Saturday, September 16, 2023

What We're Writing Week: Julia takes stuff out and puts stuff in

My standing desk aka the kitchen counter

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: This month I've been grinding away towards finishing the manuscript for AT MIDNIGHT COMES THE CRY (Yes, Jenn and Rhys write three books in one year and I write one book in three years. It's called averaging, okay?!?) One of the issues with taking a long, roundabout route to the first draft, is starting out with certain locations, characters, or plot devices, only to realize once you've reached the 5/8th mark (which for me is between 65 and 70 thousand words) that you've forgotten, abandoned, or changed those things.

 

For instance, I made one character pregnant when we first meet her. (No, not Clare or Hadley.) I thought it would make her precarious position even more fraught. Then, I just sort of... forgot about it. I had to go back to check on something that occurred when we first meet her and surprise! She's six months pregnant.  There was only one problem (besides the fact I hadn't mentioned anything about her being in a family way in any scene after the first two.) Now she was in some action-adventure-y scenes, and being an expectant mom was just TOO much of a pain to write around. 

Fortunately, in Maine, it's legal to end a character's pregnancy at any time up to the last pass of the galley pages, so I went back, did a little rewriting, and taa-daa, she's no longer pregnant. 

 

In another place, I had a scene with a character who just... doesn't show up again. Which is a problem, because I've learned that if there seems to be enough weight on a character, if they're TOO vivid or TOO important, the reader will feel as if they've been left hanging when that person doesn't reappear. 

 

So I figured out what his essential business was, parceled it around to other characters, and got rid of him. (Writing is a ruthless business, don't let anyone every tell you otherwise.)

As Debs wrote about yesterday, I'm also dealing with weather constraints. I had characters picking up shells from the ground, only to remember that two days before, I had bedeviled everyone with a snowstorm. (Why was there a snowstorm? Because it's a Julia Spencer-Fleming novel. All my books have snowstorms. Even the ones set in summer.)

Well, I had made life harder for my characters, which was the point, but also harder for me. I had to go back and add in brooms, and sweeping, and snow removal. 

 

Don't even get me started on the way I had Clare and Russ's dog, Oscar, in the opening prologue and then haven't written a word about him since. And it's been almost a month in the story! Poor Oscar! He's been waiting a long time for a walk and some kibble. I'll have to correct that before turning it in, or someone's going to report Rev. Fergusson to the ASPCA.

 

Here's an excerpt with the newly NOT pregnant Tiny March (whose last name may also change, we'll see...) and Clare fleeing trouble:

 

She let out a breath she didn't know she was holding when they reached the broader, two-lane stretch to the state highway. “Okay, it'll take us a little over an hour to get to Millers Kill from here. How about we pick up a few things for you and Rose at the a Wal-Mart in Fort – oh, shit!”

She and the driver of the pickup heading past her recognized each other at the same moment. Tiny twisted around in her seat. “It's Cal! Oh my God, what are we gonna do? Oh, God, oh God...”

Clare had already hit the gas. Her Subaru was no sports car, but it was a goer, and Cal March had to make a three-point turn before he could follow her. She swung onto the state highway without slowing and immediately accelerated to seventy-five. She split her attention between the road and her rear-view mirror. Sure enough, in the distance, she could see the pick-up turning onto the highway after her.

Tiny leaned forward, looking from side to side. “Is there some place we can hide? Take another route?”

Clare focused on the road ahead, inching her speed up to eighty. “This is it. It's about fifteen miles to the first town, and that's not much more than a cluster of buildings along the highway. It's twice as far to the Northway.” She wrestled the Adirondack atlas out of her side pocket without taking her eyes off the road and handed it to Tiny. “See if there's any place likely.”

What about a police station?”

I know the Essex county sheriff is up in Lewis, but that's got to be an hour from here.” Up ahead, an oil delivery truck lumbered along at a sedate five miles below the speed limit. Clare shifted lanes and blew past him. “State police Troop G is south of here. Somewhere around Brant Lake.”

Tiny bent her head over the map. “That's, like, thirty miles.”

The oil truck dwindled in her rear view mirror. Maybe...? Then the truck popped out from behind it and continued after them. That was the problem with Route 28N – it was a thirty mile long gentle curve, with stretched-out sightlines that made it very safe for tourists traveling into the mountains and very inconvenient when you wanted to disappear. She slowed slightly to scan the area ahead of the SUV in front of her, then revved up to pass it. The good news was, it was Sunday, and there wasn't much traffic on the road. The bad news was, it was Sunday, and where in this corner of the Adirondacks could they find enough people and vehicles to get lost in?

