I’m working away — in fits and starts — on the next novella in my Fitzpatrick Family series. But something’s bothering me about the story. The words aren’t flowing.
I attributed my lack of word flow to pandemic brain fog and put the manuscript aside to watch the drainage ditch being dug in our front yard.
Distraction comes easy when you’re stuck.
The ditch work on the main road in our subdivision had finally been completed. We live on a side street and, after three years, it was our turn.
I stood watching like an awe-struck kindergartner listening to his teacher read Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel named Mary Ann. Written by Virginia Burton, it was my son’s favorite story book.
One scoop after the other. Not one scoop on our side of the street and another scoop across the street.
Scoop – dump, scoop dump. One after the other.
Kinda like a timeline when plotting a story.
As that thought flowed through my head, I realized what was wrong in my Fitzpatrick Family story. My timeline was out of kilter. I’d gone from one side of the street to the other.
Scenes were happening sequentially, but the reader would quickly figure out the passage of time I’d written didn’t allow enough time for what needed to happen.