I did a google search on "writing yourself in a corner" and found an interesting mix of opinions. Of course, I'm hoping to find reassurance that my "I don't know" method isn't hopeless, so I picked what supports what I wanted to hear. :) Here are a couple:
This one embraces "writing yourself into a corner" as a deliberate and purposeful way to work. I like that. After all, impossible situations are by their nature intriguing. I love the quote this blog uses by Ethan Cohen of the Cohen brothers on an impossible situation.
This one speaks of "writing yourself into a corner" as a fear. I hadn't really thought of it that way, only as a frustration. Great, now I'm frustrated and afraid. lol This blog suggest that the trick is to back yourself out of the corner, but that isn't what I want. Eliminating the corner isn't an option. I went there with a purpose, ignorant of the way out, but brave in having faith it would be, could be found. So I loved the comment from a reader to the post:
If the writer doesn't see a way out of the corner when they get there, chances are good that the reader won't either, and that's what you want, a reader who doesn't know what's going to happen next, but who wants to know. Writing yourself into a corner is an opportunity to heighten reader impact.
It doesn't get much better than that.
The writer's mind is a strange thing. Sometimes the well of ideas and imagination seems to run dry, and then suddenly, it's as though a geyser erupts. It might take a lot of "what if" playing by either brainstorming or writing it out, but suddenly that "click" can happen. A big part of the negotiation with yourself is keeping not just the possibilities, but the impossibilities on the table .
Do you dare to write yourself into a corner? Do you do it on purpose? When it happens, do you back your way out or search for the impossible? Has the process changed over time?