This is a picture of a bagel with ham and cheese I gave my three year old. That was two days ago. I found it this morning (thanks to intelligence from the eldest in my spy ring) under a pillow.
It's not like I don't know that I can't let my littlest wander off half-cocked with a sandwich. I know she's as likely to put her sandwich in one of my rain boots as she is to eat it. But I was busy, and I have a head cold and I just plum forgot.
Just like I forgot about the gun. Failing to follow through on Checkov's Gun is a classic rookie writing mistake, one I've even written about before. I gave Fin, my MC a gun. I figured he'd need one what with a revolution going on and his own family turning on him. I gave it to him and forgot all about it. It never gets used.
This is the kind of thing that's keeping me up at night, now that the ms is in the hands of 3 beta readers. It's a huge wake up call, because before I asked for beta readers, I thought I was ready. I queried a little. I sent out partials. I don't know what kind of crack I was on, thinking I was done.
One of my beta readers has already gotten back to me on chapter one. She has figured out what's wrong with it after one reading - something I couldn't figure out after a year and a half with the frigging thing. Granted, Becky is a genius, but I'm kind of embarrassed. How did I miss that? And how many other huge OOOpsies are still lurking in my ms?
I know what you're going to say (because a magic eight ball sits on my desk, that's why) that it's just lucky that this stuff is being found out now, before it gets sent to more agents (and, specifically, my girl-agent crush, Barbara Poelle.) You're right, of course. Doesn't make it easier to bear.
At least I found the bagel before littlest rediscovered it and decided she was hungry. Yeah, she's done that before too.
What have you realized you've forgotten, only after you've hit 'send' whether to a beta reader or, gasp, an agent?
Tomorrow I'm participating in Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group bloghop, so stop by and see my neurosis in all it's glorious wonder!