Earlier this week, I came to an awful horrible realisation about my current WIP. My main characters were entirely irrelevant to the story… But, if I’m being completely honest, I think I’ve known it for a while..
Allow me to explain.
Originally, this manuscript was about two characters. Velenna, a mage and banished princess, and Callan, a warrior priest tasked with guarding the mages. They fall in love, etc. There’s war, magic, action all that good stuff too, oh and obviously romance and sexy bits. But, as it turns out, this is no longer their story. It apparently belongs to someone else…
Now, I began this novel about four years ago, I was working full-time, had a baby, and lots of life stuff kept me from actively pursuing writing seriously.
Anyway, after hitting a horrible slump in this book, I began a short story about one of my side characters, Flintathriël, which also featured his twin sister, Faëlwyn. It was supposed to just be something small to get the creative flow up and started again… But then they wouldn’t stop. Six months later I had a 25,000 word novella. Which was amazing! It was the first thing I’ve completed. I worked tirelessly for months perfecting and polishing it up, and was incredibly lucky to have a publisher interested first time out. The Last Dragon Rider has recently been contacted by The Wild Rose Press. 🌹
So, while I’m going through that process and waiting on edits to come back, I went back to my original manuscript, which has now become book two. I just went along with my original outline, writing away, day after day amidst the chaos of my day job and mummy duties.
Then, a few days ago, I was writing a scene when it hit me! Half these characters are no longer relevant to the story any more. Including my main characters!
I hadn’t allowed for story adjustments since I wrote the novella, which actually altered character motivations and arc’s quite drastically.
HOW DID I NOT SEE THAT!
The thing is, I think I did, and just couldn’t admit it. How could I admit to myself that the novel I’ve spent the last four years working on, is now redundant?
I’m not ashamed to admit, there were tears. Lots of them. I felt like such an idiot, zeroing in on the fact that I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. I didn’t go to university, I didn’t study writing or editing. My entire writing credits are A’s in year 12 English! How can I call myself a writer!
Then I calmed the fuck down, stopped crying and took a long hard look at what I have. I still have half a novel. And I can cut the main love story and keep it aside, there’s enough there for like about half another book. Velenna and Callan will get their story, it’s just not this one.
Nope, turns out, this one belongs to Faëlwyn, Flintathriël’s sister, and Tannin. Turns out Tannin, a second son serving in the army, has more story that I wasn’t seeing before. So, instead of being a side plot, their love story will now take centre stage.
Also it will, heavily feature my boy Flintathriël, his story is far, far from over. Also, another character from The Last Dragon Rider, but, spoilers.
So now I begin the daunting process of reworking an entire manuscript and inserting scenes, which means writing out order…
Which is NOT how I work!
But, if I’m going to bring this schamozzle back in order, it’s what needs to be done. *sigh*
And so I press on, I’m committed to these characters, I cannot, and will not leave their stories untold. They deserve better than to be left, abandoned on the page. Plus, I’m getting published now, and I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing worse than being left for years hanging without resolution.
On the plus side, this WIP now has a title.