Sunday, January 03, 2010

2010: Day 3 & Counting

What's it mean when at six in the morning there are ice crystals on your storm windows and the dogs tip toe around and won't stay out longer than a minute or two? That it was minus 1 degree and with the chill factor, it felt like minus 14. I guess winter has finally arrived in Indiana.

Okay, so today’s note to self—never, ever permanently delete anything cut from a WIP. What I mean to say is, cut the questionable stuff from the manuscript, but paste those words onto another page and save the new document as "cut sections." I've been able to rescue more than a few lines that way. What doesn't work today, might (in a different context) work tomorrow.

In chapter 22 the homicide detective and my protagonist, Rhonie Lude (a PI), were studying the autopsy photos of a recent murder victim.

Originally, I’d written in a clue that after several readings seemed a little more than convenient. It was too obvious, ordinary, a little too lazy to the point of being amateurish. The worst part was that I didn't know if I'd ever find a clever solution to it that would keep it from being all of the above. So…when in doubt, delete.

Today, nearly five months later, as I was working on the edits of chapter 33, one of my minor characters made an observation that I didn’t see coming. She mentioned the object I’d planted in the deleted clue and all of a sudden, a new twist to the plot developed. An added bonus is that by adding the clue back into chapter 22 and tweaked the scene a bit, not only would the scene work well, but it revealed the identity of an unexpected killer.

Of course, Lude hasn’t made the connection yet, but … she will.

I completed the edits to two chapters today and although I didn’t meet my goal of completing all eleven chapters, I’m very happy with the edits I made. In spite of several interruptions, I still managed to write just over 1,000 words, and that’s okay.

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