SIGN UP for an Insider's Guide to all my books!

#ROW80 Midweek Check-In

What a week this has been! I started out like a house afire on Monday, getting through blog posts and brainstorming my next book, The Prophet.

I wrote two new scenes for Light and Dark that were needed to fill some plot holes, so I was feeling great. Until yesterday.

I hit a huge stumbling block. A key element of my book is the Las Vegas storm drains. I’d researched them and was unable to find a build date, so I went on the assumption (stupidly) that they were fairly old. I found out yesterday they were built in 1990, so one of the key scenes I’ve created for them won’t work. Oh, and that scene is also one of the book’s turning points.

I sank like a stone yesterday (apparently today is cliche day). There may have been a few angry tears, too. Now I’m in recovery mode. How can I fix it? There has to be a way. I don’t want to go into the details of the book, but I basically have to use some creative license to get from Point A to Point B (the tunnels).

And that’s nerve-wracking. Creative license is okay, right? It’s not like the storm drains are the Statue of Liberty or something. If I jimmy some things around I’m not going to have it bite me in the ass. Someone please reassure me here. I’m a stickler for details and this is difficult for me.

So as far as the book goes, I’m still spinning a bit trying to figure out how to fix this one teeny thing that affects everything. And kicking myself for not stopping to think about this a long time ago. Stupid, stupid.

On the blog side, I’ve already got my post for tomorrow done, which is good because we’re heading out of town tonight. I’m not going to have much time the next four days for any real writing.

I’m scrambling today trying to get this sorted out so I can enjoy my vacation without obsessing over the book. Hopefully I’ll get it figured out.

Happy Humpday to you guys:)

23 comments on… “#ROW80 Midweek Check-In”

  1. That is a problem. Not knowing the exact details of the problem, other than that the storm drains weren't existent when your story is set(?) I'm not sure what advice I can offer. Can you change it to some other kind of tunnel? Under a casino maybe? Knowing that Las Vegas was created by the mob, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if there were warrens of mob tunnels under the old casinos. Something to think about!

  2. No, the story is set in 2011. They exist. But there's an escape route involved that dates back to the 20s … I thought I could connect it to the drains and now I'm not sure I can. Yes, there is that kind of tunnel involved. The problem is how to connect it to the storm drains. Thanks!

  3. Could the contractors have quietly approached whoever sat at the end of the escape route and asked if they wished this route blocked off, or to keep it open, and then adjusted the storm drains as needed? (some kind of airlock situation at the storm drain end of things) Sounds like a cheat, I know, but it might be a workable solution? I could imagine this kind of hush-shush dealing going on in Vegas.

  4. That so frustrating! I'm a stickler for those kinds of details too. There's something to be said about creative license though. Maybe you can put a disclaimer in the beginning of the book letting readers know you know that the storm drains aren't as old as the book suggests? Or maybe there were tunnels there before the drains? Something natural that the drains could have been build into?

  5. Hmm. That's a thought. The escape route is really old though, and none of my characters know about it. But the airlock situation is an idea.

  6. SoniaThat's a possibility. My critique partner and I had brainstormed ideas about have the escape route come out near the tunnel, or in a basement of an abandoned house that's near a storm drain entrance. I was thinking I could fudge where some of the entrances are because not very many people do, anyway.

  7. I've had this happen to me before and it's a very unpleasant moment. I guess it depends on how much creative license you feel you can take. I base so much of my writing on reality, that it would be a no go completely for me, but it depends on how comfortable you'd be stretching the point. You could include an author's foreward including information about it, or you could try to plot around it. Either way, good luck!

  8. It's a tough judgment call. I liked the idea you mentioned above about having the tunnel come out in the basement of an abandoned house that's near a storm drain entrance.

  9. JenYour writing is very forensic heavy, right? I'm not overly comfortable stretching it, but I don't think that fudging where a storm drain, drainage ditch or open wash channel would be too out of the realm.MarcyI'm leaning toward that as well. One of the big entrances is around a major highway, so I think it's feasible there could be something like that there.Thanks, guys!

