When I first wrote that there were pages in the diary ripped out, I knew I wanted to have them hidden in a really cool, plausible place—but where? With the problem in the back of my mind I pushed forward, hoping I’d have an answer before I reached that part in the book.
I found the answer when I walked into my in-laws home for a visit. My father-in-law had this beat-up ledger open on the table–one I’d never seen before. I looked at the pages filled with strange markings and numbers, and had to asked, “What are you doing?”
“I’m looking over my cow book to see which cows I want to send to auction.”
Cow book? I’d never heard of the concept until now, but it made sense. It was how a rancher kept track of all the cows of their heard. The numbers matched the tags put in each cow’s ear and the symbols told him all kinds of things, like which bulls sired them, or if the cow didn’t have a calf that season, and more.
It was the twist I needed to continue the novel. And what was even cooler, it gave the reader another aspect about farm-life that actually exists. Awesome! I love learning while being entertained at the same time.