In writing, setbacks aren't always a bad thing. Especially when those setbacks create opportunities or teach some kind of lesson.
Yesterday, while working on my outline, I realized that one of the plots in this book isn't playing a big part in the story. In fact, it's making me focus on something other than the characters and their arcs, so it's getting in the way of the story. I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but I created a game and a league for this universe, and the two protagonists are competitors in this league. But in this setting the nation is in the middle of a political transition (the monarch is helping to transition the system from a monarchical government to a democratic republic). But some of the inhabitants (mostly non-human races) have a problem with the way the new government is structured.
That doesn't really seem like the type of plot that deserves a lot of attention in a YA Fantasy that focuses on a brand new league that was invented to boost national moral, does it? You see, I'm trying to suck my characters into a political plot, when they have their own problems to deal with. I'm not sure how I'm going to change my outline, but this setback reminds me why I write outlines!
I've mentioned before (though I can't remember where) that outlines are a great place to hit these setbacks. All I have to do right now is rewrite a page-worth of paragraphs rather than two or three (or five or ten) chapters!
More than that, it's making me re-examine the overall structure of my plot, my characters and their motivations, and where I want to go with this book. It's keeping me invested.
How about you? Have you encountered setbacks lately that you found helpful despite their annoying tendency to ruin your schedule?