stephen's Day. Fear not, Wikipedia has not lied, I am just weird) I finished up a huuuuge section of my novel. Note the extra u's in that word. They are supposed to denote the hugeness.
Sometimes, when I get to a difficult bit in my novel, that I'm not sure how to finish, I *ahem* skip it.
I know I shouldn't, but it often seems like a better idea than staying, blocked and stuck, on the difficult bit for weeks on end. Instead, I write what comes next, and that gives me a better idea of where I need to go with the unfinished bit.
In this case, a marriage between two characters had been suggested by their parents, the girl was opposed to the idea, she hit on a fairly ingenious way of making sure the marriage would not go ahead, and I got stuck. I wasn't sure how to resolve it. Her parents had to cave in. Then we fade out for six years.
So I skipped it. I resumed the story six years on, which gave me a good idea how this event fitted into the lives of the characters, and how much narrative weight I should give it. And when I finished that aforementioned huge section on Boxing Night, there was just one piece of unfinished business - the unresolved non-engagement. I was on a roll - I wanted to write more, but I had run out of plot. So I went looking for that part of the novel, among several files on my laptop.
I hadn't typed it up.
At the time I wrote that bit, I was writing by hand. I don't do this much anymore - only if I have an especially fabulous, evocative or atmospheric notebook. But when I started writing this novel after a long writing hiatus, I started again by hand, and I clung superstitiously to writing by hand for quite a while - about six months. And I thought I had transcribed the whole lot.
Turns out no.
The moment when I realised this would be the Little Miss Sunshine Moment - the moment when her older brother realises he's colour-blind and speaks for the first time in months.
I'm now on a quest to find this notebook. I'm not missing very much of the novel - the equivalent of a chapter or two - and I know what notebook it's in, and I never throw out old notebooks so I know I have it somewhere. And I'm moving house soon, so the packing process will probably yield it.
Still. Very bloody annoying!
You'll be glad to hear that I channeled my desire to write more, though. I finished a short story (and managed to work Simon Cowell into it - I doubt he'll survive an edit but I was chuffed with myself and my irony) and I started transcribing something else I had handwritten (due to fabulous, atmospheric and evocative notebook), editing it as I went.