Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sometimes History Just Gets in the Way of a Good Story!

I'm working (very infrequently) on my second book. This morning while I was walking, I plotted out the events of the new second chapter (I decided to add some stuff at the beginning of my original draft.) A really pivotal element in what I plotted was the store owned by Walter Webber in Cherokee country in early nineteenth century Arkansas.

Tonight I finally sat down to do a little writing after finishing all my chores (although I really should be getting a sheet ready for the first day of my speech classes tomorrow). As a warmup to help me get in the necessary mindset, I searched for Walter Webber and his store on Google. And I ran head-first into a writing problem. Here's what was published in the Arkansas Gazette on March 9, 1824, about six weeks before the events of my story:

Major Webber’s Fire Loss Estimated in the Thousands
We regret to learn that the store of Major Walter Webber, in the Cherokee Nation, was destroyed by fire two or three weeks since, together with all its contents. Major Webber is a Cherokee Chief, and has amassed considerable wealth by his industry and enterprise (sic); and his loss by this calamity, we understand, is estimated at not less than ten thousand dollars.

There's no store for my characters to go to. So now instead of writing, I have to figure a way out of this hole.

I can hear people saying, "Oh, who cares? 99.9 percent of the people who read your book have never even heard of Walter Webber, much less his store." But that's not good enough - I want things to be right, even if this is a fictional story.

(Sigh. I guess I'll just go to bed. Maybe I'll dream a way out of this hole.)

1 comment:

Ephemera said...

Well, they could go to the store only to find that it had burned to the ground! That would be a real mess. Where would you get your supplies then? Of course they'd have probably already heard about it, wouldn't they? Unless they were so new in the area that they didn't know anyone who would have told them about it. LOL