Saturday, 22 January 2011

Scribbling Saturday: New First Officer and the Crew of The Kestrel

So, in recent weeks I've talked about editing my first Flight of the Kestrel novel. It has been edited a few times already and improved a whole lot, but over the years I have improved a whole lot too. Whether it's enough to make me a decent science fiction novelist remains to be seen, but I have learned enough to look at this novel with fresh eyes and see the holes in it.

For example, let me set the scene with this excerpt:
As he left the meeting, Martin's head was reeling. Everything was happening so fast, and he was missing a First Officer. There were so many things to arrange. For example, if the other races were going to send extra crew, where were they going to put them? He was so absorbed, that he almost bumped into a figure coming the other way.
"Parks! They let you come!"
"Couldn't keep me down once I heard. How did you swing it?"
Martin grabbed him by the arm. "We'll talk later, right now there is so much to do." He paused in the process of dragging him along. "Am I glad you're here."
As they walked away, they made a mismatched couple. Martin was of average build, with brown hair, rather unremarkable. Nathaniel Parks was tall and wiry, and blond. But despite the difference in their appearance, they were very good friends.
- - - - - - - - - -
Joseph Martin is the captain of The Kestrel and he has just been sent on an urgent mission. The first thing Parks has to do is to assign quarters for all the extra crew from the other races, and since The Kestrel is a small ship with a crew of 11, 6 extra crew is going to be quite a squeeze. So his introduction to the rest of the crew is to upset them all. He tells Martin that he intends to have a quiet chat with each crew member to get to know them all, but here's the problem: When?

In the rest of the novel, I can't find a place to put these conversations without breaking the flow, and although they will be a good place for some 'show, don't tell' about these characters, I don't know what to say. It's driving me mad!

I don't know why I don't just delete the whole thing. Well, I do. It's because I'm a writer.

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