Changing Plot Lines

There are times when a plot simply does not work. That was the case when I first attempted writing “Broken Promises” and I learned changing plot lines was one way to writing a novel.

I wanted to write a ‘city girl moves to the country’ type of novel. A favorite series is Anne of Green Gables. And I am a city girl who moved to the country.

The other idea was something between a girl and her father. I came up with this plot wherein the father gets kidnapped and the girl goes and rescues him.

Totally ridiculous. My only excuse is that it was my first attempt at writing a novel. It was a disaster.

I put the mess into a file, closed it and went on to other things. But the idea kept nudging me.

Then the Marines came to my brother’s door. His son, my nephew, my mother’s favorite grandchild, Private First Class Brandon Smith had been killed in Iraq on my mother’s eightieth birthday.

cover for Broken Promises, Hazel Whitmore #1 by Karen GoatKeeper
When you like a storyline, but the plot doesn’t work. Set it aside for a time. When you take another look, life could help you rewrite the plot to take your storyline into a novel.

Grief is different for each person. Working through grief is different for each person. I go numb and work at my job, at something. For my brother it was unreal for almost a year until his son’s friends held a birthday party for Brandon. He would have been 19. My mother never recovered.

By November, NaNo time, I was changing plot lines for my old novel idea. Hazel Whitmore got a new chance to star in her own novel. And the new plot did involve her relationship with her father.

When I sat down at my computer in November, the novel seemed to write itself. I had done some research and talked with my brother.

And yes, I did get a letter from the dead. It was from my father. My hands shook. It was a day or two before I could open it.

Changing plot lines had rescued “Broken Promises” and let it become a novel. It deals with grief and some of the emotions grief can bring into play. And grief is one emotion everyone must face sometime in their lives.