When Mr. Quinn and I sat down to discuss his alpha read of The Star of Time he suggested some major/minor changes to the scope of the book.
He wanted a stronger, more emotional opening to the story (good call), and that one was easy because it’s contemporary. Phoebe starts her story in 2016. I was able to use my own experience to write that and I knocked it out in a couple of days.
The other change – giving a secondary character a stronger backstory – required more research because his story takes place in areas of the book that I had previously skipped altogether (I mistakenly thought that the story didn’t happen there). All of that is historical. New settings require internet excavation to see how things would have been accomplished in 1776. Three days in and I know what I think I need to know.
Frustratingly, I could have written the scene and just guessed, but I really want to be as accurate as I can (knowing that someone who is an expert may still come along and say I got it all wrong!). The location plays a role, but not a big one. The reality is that I needed to know how my people would cross a river. And where. So where was that old road? Which ferry was along that road? How far was it from where they started? Would they have come to the crossing on their first day of travel or the second?
Every question has an answer and every answer inevitably creates another question. The good news in all of this is that I think I have reached a point in my career where I can make the call on when I’ve got enough knowledge to proceed. At this point, I can quit excavating and start writing again.
I think this is the last major added scene for this round of edits. Then I have to fine tooth comb the rest of the book, punch up some stuff and then it’s off to the races on getting book 3 first drafted. That one’s The Star of the Dead, for the record.
I may get these books done and published soon. It’s certainly starting to feel more real!