We’re still working on our revisions. S is trying to get the timeline right for her massive Turn fanfic. This can be very tricky. A lot of TV shows play fast and loose with their internal timeline, and Turn is no exception. S is going back and rewatching every episode to make sure that her scenes match up with the show, as much as she possibly can. Last night, for example, she realized that she’d written a scene where Ben and Caleb have a conversation, after which Ben goes and has supper with other officers. The trouble is that on the show, there are some scenes with Abe in between those events, and it’s clear that—at the very least—a day and a night must pass between Ben’s conversation and the supper. So now she has to figure out how to separate those two Ben scenes.
These problems are not unique to fanfic. I’m revising a story that takes place in our own Myrciaverse, and I had a very similar problem come up. My latest novel (which might hypothetically be S’s birthday present) is actually a series of short stories that happen between Old Habits Die Hard and Called to Account during the Myrcian civil war. As I was reading through the book this past week, I suddenly realized I’d made a serious mistake.
I don’t want to give too many spoilers (S might be reading this), but basically what I did was this: in the fifth and last story, I had character A ask character B to help character C escape. And I hinted that in fact character B and her bosses had agreed to do so. The trouble is that Called to Account takes place about half a year later, and in that story, it’s a major plot point that character B’s bosses have no idea where exactly character C has escaped to, and are desperate to find him.
You can see the problem, of course. If I just kept my new story as it was, it would suggest that somehow B’s bosses helped C escape, and then, in the course of a few months, completely forgot that fact. This is, at best, extremely problematic. So I had to figure out how to change the new story to fit what happens in Called to Account. It wasn’t terribly difficult to fix—it just required deleting a few lines and adding a couple paragraphs here and there. But it still took me a while to work it all out in my head and make sure that the new story still made sense on its own.
Eventually it all worked out, and I think the story is better now. Just don’t tell S about it. I want it to be a surprise for her.
Anyway, that’s what we’re up to. Now we get to go do yard work—something that always makes even the toughest revisions seem like fun by comparison.