Both ways really... I've been getting my ass-kicked by this last chapter and then did a little ass-kicking myself. What happened you may ask?
Part of my novel involves the main characters finding a boat in a hidden grotto. The original chapter where they find it was useless, it required an entire rewrite. Halfway through the rewrite, I discovered that part of my research was incomplete... vastly incomplete, actually.
One of my characters worked on the docks in his homeland and worked on a ship... he should know the types of ships and nautical words. The main character grew up in a town that had a dock and her family did high-end trade, so she's heard most of the words, even if she doesn't use them herself. I know none... What can I say? I love the water, but I grew up in land locked Calgary. Our outdoor pools open in June and my family never had enough money to go boating. Since I've grown up, I've had the opportunity to go boating once... but other than that, I have little to no experience. So, research, research, research.
As well, learning about the ocean and nautical terms made me realize that ocean water in May at my characters latitude might be too cold for prolonged swimming. It totally is, in case you're like me and don't know. There isn't any ice in the water, but the chill is still there. Trying to find a different way for them to find the grotto left one option and that one option destroyed most of my plotting and would have required a complete re-write of the end chapters. Which was an option, but in the end, not the better one.
Instead, I played with thermals and raised some of the waters temperature up so that it was actually warm and went back to my original plot. Sometimes, it isn't a darling that needs to be killed, but is a lover that you need you seduce back to your bed for the night.
It was exactly what I needed. I'd been working on that chapter for 6 days already, trying to fix and unable to figure out why it wasn't working. One simple change to the original idea and I was able to rewrite it from scratch and edit it within a twenty-four hour period.
I celebrated by playing Don't Starve and learning to play a Japanese card name called Koi Koi. Now, its back to editing before I hit the sack. Less than ten chapters to go before this novel is done and can be sent to the editor!