Have you ever read a book where one of these little "Ooops!" moments has been left in, dear readers? Do you ever return to an earlier part of a novel, brows furrowed, trying to make sense of something? (P.S., Tropical Storm Lee will be hitting my area with torrential rain and high winds today, so keep your fingers crossed I keep my power and internet!)

102 comments:

  1. Wow! Am I glad Clare is doing the driving! Scary stuff . . . and now I’m wondering just how she’s going to get away from Cal . . . .

    Hoping you come through the tropical storm unscathed, Julia . . . .

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    1. So far, so good, Joan. Lot's of wind, but no rain yet, and the power's still on!

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  2. Good saves, Julia! And great suspense, which you are a master at.

    Yesterday two new characters popped up in an early scene. I like them and realized they could be useful later on, or at least one of them. I made sure to leave myself a note reading: [THEY HAVE TO REAPPEAR].

    But I was also reading through the now extensive listing in my Characters file for my protag in a different series. It said Robbie wears a turquoise cross-body bag. What? I wondered where that bag went, because it has totally disappeared in later books (#12 comes out in December). Hmm...

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    1. Robbie got tired of turquoise ? Styles are always changing? As a reader I don’t think I’d even notice. Elisabeth

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    2. Except for the three readers who would, Elisabeth, and send Edith emails asking what happened to the turquoise bag and why it never figured in the solution to the mystery? :-)

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  3. JULIA: I really feel for poor Oscar! And yes, you do tend to put Clare & others in some harrowing circumstances in bad weather, so a no longer pregnant Tiny makes sense. Great scene, glad I don't drive!

    Fingers crossed that TS Lee does not cause long-lasting power outages or significant damage.

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    1. Yeah, I started thinking about it and realized how much space I was going to have to give to Clare and others worrying about her condition, accommodating her condition, etc. The book's long enough as is without more words for a small emotional payoff.

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  4. Yay! It's nearing completion! I can't wait to catch up with your wonderful characters. As for "the Essex County sheriff is up in Lewis..." I wish I could call him for Clare. (Selden in Essex County)

    P.S. There are so many highways like this in the Adirondacks. Either the road is narrow, so closely hedged by trees, and so sparsely populated that alarmed visitors think they are driving deeper into a Stephen King novel, or the road is wide (built for snowplows), equally sparsely populated, and the sight-lines are so long (for the East) that you can see the next car a mile ahead. Next time I'm driving on one of the latter, I will be thinking of Clare and Tiny, and wondering how they make their escape.

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    1. A special sneak peek, just for you, Anon: they head for North Creek, to hide among the shoppers and skiers.

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    2. Perfect! I can't wait to read it. (Selden)

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  5. Wow what a great scene this is. But I relate to the "forgotten characters" oops, too. I have a character in book one of my Portugal series that has sort of disappeared. I'm on book three, now, and realized I'm going to have to explain her absence, because she doesn't have a role in this book, either.

    I was cheered to learn it takes you three years to write a book. I've been working on this one for two and still have a ways to go.

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    1. Hey, there are "slow food" and a "slow living" movements, Elizabeth. Why not "slow writing"?

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    2. because I pout. and mumble. other than my issues, it is okay.

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  6. wow, great scene. Glad you made the changes, makes for a better storytelling. Best of luck with Tropical Storm Lee.

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  7. Take care, Julia and Celia, during Lee!

    Yes, it's very irritating to learn a random fact about a character or pet with no follow up. If the dog is allergic to its dog foot, I'd better know by the next fictional day that someone has made a trip to a pet store.

    I like the Cajun custom of "Tee" as a prefix for a name, like Tee-Grace or Tee-Marie. Short for petit, in place of junior. Tiny sounds like a mob matriarch or a short thug.

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    1. Oh Margaret, how kind, thank you so much. Right now, 9am very little action but I’m a little west of Julia and she is in writers telephone retreat so silence is all. I hope our other JRW readers in Maine are good. I honk Lait lives north of us.

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    2. Oh dear it’s Celia and sorry KAIT

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    3. That's okay, Celia; we knew it was you! Fingers crossed for you folks but I'm hoping you have stocked up on provisions and can hunker down until the worst is over. If it ever even dares to show up.