  10. My writing is forensic, but we do a TON of site research (going back in 10 days to Salem/Boston for site research and personal interviews for book 2). For us, realism is key. If it's not right, we don't use it, and that includes historical points as well. But that's us, and not everyone is that anal about it. And let's face it, fudging where a storm drain opens is really small potatoes. If it was a major plot point, I'd certainly consider bending there too.

  11. Jen,Right. It is a major plot point and like you said, small potatoes. I'm changing the timeline or history. That I couldn't do. I just don't want to think it's all right and then have an agent nail me on it.

  12. Were the drains completely nonexistent prior to 1990? Or was that merely the last time someone really did work down there and repurposed them for their current use?You'd be surprised how often this sort of thing happens. Something gets built long ago, ages, falls out of use. Eventually someone has a new idea on how to use that same space for a more modern purpose.So they update the existing structure and it gets a new build date, because that's when it was built for THAT purpose. But it's been around long before then.If you started buying into that at all… that's how you can fix it. πŸ˜‰

  13. They started the current, modern day storm drain system in 1990. Now, where there already existing sewer pipes? Quiet likely. So you're saying there could have been an old sewer pipe (because some of those are as big and similar to the drains, from what I understand) and then repurposed for the drains, so the escape route was left untouched?

  14. I'd sink like a stone too! I always read in the front of a book about the author taking liberality. What's the difference in when the storm drains were designed and making up a fictional city within a state? As long as the clause is in the front, I'd think you were safe. But what do I know? :)And, most readers wouldn't probably know anyway, still yet, you want it to be as close as you can to reality. Now, that I've not solved any of your tension or anxiety, I'll just give you some cyber love! xoxoxo

  15. I wouldn't think there is, but the storm drains are a huge project, and I don't want to change history that much by moving them back 60 years or so. Like you said though, most readers won't know. That's why I think it's okay to fudge some of the other stuff.Thank you! XO back:)

  16. Sorry to hear that there is a snafu with the storm drain in Vegas. (BTW, that's not the only problem with that place!) Glad you only allowed yourself a 24-hour depressive hit and will soon be heading on a wonderful vacation. Sometimes a change of scenery is exactly what you need to find motivation. Have a ball!

  17. No, it's definitely not. Lots of sad and scary stories there. You're right, a change of scenery will do me good. Thanks for the encouragement, Annie!

  18. I didn't even know Vegas has storm rains in Vegas??? And I go to Vegas frequently… I dont see any reason why you can't say there were pre-existing storm drains prior to the new 1990 ones. It's fiction, authors take creative liberties. You can always do an author's note at the end. I always appreciate it when author's explain the liberties they've taken and why.

  19. ClaudiaLOL, they do. I'm actually posting an interview with Matt O'Brien next week about the people who live in the Vegas drains. There is flash flooding there and always a chance of being washed away.THanks so much for your advice. I agree that this is something I can take liberties with. Really appreciate your comment!

  20. Stacy, I'm so sorry I didn't get to this yesterday. I subbed to your blog via email, and I get the emails the *next* day after you post your blog. Ugh.I am confident you'll overcome this hurdle. To me, this is the hardest part about writing. I know I have creative license. However, I struggle with the line between a need for accuracy and wanting to write a how-to book. LOL

  21. That's okay, Catie. I don't know why blogger does that. But it happens to me with some blogs, too.I think I will, too, especially with all the help I've gotten. So grateful to all of you:)

  22. I like your idea of tapping into the predecessors of the storm drains. I experienced a flash flood in Vegas back in the 1970's-they sure needed effective storm drains back in those days.

  23. Thanks for commenting, Leslie. I think (hope) that using a preexisting drain or sewer pipe should work. I hope, anyway.Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with an *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


    Signup for news on new releases, sales and GIVEAWAYS!!!