I can barely manage the timing in my own life so it’s no wonder juxtaposing time and place in my latest novel is such a challenge. Up until now I’ve been able to weave two characters in and out as if they were braids. However, my latest endeavor involves three characters who must narrowly brush past each other without colliding. Otherwise it would ruin the climax and everything else for that matter.
I’m constantly re-reading, analyzing and ensuring that there are no mess ups. So far, it seems to be working. Sure, it’s on paper. Too bad it doesn’t work that way in real life. Just ask my husband.
“What do you mean the dog’s grooming is in twenty minutes? I thought you had a dentist appointment.”
“I do. They’re only five minutes apart. I can make it.”
“Mario Andretti couldn’t make it with all that traffic!”
And that was a good day! Usually our days are crammed with all sorts of obligations, appointments and engagements. Oh, and did I forget? The actual work we’re paid to do! If I could only figure out a way to manage all of those things the way I do for my characters, I might actually have something people refer to as “free time.”
Once my husband suggested I use one of those calendar planners. It lasted a week before I started using it to jot down bits of dialogue and setting that came to mind. He still persevered.
“You’ve got a planner on your computer. Use that!”
“That’s never going to work. What am I supposed to do? Run to the computer every time I need to know where I’m supposed to be or what I’m supposed to do?”
“Heck, you’re at your desk half the time, just look at it!”
He forgot one thing. It only works if you fill out the information and I didn’t have time to do that. My system of Post-its on the pantry door isn’t likely to change. Not unless the price of those sticky notes hits the roof.
Frankly, I’d rather be spending my time creating plot lines that boggle the mind. This new project has taken me out of playing checkers and thrown me into chess. Every movement and every twist needs to be carefully balanced with the other ones that are happening simultaneously. The upside is that I can always do a re-write. Unfortunately, you can’t re-write your days.
Look for my new novels on the horizon in 2015 and 2016. Just don’t look for me at an expected time or place. I might be stuck in traffic with a really smelly dog!