You sit down, with an idea for a story. You’ve got interesting characters in mind, a theme you’re excited to work on, an ending in mind, the catalyst needed for change, now all that’s left is how to figure out how to put it all together.
I’m in the beginning phase of Remains to be Seen, the first three chapters drafted, but in no way, neat and clean. Cerri is a forensic anthropologist, Zain is a medical examiner, both have taken a back door out of their original field of archeology. I know why, I know how.
But the time line is a bit off.
I’m putting aside time this morning to try to sew up the loose threads of the story. Sometimes it takes contortion, which means it’s not going to be believable. The flow must be seamless.
Cerri’s story was pretty straight forward. She was on track to become a well-respected member of any dig. She’d been assigned to attend several prestigious projects during college, had traveled to the Yucatan to unravel another Aztec mystery, to Spain to study Neanderthal artifacts, and London, to study fourteenth century burial grounds, before tragedy struck and she left the field. Lucky for her, the shift in majors from archeology to anthropology, wasn’t a stretch. They both covered the study of bones, one in a cultural context, the other in a biological sense. A Masters followed and now she’s working in the Medical Examiner’s office as a forensic expert.
Zain is the one giving me some timing issues. He began his university studies at Oxford, but quit when he decided he wanted out of a field that no longer held his passion. From that point to his current status as assistant medical examiner is a tangled jumble of back and forth, up and down. I need to put things in straight line, in an orderly fashion so the transitions from one field to another are credible.
As I’ve been writing this blog post, I’ve been jotting down possibilities and things are becoming clearer. I’ll be adding to Zain’s past, but the new additions should add depth to the character, which can only add to the complexity of the storyline… because it’s not just about a happily ever after.