Part of my problem with my characters in this book was that I had neglected to nail them to a timeline.
Always before, I had a little synopsis sketched out of what happened when, so that I knew when a weekend or holiday or whatever was coming up. That way I don't have Nina going to school on what should be a weekend, or six Wednesdays in a month, or Christmas going by without any of the characters noticing. But when I started this book, I wasn't really ready to, so I hadn't done the background work, and kept not doing it. And as a result, the characters were really detached from the temporal aspect of their lives.
My character is involved in three fairly regular group meetings, all of which need to happen on weekends. I hadn't worked out which day of the week any of them were. Finally I sat down with it, made up a calendar on Microsoft Publisher, and figured out who's doing what when. It caused me to realize that if events took place in the order in which I wrote them, then one of the meetings happened but I didn't describe it. This was impossible because that group would have a meeting right before such an important event as they're going to encounter in the next chapter. So . . . I went back and wrote in a snippet describing their meeting.
And everything fell into place like it was supposed to. I was nervous about writing the next chapter because I had no idea what the characters were planning to do. Writing their meeting, and therefore watching it, clued me in on their plans. Now I can write it whenever I want.
But I'm taking my time.
In the meantime I came up with another project, and Sunday last week I started a new short story, which I've titled "The Curse." I finished it Tuesday night. I'll edit it one more time and put it up on my Web page very shortly, for those who care.
Cool - so it's like an Ivy calendar :) Neato! Hm...that reminds me, I have to reread some of your short stories. Maybe I'll even send in a review ^___^ [katqueen]