Rewrite Progress

The rewrite on Stenson Blues is rolling along.  I needed to get deeper into the character’s head, rewrite the beginning, flesh out a couple of the relationships by adding some scenes, and rewrite the ending.  So the beginning is finished and I’m working on the first new relationship scene.  I kinda knew I had left out some relationship building between the two main characters and one of my readers pinpointed the place it needed to go.  The first draft for me is always about go, go, go, and get to the end.  Then comes the fleshing out.  Here’s part of the added scene between Olaf (the younger) and his namesake uncle where the older Olaf finally starts to thaw towards his nephew:

It was a small office with a desk and a row of heavy cabinets on the back wall.  The baron sat behind the desk and motioned for me to take a stool opposite him.  He studied me long enough for me to want to squirm on my seat, but I held steady and looked back with what I hoped was a fearless expression.

Finally he grunted and said, “nephew, I need your help.”

I nearly fell off my stool at his words.  My uncle asking me for help, or even calling me nephew, was the last thing I expected to hear from him.  I tried to hide my reaction, sat up straighter, and gave him a serious look.

“I am at your disposal.”

He shocked me again by throwing back his head and laughing out loud.  “Have you always been such a bad liar,” he asked.  “I thought you Stenson’s were taught to lie before you could walk?”

“Aren’t we?” I emphasized the ‘we’ and he laughed again.

“It’s because you’re a bad liar that I have called you here.”  I tried to figure out what need he had for a bad liar as he continued.  “I could tell at our first meeting that your cousin was out for himself — he is a good liar — and it was just as obvious that you mean what you say.”

I shrugged.  “Jarad and I are completely different.”

He nodded.  “Jarad is a typical Stenson. He desires fame and wealth.”  He looked me in the eye.  “And what do you want, young Olaf?”

I had never been asked the question before.  It took me by surprise and I had to pause to think before answering.  What did I want?  I wanted a life away from my family’s politics, a life of peace, and, yes, I wanted Tessa to be a part of it.  I didn’t dare tell him that last and I didn’t think he would believe the first, not from a Stenson.

“I want to be left in peace.”

“Hah, might as well wish for all the wealth in the world.”  He stood and began to pace the little room.  “This kingdom will not see peace in my lifetime.”