Beth, one of the main characters in Salvation, the book I am writing now, likes blueberry lemonade. I learned this yesterday. Discovery is one of the things I love the most about writing. Every day, every revision, there are discoveries.
I didn’t know there was such a thing as blueberry lemonade. But here was the problem. Beth said that plain lemonade was too ordinary. She is not ordinary.
And she couldn’t have strawberry lemonade because she was going to have strawberry shortcake. And you don’t want to reuse the word strawberry too many times on a page. Not only would it be repetitive, but it’s a three-syllable word, which can be an issue when writing YA. I mean, you want to make your three-syllable words count.
So at this point, I knew I had to do some research. There were raspberries, but this would be two red berries in the same scene, and Beth and I both felt that that was inadequate. We had already determined that this was a very colorful scene.
So I tried searching “flavored lemonade” on Google images. This resulted in all kinds of weird things. Ginger lemonade. Beth is definitely not stuffy enough for ginger. She is all for vintage, but not uptight old-fashioned. And there was tarragon-flavored lemonade. What the heck is tarragon? Neither Beth nor I have any desire to find out. And pomegranate? We don’t think so. And lavender? That is just a little too soap-like for Beth.
So we returned to the berries. And blueberries are blue. Beth is a fan of bubble-gum ice cream, also blue. And we agreed that while we couldn’t get away with repeating the word strawberry, the repetition of the second half of the word wouldn’ t be bad. After all, once we introduce the lemonade as blueberry, we don’t have to again. Because the reader will know.
Plus, Beth is rather fond of blueberry lemonade.