You know the butterfly effect, right? Some innocent butterfly flapping its wings in the Amazon is responsible for a typhoon of epic proportions. Yeah, well, that happened in space--or at least in my novel, Discovery.
It's really very simple: I needed a good excuse to limit the exploration part of the novel to a few very intense days. So I decided to throw a rock at the Kuiper Belt Object that the alien ship crashed on. A big rock, like, well, another Kuiper Belt Object.
Okay, not quite a butterfly. But still.
All it had to do was narrow my timeline. Add a little urgency, but noooooo! Just because I summoned Big Rock, I had to deal with:
* Four people need brain scans three chapters earlier.
* One character discovers he has Alzheimer's early enough to be cured.
* Same said character had made a throwaway line about being worried about his mother back in chapter one--guess why he was worried?
* The Captain has a cat!
* Chris can't keep a secret two chapters. (Had to revise the whole timeline.) he also can't stop himself from kissing Andi in front of everyone.
* Sister Ann says something around Ian that makes him think she believes the alien device is an aphrodisiac.
* Chris becomes a totally different kind of hero--using his brains instead of his brawn. (Which is much more suiting to his character.)
Shall I mention that I needed to research all this, too?
Not that I'm complaining, mind you, but who knew banging two asteroids together was going to result in a dozen butterflies flapping their wings?