We are all aware of the phrase ‘think outside the box’.
The ‘box’ being the confines of the problem we are contending with.
It is ironic that colouring outside of the lines often gains you chastisement rather than praise.
Life is full of lines. Most of them have penalties for crossing them. We are encouraged to stay within the box.
Then you are expected to think outside of the lines, and that is seen as a good thing. You’ve done something new and novel.
What you have done is admit that you can’t solve the problem, so you’ve had to go outside of the lines to achieve it.
Next time, stay in the box. Solve the problem, within the confines.
The writer Larry Cohen, if my memory serves me correctly, took around ten years to finally solve the problem of how to write a script where the main protagonist is in a phone booth for the majority of the movie.
He didn’t colour outside the lines.
He thought inside the box – literally.
Work within the confines of your genre, or main character, and work out how to tell your story more perfect than those before.