No, seriously, I have. I last saw it back in April when I finally finished my NaNo 2010 winner, now called Strictly Murder. Even then, though, I think I knew that there was something not quite right. Something that was missing from the story.
For the last few weeks I've been checking and proof-reading the last four chapters, anxious to have done with it and send it to my editor. It was only when I came to compile the file - I edit each chapter as a separate document - that I discovered that the plot was missing. At least, a vital part of it is.
How did she die?
As you may have guessed from the title, the story is a murder mystery and ... I've not explained how the victim - the celebrity presenter of a TV dance show - actually died! Oh, all right, I've described the discovery of the body; how the woman is lying on her back with a stiletto through her heart, which is a pretty strong indication of what killed her, I would have thought. But I have hinted and indicated that there is more to it than that, there is more to this death than a simple stabbing, and then never revealed what the 'more' is. My plot has gone AWOL.
Thankfully, I think it's fixable. Or I hope it is. The fixing, though, is going to have a knock on effect on those last chapters. The ones I've spent so much time on, polishing every sentence, every word, until it shines. Making sure that I had dotted every 'i' and crossed every 't'. That each clue was in place and the denouement covered them all and satisfied reader expectations. Except, now it doesn't and won't do without a lot more work.
So, my funny whodunit, Strictly Murder - detection, romance, some laughs - will have to stay on my hard drive a little longer while I cajole it back into shape.
Right at this moment, I feel like killing someone.