The Wrong One

So…I’m again rewriting the historical mystery.  Thought I was done with this draft and had only to await the edits from my most excellent agent, but alas, I have this impish ethical streak that won’t let me just slide…

Basically, I came up with a minor, almost throwaway, solution to a tiny plot problem as part of the whole revamp and happily sent the novel forth.  But then that solution began to grow in my imagination, like a tumor, until I realized that I had a much bigger problem arising from the solution.  Not to worry!  It would form the basis for the next book in the series!

That settled, I went about doing other things.

Only my unconscious kept churning on it and wouldn’t let me drop it like that.  I had created a growing organism within the body of my novel that had to be dealt with.  Argh!

Yes, I said argh!  because I wanted to get on with other things.  But.  Not to be. The coup de gras came last weekend over an excellent dinner with my friend Carolyn Gilman (who has a new novel out and you really ought to go get it and read it ’cause it’s really, you know, good).  Carolyn works for the Missouri History Museum and her current project is the Revolutionary War in the West—exactly the place and period in which my novel is set.  In the course of the conversation we stumbled on some little-known—no, that’s an understatement—some previously unexamined aspects of the Battle of St. Louis and George Rogers Clark and all that which irritated my tumor into full-blown eruption and I realized that I had to do this rewrite now!

This made me a bit nervous, as Stacia, my agent, has had what we thought was the second to last draft for a few months now and I had no idea how deep into it she’d gotten and I had to tell her to hold off—

The revisions will make this a much better book and when I described them to Stacia she was not only supportive but excited and so now I’m a hundred pages into a new draft.  I’ll just give you a little hint as to what was wrong and if anyone remembers this after the book comes out you can ask me about it and I’ll recount the tale.  Basically I had the wrong murderer.

Embarrassing, I know, but hey, not even the historical facts I learned from Carolyn are particularly well known and the interpretation she’s putting on them are unique, so I don’t feel like a total slacker.

Anyway, if I’m not posting here much in the next few weeks, this is why.  So have a happy, healthful Turkey Day, everyone.

Published by Mark Tiedemann