I’m writing a family drama and halfway through I introduced a love interest for the main character. Loren. His name was Grant. I say WAS because, well, I just deleted him. I started this novel during November’s NaNoWriMo (if you are a writer and don’t know what that is, please look it up, you’re missing out). Something about the time of the year? Needing Loren to get over her divorce fast? I’m not sure, but Grant seemed like a good idea. The entire book was written and then I had second thoughts about him. I discussed it with several writing friends and had mixed reviews.
I made changes to downplay Grant’s role. He would be a friend, not a suitor. Someone she just met that promised to keep the boundaries of friendship from moving into something else, unless she was ready. Well, that didn’t sit right with me either.
My writers critique group reviewed the chapter where Loren and Grant would have their first “date”. They didn’t appreciate Loren (who wasn’t fully divorced yet) starting to make friends with a man. It’s helped push me past Grant. He was a good character, with his heart in the right place, but sometimes we just need to cut out what’s not working and move on.
Mental health check: I tend to dwell on critiques that cause me to make big changes. Not the small things I don’t agree with or suggestions that cause me to edit a few sentences. It’s the big changes that make sense and I beat myself up over them. I feel as though I should have already figured this out. I was moving in this direction but I needed others to push me anyway. It makes me feel stupid. Simply put, I feel as if I should have done better. Yuk. I hate that feeling. However, I know this too shall pass, and when it does my story will be stronger. I am becoming a better writer and hopefully a better person. Anxious tenancies attached to the past resurface all the time. Just keep swimming.
So, back to Grant. Or lack there of. It dawned on me I have other side characters that could be played up. In walks Jennifer. A tiny character you see twice in the book. She’s good at telling people what to do and helped Loren clean up puke after their friend partied too hard. I’ve decided she’s prefect and I’m going to breathe some life into her. Jennifer, you’re role just got a lot bigger. Hope you can handle it.
And now I need to rewrite at least four chapters, but let’s face it, I know it’s going to be more.
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