Yep - it's become a mission.
After feedback from Lucy Gilmour during conference I have been reworking my Medical ms to exclude my heroines best friend. Why? Because she was developing a more exciting voice than my heroine. Why? Because she has a book of her own to come and she obviously didn't feel like waiting patiently.
The best friend was a pivotel role - now it's another 'bestie'; and he's male; and he's a little bit nuts (not in a good way).
Secret weapon to all this editing???
Yep, you betcha!
My notes from our RWNZ workshop with Molly O'Keefe.
I don't know why but Molly's particular brand of tools to add Tension and Conflict; and then ensure the characters had growth through each conflict, really resonated with me. Perhaps because the pie charts and lists weren't too mind boggling.
If you have a chance to do a workshop with Molly I absolutely recommend it. The bonus is her humour - it's definitely worth the price of a ticket :).
Also - I've tried to keep a track of my mean-ness level. I have a bad habit of wanting to be nice to my heroines, and that is seriously boring. Hence:
She loses a student on a field trip and has to call emergency services (any teachers worst nightmare)
She injures herself
Everyone finds out she slept with the Hero on the first night (embarrassed - much!)
Hero has a girlfriend (not, but you know there's nothing like a bit of sabotage by a woman scorned, to add conflict)
Hero refuses to let her do what she's trained to do (this is the biggie for both of them)
Father wants her to shift home (she's 29!)
Volcano erupts (a little bit of kiwi realism :) )
Funnily enough, the first time I wrote this it was over a time period of under a month - hello? It kinda stretched the realism - therefore, it now has sentences like "...as the days passed..."
Happy writing everyone.