You know how you unconsciously avoid places that make you uncomfortable? Like taking certain roads, because you don't like the way you can't see the cross traffic? Or the way you avoid sitting with your back to a swinging door in a restaurant (or for some people, avoid having your back to an open room)? A lot of Feng Shui is built around soothing and removing these unconscious feather-rufflers (removing sharp corners that "point" at you when you're laying in bed trying to relax, same with removing mirrors that "watch" you when you're trying to sleep; having your bed face the door so you can see anyone coming in--or having your desk face the door, or having your couch face the door, so you never feel exposed and unprotected). I'm a big fan of Feng Shui in the home to make me feel more comfortable and able to fully relax.
What I didn't realize is that there were places in my story that I was avoiding because they made me uncomfortable. Last night, what started as an exercise in understanding Madison's fears turned into a breakthrough: I discovered the theme I'd been trying to crowbar into Conventional Demon didn't work, but that a much more obvious and far better theme did.
The moment I recognized the proper theme (the importance of being true to oneself and trusting oneself--yes, I'll refine the language of that before query time, but that's the gist), it was like it was seeing my story through the eyes of Thematic Feng Shui. All the scenes I'd been hesitantly poking at, glossing over, or just plain avoiding (because I unconsciously knew there was something wrong with them but not what) stood out in harsh relief--and so did the solutions. In each problematic scene, I can now see it merely needs to strengthen the theme, and in doing so, it will be strengthened.
What a breakthrough!