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    4. Margaret, I didn't know that about the Tee prefix; I love it. Sadly, it wouldn't suit my northern New York setting...
      So far so good for me on the storm front. The Maine Millennial has lost power, and I haven't heard from Youngest, but since she usually doesn't rise until noon on Saturday... :-)

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  8. This completely cracked me up: "Fortunately, in Maine, it's legal to end a character's pregnancy at any time up to the last pass of the galley pages, so I went back, did a little rewriting, and taa-daa, she's no longer pregnant." In another state, one might have to travel across state lines and then still get in trouble.

    I love the excerpt--got my blood pumping first thing on a Saturday morning!

    I definitely have found some oops mistakes. One was in a book that I didn't remember reading (I had checked it out from the library both times) until I came to the oops, and oh yeah, it bothered me again.

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    1. One of the first books I read way back when "studying mysteries" was a well-acclaimed novel where the murderer literally comes out of nowhere. I went back and re-read the entire thing, thinking I had missed a clue. Nope. It was very educational - I make sure there aren't any unexplained murder weapons/suspects when I edit!

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    2. I hate when the killer only appears at about the 3/4's mark. In my notes I tend to say - don't try another.

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  9. I'm so happy to learn you're approaching the finish line on this MS, Julia, and I'm already fearful for Tiny with Cal lurking in shadows. Bring on this book!

    I have definitely read incongruous little details ] and flipped back to see if I'm right or am misremembering the neighbour's hair colour or wrong about the fact that no one put the kettle on but then, miraculously, the teapot arrives, hot and full, on the table. Oops, say I. Where was the brilliant copy editor to catch the error?

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    1. Sometimes, errors are inserted by changes after the copyediting. And even the best can miss a fact or two - as errors in my books show!

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  10. This excerpt sure makes you want to read more!

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    1. Unfortunately it may be several years before this book is published!

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    2. From Celia: I’m thinking glass full, none of us, except the spouse perhaps, knows what’s involved in birthing a book. I have faith!

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  11. Julia: About the snowstorm in summer – move your characters and setting to Calgary, Alberta. They often have snow in the summer, and it is giant balls of hail!
    As for missing characters – we just watched an old Morse last night, where Morse and Lewis passed a man walking backwards reading a book. They mentioned it to each other. A few scenes later Backward Man turned up again – and then disappeared from screen and plot. If we keep power, I am going looking for some person on the internet smarter than me who might explain this event. Yes, it is very annoying!
    Weather-wise – we have everything in. Rain is just sprinkling, and Jack is about to cover the patio doors with big sheets of plywood, which is his new scheme for the wind. (Does anyone want someone to devise foolish inventions for their weather in stories? I have someone to offer…may harumph!). Radio is reporting that the storm is shifting away from us, although Yarmouth area should get blasted. The local radio programme had a listener call in who said Lee was in Pemaquid Point, so I don’t know how close Julia is to there.

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    1. I'm further down the coast, Margo, but Victoria lives closer to Pemaquid Point and she's lost power.

      The thing about missing characters is: we've been trained as readers and viewers to pay attention to what's highlighted in front of us. So when the author says, "Look here," we do, and then expect there to be a payoff. And we're right to expect it! Chekhov's Rule doesn't only apply to guns.

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  12. Ah, Julia, your writing--whether it's a book or a blog post--is always worth waiting for. I'm now worried sick for Clare and Tiny. I also got a big laugh out of it being legal in your state to un-preggers a character.

    Yep, I've caught bloopers in books, but I am generous about it. How can anyone keep every single detail straight, in particular when characters behave with minds of their own? Some of them seem to want to wear a different color of hair, after all, or live on a completely different street than originally assigned to them. Who are we to complain, right?

    Hope you and the critters, and Celia and Victor and all your combined belongings, are not inconvenienced by Mean TS Lee.

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    1. From Celia: thank you Karen, we are fine. All Victor and my hard work last night with deck furniture and plants, I did post pics on Fb, has sent the storm category to a nor’easter and off to the east too.

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    2. Celia, the rest of Maine thanks you and Victor for “taming” Lee. Take good care, Elisabeth

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    3. Yes, I'm convinced the fact I spent several hours putting away lawn furniture, clearing off the porch and pulling down all the storm windows is partly responsible for the lack of weather drama here. If I had left everything in situ, Lee would have taken out my whole house!

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    4. Great news! Glad you all weathered the storm without incident.

      Bonus: now you have a headstart on winterizing!

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  13. Nice suspenseful scene. Of course, in the tradition of PhD (piled higher and deeper), Tiny could suddenly go into premature labor, which would also get rid of the pregnancy, but cause other problems....
    Good luck with that storm.

