I’ve ripped out and completely redone the central mystery at least 20 times. Maybe more.
Here’s the problem. Daisy is a young woman who knows that there is some mystery in her background. The premise of the story is that an event, a meeting, kicks her out of her life and around the world to solve the mystery.
For that to work, she can’t start out the story with so little information that it doesn’t hold some interest for her, but she can’t have so much information that she could solve it on her own.
So, she has to have something that points strongly to her past. Then the adventure starts when she comes across a matching piece of info she can use to figure out where to go and what to do. Sounds simple, right? And it would be, if I didn’t have to find tiny objects to illustrate the plot.
I knew that I wanted a meeting with a stranger as the call to adventure, but the shape of that meeting and the knowledge they transfer had always been murky.
At first I thought that she’d have some unique necklace that identified her to someone else. I spent some time trying to find a tiny-yet-unique necklace. No real luck – apparently, there isn’t alot of great art in the doll jewelry world.
Then, I thought she could have a necklace with some kind of family crest or amulet. Apparently, Twilight beat me to that idea, so that wouldn’t work.
I have these tiny clay bluebirds.
I had some crazy idea that her mom gave her one of these bluebirds, then someone else saw it and recognized her. But, jeez, really, under what circumstances would someone suddenly discover that you had an clay bluebird? And I’d already decided the scene would take place at a diner, so what was she doing taking a clay bluebird to work? I actually tried to the force the thing into her tiny apron. Poor Daisy – she’s been very patient through all this.
Finally, I threw away the idea of someone-identifying-Daisy-through-a-unique object. So, if they didn’t just stumble across her and recognize her through some identifiable object, then how do they meet? It has to be that the person meeting her has known where Daisy is all along. And that person has to have a piece of information which is also mysterious but which, by itself, does not clearly lead anywhere. Hence, the two halves of the torn photo.
You’ll see, when we put the two pieces of the photograph together next month, how that works out.