Well, this is gonna be fun. My agent asked a simple question in the second half of my book: "Why would Pinchbeck leave the kids? Why isn't he staying to help?"
Well, it's a good question, and it raises the latest of my challenges: how to do a re-write keeping in a character you originally had out of the scene.
Now, I don't necessarily HAVE to put him back in, I could argue with my agent about it and try to keep him out, but when I look at it logically, it doesn't make a lot of sense. So I either do a re-write, or try to explain it away (which always sounds like the author is trying to explain something away that was a question from a test reader).
I'm going to do a re-write with Pinchbeck in. Pinchbeck, by the way, is the MENTOR character to the kids. This being a middle-grade book, you never want an ADULT to be the main character, but they can help the kids along. I wanted to have the kids take on the final challenges alone, but there may be merit to having the mentor along for the ride. In STAR WARS, they killed off Obi-Wan, but kept him around to provide a little guidance and some support. Dumbledore is ALWAYS around for Harry Potter, so why not Pinchbeck?
You'll notice, however, that none of these are DOING anything for the main character when the final battle is drawn out. In the Harry Potter series, Dumbledore may enable Harry in some ways, but when it comes time to face Voldemort or whoever the bad guy is, Harry HAS to do it on his own.
So that's what I'll try to do, set up Pinchbeck to help the kids, but somehow lose him when the final battle comes around so that that confrontation is mano e mano, Jeff and Ferguson (the bad guy).
How? No idea. The only thing I can do is start.
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Great time had at the SCBWI conference on Saturday! And a big hello to my friends from that conference who've hopefully joined us here....