I admitted yesterday that I’d created a small plot hole by fixing a minor mistake.
It was such a small error—embarrassing, yes, the ignorance before which plots crumble, no.* But characters refer to it a couple of times, and its removal did mean some spackling and a bit of reshuffling . . . which last night uncovered a bit of redundancy that wasn’t so obvious before.
It’s not enough that two team members located certain information through social engineering and misrepresentation—I had two others simultaneously confirming it through official records, which is the method I’d recommend to non-grifters who aren’t on a literal deadline.**
But as much as I hate giving up the opportunity to show the real way to do genealogical research,*** documentation isn’t necessary. It’s a waste of the team’s resources and implies a breakdown in communications.
So I needed another reason to get those two characters off page, preferably together, for about three chapters.^ A reason that in no way implied that they were actually hanging around craft services and calling their agents during that time. I figured the solution was to bring them back on the page, but they still needed to help move the plot along—or tangle it up.
Maybe they could investigate that suspect who I worried might be a tad Mysterious Cardboard Stranger™ . . . maybe they could investigate that business card I threw in there and never mentioned again . . . maybe they weren’t together, exactly—maybe he followed her or she followed him, which means they’d snark at each other. I love a good snark . . .
I was sorting through the possibilities during this morning’s commute, so intent that I not only crossed the Mississippi River without noticing, I may have been mumbling dialogue under my breath as well.
So focused was I that when a worried voice from the backseat said, “Where are you going?” I answered, “Reno, I think,” before reality smacked me between the eyes.
“Where’s Reno?” asked Janie.
“Nevada,” I said, whipping down a side street to double back.
“Oh. Am I going to be late for school?”
“No, no, we’re fine,” answered the top contender for Mother of the Year.
I’ve forgotten things before, while concentrating on a story. I’ve forgotten to cook dinner, shower, make phone calls, pick up dry cleaning, and, Lord knows, the laundry in all its various stages.
But I’ve never forgotten my kids before . . . piano books, maybe, or gym clothes—that’s par for the course, even for non-writers—but never an entire kid.
This had better be one hell of a scene.
*I’m not going to tell you what it was down here, either. But oddly, enough, it didn’t involve guns.
**Except for the part where they break into the Clark County Recorder’s Office to do it. Please wait until normal business hours—the clerks are very helpful.
***Again, except for the felony part. At least, I think it’s a felony. Nevada burglary law seems to hinge on intent rather than the act of breaking and entering. And the characters don’t intend to stealing anything physical, or anything that they couldn’t have learned the next Monday, if they’d wanted to wait. Then again, vital records aren’t precisely public records, and they would be entering a government office . . . I can’t tell you how glad I am that all this is moot.
^Yeah, I know, but these two aren’t that friendly—or the right kind of unfriendly. Yet. Hmmm . . .