Friday, October 19, 2007

Anyone have a Ford F-150?

What I'm reading: Shoot Him if He Runs by Stuart Woods

What I'm writing: Chapter 27

Does anyone know the exact dimensions of that middle sliding panel in the back of a Ford F-150? Late model -- no older than a 2003.

Editorial delays on two fronts have created one of those half-full/half-empty glass situations. My short story editor decided to devote more time to her writing, so she quit her editorial duties and turned my manuscript over to another editor. The final edits were done, but who knows whether it's going to be in the same spot in line now. The other editor had family health issues and emailed me to say she'd be getting to my manuscript as soon as possible.

I decided to take the advice of Frankie Castor, the heroine of my upcoming When Danger Calls and find the bright side. Rather than think about how much more pressure there will be to approve galleys and do edits before I leave for my trip (or even if I'll see them before I leave), I spent the day at the computer working on my current WIP.

I reached the point where my stalwart hero is locked inside his Ford F-150. He's unconscious. Now, we don't have an F-150. Originally, for Finding Sarah, I'd given Randy a Ranger, which was the truck we owned at the time, but my husband said Randy needed a more "manly" truck, so he got the Ford.

At any rate, he's locked inside and Sarah is outside trying to get in. I called the local Ford dealership to get my facts right, because the last thing an author wants is to look like she didn't bother to do her homework and get the facts wrong. I leaned:

Windows are all closed and won't open with the ignition locked. It's a 4-door, but the rear doors won't open unless someone controls them from the front if the safety locks are working, and Randy would always have that feature enabled. I'd seen a similar model the night before, and there's a sliding window in the rear of the cab, but it looked very small. I posted a question to one of my writing groups as well as talking to the salesman. He'd said no way a woman could squeeze through that window. Answers from the group varied; some said no problem, other said it would be tight, but maybe, and some said no way.

This is going to be one of those "no matter how you write it, someone's going to say you got it wrong" spots, and how much explanation it's worth in the text becomes a sticking point. Sarah certainly won't know whether there were optional window sizes, or that if Randy's truck had been 10 years older, the window would have been bigger.

I think I might have to get down to the dealership today. Wonder if they'll mind if I try to climb into the cab through the back window.

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