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    1. That's not a bad idea, Ellen! Of course, I already have several sub plots, and I'm not sure how many this ship can carry. I never want to overload the reader.

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  14. That's it, Julia? That's all you are going to show us? I was hoping for maybe 300 - 400 pages! I'll just have to wait then for however long it takes. I'm glad you *somehow* changed Tiny's pregnancy. Had you not, I definitely would have worried and wondered.

    One book I read recently changed the spelling in a (minor) character's name. I just laughed about that one. As for the dog, I can see that having a dog in the book can lead to problems. Again, I'm the sort of person who would worried that the dog had not been fed in days, or if there is a cat, no mention ever of a litterbox.

    Oh the dog problem - this is terrible. In a book whose title I don't recall but I do recall the author. I think a bad guy had killed the person in the house and then left the dog on its own. The dog was found dead, too, apparently for lack of water. It was many days before they were found. I thought that was rather far-fetched. I would think the dog would drink out of the toilet. It wasn't a little dog but one large enough who could have lifted the lid. You can tell I thought about this one for a long time after the book. In my house, at least, unless the water valve is turned off (or the well has gone dry) as the dog drank the water, it would refill. Wouldn't the dog bark its head off?

    Really looking forward to your book, Julia! Still no word about Kevin? If that was his name; I may have forgotten the name but I do remember the character. Hope you know who I mean.

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    1. Love your sarcastic comment. Julia has lost me as a reader because of the long wait times between books and the predictable perils of pauline predicaments her characters must endure.

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    2. Don't worry, Judi, you've got the name right. And look, I have a name bible because I forget character's names - I don't expect others to remember them!

      Anon, isn't it wonderful that there are so many, many good writers being published today? I'm sure you'll be able to find more than enough books that you do want to read.

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    3. You are right about there being many good writers but I'll never give up on reading Julia! No matter how long i have to wait between books! The wait just makes the books that much sweeter. Like fine wine. No, that isn't right. I had intended my comment to be one of sarcasm; it was more to show my enthusiasm for the book. Ah well.

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    4. Don't worry, Judi, I think only an ungenerous reading would assume you were being sarcastic. I certainly didn't.

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  15. This is an occupational hazard of the slow writer… happens to me all the time. It wouldn’t if it took less time to write from beginning to end. Yes to removing extraneous characters - the vestigial organs of a mystery novel.

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    1. I think you're right about it being a slow writing problem, Hallie. I'm pretty sure Dickens didn't have any loose threads when he was writing books that were published in monthly chapters.

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  16. Julia, we are so excited to see progress on this book--cannot wait! Hope the storm blows by quickly with no after effects!

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    1. The sun is already shining! Rather anticlimactic, really.

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  17. I read a long running series where the names of two characters change from one book to another. After a head scratch, I just laugh and realize not every editor or author can catch every mistake as well as devoted readers can.

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    1. Jackie, I started a name bible because of just that issue. In books 1 and 3, my protagonist's sister was named "Janet." In book 2, she was "Janice." Yikes!

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  18. I'm so looking forward to another installment of Clare and Ross's story. Especially after reading this tidbit. Hoping your internet is stable and for no more hiccups with pregnant/not pregnant characters. Don't forget to feed Oscar!

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    1. Going back to re-integrate that good boy into the narrative, Kelly.

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  19. Julia, I'm biting my fingernails now! Great scene! I do notice hiccups in a book, depends on how frequent/the author whether they annoy me or not. Hoping all up in that end of Maine/Canada stay safe, the power stays on, and no damages! (Flora)

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    1. We've been lucky here, Flora - the wind is quite strong, but without rain, there's much less chance of trees ripping out of the over-saturated ground. Youngest's area is getting pouring rain, and the folks in Maritime Canada will see the brunt of it.

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  20. Julia, I loved your line about it being legal to end a character's pregnancy until the last pass of the galley pages. Because then I thought, "oh if someone excessively crazy reads the book and then discovers this blog post, Julia will be getting an angry 1 star screed review because of it.

    As for the guy you wrote out of the book, I suppose you can just chalk it up as a mystery writer providing an extra murder for the story!

    While I can't recall any specific instance of being confused about something and having to go back earlier in a book, I'm sure it has happened.

    However, I do have a specific Oops! moment that stands out as an egregious case of copy-editing failure. I was reading an otherwise very good mystery. The problem arose when the entire state of Maine had been relocated to the PACIFIC OCEAN!

