I am still hard at work editing Red Flags, my figure skating novel.
Since my last blog post, I have finished Chapter 12 and have only two scenes left in Chapter 13. Larissa has had to adjust to many changes in her life. I can’t elaborate without spoiling the story, so I won’t say much more about that.
I was bogged down for awhile in a particular scene in Chapter 13. I didn’t change who is in it, or what happens, but I put some events in a different order and played around with certain details. In other words, I had to make a mess in order to clean things up! This is a scene where one main character is answering two other characters’ questions about how Larissa is doing. This character is an honest man, so he does not lie. At the same time, he doesn’t tell the whole truth because he feels the need to protect Larissa from these other characters’ scrutiny. The full story is running through his mind while he is giving an edited version to the two other characters.
After spending several days on that scene, I got through most of what remained of Chapter 13 in a few hours. Those scenes didn’t need much work, only a few touch-ups. Then I hit a wall when I came to the second-to-last scene.
The writers who visit this blog are probably familiar with the phrase “kill your darlings.” It doesn’t necessarily mean killing off characters, although it can. For the most part, it means cutting superfluous elements out of the story, especially those that the writer would rather leave in. I had to do this when I edited Chapter 9. Although I didn’t kill off this character, I drastically reduced his role in the story.
Well, this same guy turns up at the end of Chapter 13, only now he doesn’t fit there. I don’t want to turn this bit player into a significant character so late in the novel. However, most of his dialogue has to stay in the story. I just need to find someone else to say his lines. I’ve been trying them out with a couple of different characters. At this time, I’ve settled on the female half of the husband-and-wife skating tour production team. She is a chatty, gossipy American who knows her way around the skating world, which is what the scene requires.
Why did I put a picture of a farm here? You will soon find out!