Since my last blog post, I have finished editing Chapters 7, 8, and 9 of my figure skating novel, Red Flags. Chapters 7 and 8 didn’t require heavy editing, but it took me several days to rewrite a lengthy scene in Chapter 9.
This scene is the first one in the novel from a North American, rather than a Russian, point of view. Larissa is competing at the Junior World Championships for the second time, but instead of going inside her head, I want the reader to see her from an outsider’s perspective. In this case, the outsider is a French-Canadian coach who works at a U.S. skating club and speaks several languages fluently, including Russian. This character shows up later in the novel, but I want to show him establishing a connection with Larissa while she is still young. (In Chapter 9, she is thirteen years old.)
I had to do a classic “kill your darlings” move when editing this scene. Originally, the scene revolved around a dialogue between two North American coaches. The second coach is a snarky, flamboyant character. But he didn’t fit into the edited version of the scene. I saved all of his snark, though. Hopefully, it will find a place somewhere else in the novel.
Now I’m on to Chapter 10. Here the novel skips ahead three years. If Red Flags were a movie, this is where the tween actor who plays Larissa would have to be replaced with an adult. I expect it will take me awhile to get through Chapter 10, if for no other reason than its length. I also have to change the name of one of the characters who first appears here. When I first drafted this novel in the early 2000s, there weren’t any famous skaters who had the same name as this character. Now there is one, so this character is getting a new name.