    Oops indeed!

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    1. My mind is officially blown, Jay. The only way I thing anyone could make that mistake is if their only source for information on Maine was "Murder, She Wrote!"

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    2. I taught I read that some of Murder She Wrote was filmed in Mendocino, CA?

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  21. Hoping the storm merely waves hello and then departs, Julia. But meanwhile, go take care of Oscar! And I, too, so loved your line about terminating a pregnancy. When I find "oops" moments in a book, I just roll my eyes. As a writer, I depend on my beta readers to alert me to gaffes of omission, repetition, or plain silliness. But just saying, Julia, it's a little easier to keep track of things when you compress your production time a bit . . . and easier to keep your readers from going mad!

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  22. From Celia: well life comes at us all but in this case weather. I was so busy yesterday that I never got back to commenting on Debs questions. I have to admit that rainy London in April doesn’t have the same vibe as April in Paris, and there is the nub; London rain, wet shoes, dripping coat or trouser hems, I do think mysteries weather plays a huge role that is completely at the mercy of the author. Your characters may be pregnant, or not? Wether Driving in a Subby, or a Shelby Cobra (did I remember that correctly)? they are setting the pace. Love the share. Yes weather, very cold weather, preferably on a frozen lake with damaged ankle weather is definitely you Julia. I suggest a huge NE rain storm with hail - Claire can keep her car on the road, she’s a good driver. But the guy in the truck? Trucks are notorious for poor handling in wet weather.

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    1. Yes, they are, Celia! As I've seen too many times in bad weather in roads in our area...

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    2. Ooh, great suggestion for the evil guy in the truck, Celia! And I'm taking note of the "dripping coat and trouser hems!"

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  23. Julia, you will get zillions of emails if you don’t feed and walk that dog every few pages!

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    1. I knew it. Going back to insert the dog right now.

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    2. Yup. I once had to have a character give his dog to his mother, because that dog was SUCH a pain...for ME, the author!

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  24. JULIA: That dog is sooo cute! I agree with Rhys about feeding and
    walking the dog every few pages. LOL.

    Question: Do you have Beta Readers?

    My writing class talks about Beta Readers. I have not reached that point yet.

    Trying to recall if I have read books where there is an Oops! in the story. Sometimes when I read an eARC of a new book, I would see something similar to what you talk about. If I know the author, then I would send a message and ask about that character. Sometimes I really have to read very carefully then I find the missing information that I was looking for.

    Snowstorms and picking up shells. If the weather in the locale of your story is anything like SF Bay Area weather, it can happen. I remember when it snowed one day in the SF Bay Area and the next day it was back to usual weather. I could see people picking up seashells at the beach the next day if the weather warms up.

    So excited to read your book.

    Diana

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    1. Diana- I have been a Beta reader from time to time. It is fascinating to see how gentle criticism is received. In one case the lead male swamp across a bay in the middle of a nor easter with a broken arm. Didn't die and was able to save the lady. My gentle suggestion was to make him a superhero or tone it back.. Would love to be a Beta reader for you when you are ready.

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    2. my opps for the day the above is Coralee

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    3. Diana, I did when I was starting out - my mother was an excellent Beta reader. Now, the publisher is SO impatient to get the manuscript, I don't have time - my beta reader is my editor and the copy editor!

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    4. Julia, excellent! I also Love that title of your new novel too! Diana

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    5. Coralee, thank you. I am not quite there yet. Still writing my novel. Diana

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  25. Neglecting hygiene is my pet oops! and occurs in almost every book I read…showering and changing and being back “on the road” in seconds (ugh who cleans up the bathroom after?), no bathroom visits for hours or ever (Victorian modesty overdone?) for pets and people. Eventually, I have trained my brain not to notice. Keep writing, Julia! Elisabeth

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    1. I agree, Elisabeth: if you're going to have characters performing bathroom functions, you need to do it realistically, with enough time, etc. Of course, there's many a book where no one ever showers, shaves or goes to the toilet, and we don't notice! It's another example of how if the author draws attention to something, they have to follow through.

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    2. I hate books where the characters don't eat!

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    3. Yes, so agree! That's why I keep a timeline as I go..so people eat and sleep--or at least notice the lack of! (I always think it's funny ,too, that no one ever seems to read a book.)

