The Beauty of Adding Details

In the original Butterflies, I limited the growing up years of the three girls (Gretchen, Andi, and Mara) to snapshots, moments that lined up with each other and gave the reader a taste of their childhoods.

Now that each is getting her own book, I’m finding the freedom of structure a lot easier to work with.

For example, what we saw of Mara’s years as a street kid was one scene after she’d been with the group for two years.  It also included a flashback of how she found and joined the group in the first place.  The whole section was put together oddly; it had to have a time-correct piece to align with another one of the stories.  It also had to have the flashback, to give us context, and this caused it to be a little cluttered.

Now those scenes are separate, and have been a bit reorganized.  We get to experience her stumbling across the gang as the moment happens chronologically.  Without the need for a flashback element, the scene can grow and give us a lot more insight into the group.  The other scene, which brought us the flashback, got rearranged and moved up a year.  It’s not time sensitive now that it doesn’t have to be linked to Andi and Gretchen, and moving it means there is more time for things to develop before the next key piece of the story.

We will also no longer be dependent on future Mara demonstrating skills for us to know what she learned.  With this expanded story, we’ll get to actually see her learning and using some of those skills!  As she is a scavenger and sometimes-thief, you know it will be fun to see what knowledge she gains.