Oh, the best laid plans. . .
With less than three weeks till deadline, I just discovered an absolutely insurmountable snag in my story.
Actually, after 18 books, I know there are no insurmountable snags, but that’s how I’m feeling at the moment. And since I can’t figure out how to surmount the snag right now, I’ll blog about it instead. 🙂
Here’s my snag: It’s too late for me to change something that happened in Book One (BEFORE THE STORM), and now something I thought would fall neatly into place in Book Two (AFTER THE STORM). . . well, it won’t.
My character, Keith, is eighteen years old in AFTER THE STORM. He has to be eighteen for certain elements of the plot to work. This morning, though, I suddenly realized that some of the dates in the story don’t make sense. I pulled out the final manuscript for BEFORE THE STORM, created a new “date chart” and began taking a critical look at what happened when. (That involved numerous gestational charts, among other things!) To my horror, I discovered that Keith is only seventeen, and that changes everything. I stared at the dates and tried to twist and turn them so that I could squeeze another couple of months into Keith’s age, but not only is he just seventeen, he’s barely seventeen and a half.
I’m at my wit’s end. Can you tell?
Now, the truth is, if I wrote that Keith is eighteen in AFTER THE STORM, readers would probably never notice the disparity. (Of course, NOW readers will definitely notice. Hmm. Maybe I should delete this blog entry. . . ). But it would be so wrong for me to tamper with the accuracy of my tale.
So here is my plan. I’m going to check the dates one more time in the hope that I’ve made an error in calculation. If by some miracle he’s gained six months since the last time I checked, I’ll keep working for another couple of hours. If not, I’ll go to bed. Then, in the morning, I’ll make a few research phone calls to find the least plot-disrupting solution. And the revisions will begin.
Till then, I’ll leave you with a picture of one of my recent houseguests because it makes me happy to look at, and I need a little happiness right now. This is my great-niece, Joanna, who became instant best buds with my pup, Jet.