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  26. Julia; Your good friend Archer Mayor tells some stories of partial oops moments he has encountered. In The Sniper's Wife, he had partially written the book with much of the back story related to one of the main characters, Willy Kunkle, being set in Boston, having forgotten that he had previously identified Willy as having been a NYC cop, not a Boston cop, before coming to Vermont. Some rewrite was required. Similarly, in his first book, Joe Gunter, the primary protagonist in the series, was identified as being a Korean War veteran. Fast forward to the present, that would make Joe one of the oldest protagonists around. Solution, some nuanced readjustment of past history along the way.

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    1. M., I remember telling Archer I had SUCH a crush on Joe. Then he told be what Gunter's actual age would be. It was the same as my father's!! Very glad he decided to quietly drop the Korean War vet angle and just keep Joe as eternally fifty-ish.

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  27. I was reading an exciting scene in a historical mystery ARC. Our heroes are in a cellar-one temporarily disabled, the other being attacked. Then there are footsteps above and coming down the stairs. They are rescued! But the author didn't say who rescued them. I emailed her with questions. She emailed back, laughing, saying what happened and that her husband had caught the goof. It would be correct in the published book. I went over and over that scene trying to figure out what happened!

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    1. Pat, I have some of my biggest whoopsies as I near the end of the book. I start writing like a maniac, doing 5 or 8 thousand words a day, and as a result, I inevitably have to re-write a lot in the final chapters.

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  28. I read one by one of my favorite writers where the name of the victim changed somewhere around the middle of the book!

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    1. Oh, Kait, that's a BIG ooops! Hope you're doing okay up there in The County.

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    2. We are in my part - I'm ten miles from Ft. Kent. Just some breeze and drizzle. It's a different story in Caribou and Presque Isle from what I've heard. Thanks for asking!

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  29. Julia et al in Maine: I am tracking you right now using noaa hurricane center info. I hope the hit I took form Idalia is all the hurricane divas need for our JungleRedWriters/Readers. Julia opps happens, glad Tina is no longer pregnant. Also Clare is sober behind the wheel right?

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    1. Well... she's not drinking any more, Coralee. She's still having a little problem with pills. But it's not affecting this scene!

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  30. Julia, I love your wit and will wait however long I must for your next book. Real life intrudes on fictional life and there’s little to be done about it. Ignore the cranky pants people behind the curtain. Those of us in front are rooting for you.
    Best of luck weathering TS Lee and everything else! — Pat S

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  31. Also, does anyone else think T.S. Lee would be a great nom de plume?

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    1. I also thought Cal March sounded like a character in a Louisa May Alcott novel, so have to rid myself of any preconception that he might be nice.

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    2. I'm strongly considering changing the last name for just that reason, Debs. There's no need for that particular name; I just threw it in there with a note to maybe change it later.

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  32. Adirondack altas. Not a roadmap, not pull out phone and ask Google for closest police station - Clare wrestles an Adirondack atlas out of side pocket, I love it.

    I hope all are staying safe who are in TS Lee's path.

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    1. If I might - I also love that she has a paper map. However, that bit reads that she wrestled it out of her side pocket and I pictured her jacket pocket. Julia, please clarify that it's her CAR's side pocket. Or "the" side pocket." Sorry for the nit picking!

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    2. Excellent point, Edith! Thank you!

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  33. Julia, you are just flat cruel, to give us this and not tell us what happens to Tiny and Clare! But I am SO glad you're past the tipping point in this book. We are all rooting for you! (and for Clare and Russ! And Oscar!)

    I have made so many oopses that I tend to be forgiving of other authors'. For instance, I've just realized, in doing some rereading, that when we first meet Doug Cullen, he has a car. A couple of books later, no car. Poof. No explanation. I could have at least invented a major crash!

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    1. Debs, that is totally something I would have done!

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  34. Debs, he sold it when he got the new
    house...maybe....:-)

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  35. Ah, yes, the old dropped stitch in the writing process - so many dropped stitches, so many rip outs and reknits. I honestly think it has taught me some patience in the process. Absolutely LOVE this scene. Can't wait to read what happens. Go Clare!

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  36. Oh, I am in the midst of writing, and have thought about this ALL DAY! Yes,yes, some things seem like SUCH a good idea, and then whoosh, never seen again. I once had Alyssa in THE HOUSE GUEST worry that someone had put a bug in her car and then, for two hundred pages, she NEVER thought of it again. Luckily I caught it.
    And Julia, CANNOT WAIT! Type type type!!

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  37. How did I miss this update?! Good luck. I am patiently waiting.....😊

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