Yesterday my WIP flew from my fingers onto the screen, running free and wild, as I watched my story taking shape... Until the moment one character noted that the fire had taken hold of part of the building and the firemen were retreating and regrouping.
What was the problem? I had not even hinted at a fire in the previous 2165 words, not a plume of smoke, not a smell, not one person pointing out the rescue of two trapped people might be hampered by the extensive heat.
How had I missed something so vital? Erm, I don't know. I was working from handwritten and typewritten versions, trying to merge them into something slightly different, and this fact kind of got missed off. In another part of the story that I've already written, a character mentions that even two days later the smell is still lingering, so you'd have thought I'd have remembered that at least! Except, I wrote that part of the story last week, so maybe not.
My choices are to delete what I've got and start again, or slide the fire into the scenes I've already written. I'm going to go with the second option, mostly because this is a first-and-a-half draft, and I know it will bear no resemblance to the final section anyway. I am in awe of people who edit as they go and have publishable work at the point they move on the next chapter. Me? No...
When I was at school, I loved technical drawing. If anyone has ever done it, you'll know you start of with a lot of pencil marks and the page looks like a complete mess of unintelligible lines. Then you flourish your 0.5 black liner and slowly, out of the jumble of pencil, comes a shape that makes sense - a 3D box or, more advanced, the floor plans of a house. That's what my writing is like, a jumbled mess until ta da!!
So, yes, today I will be squeezing a fire into my chapter, and shattering the zen-like calmness my characters had chosen to adopt!
What mistakes have you made when you've been writing?
Have you ever made glaring omissions?