The editing work on my figure skating novel, Red Flags, is coming along at a faster pace. I rewrote large chunks of the first five chapters, which meant it took weeks for me to edit each one. But Chapter 6 required only light editing. It’s a dark chapter, with some disturbing, violent scenes. Fortunately, I got most of it “right” the first time, so I didn’t need to spend much time reworking– or reliving– these moments.
No, the abuse scenes in Red Flags are not based on anything that happened to me personally. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to write a chapter where an eleven-year-old girl finds out that her new skating coach is a monster. Larissa is living at a Moscow training center now; she has been yanked away from her meager support system. This kid is on her own, and she knows it.
When I wrote the original version of the manuscript in the early 2000s, I made myself quit at 1AM sharp. Then I would watch reruns of M*A*S*H. If I didn’t do that, I couldn’t sleep.
The next chapter is equally disturbing. I’m hoping to work through that one quickly, too. But Chapter 8 takes Larissa to her first international competition. I am looking forward to editing that one!