Have you ever noticed while writing a story that when certain characters walk into a scene the whole tenor of your project changes?
I've been working on a sequel to my first novel (which has had a lull in querying with all my health issues and the holidays). There was a certain way the plot had to go that kept the hero from wandering in until about page 65. I knew I missed him, but I didn't realize just how much I needed him until he finally appeared and started talking to my heroine.
The whole story takes on a new depth when he arrives. Not that there aren't other characters that bring plenty of their own goodness to the tale, but it really doesn't feel truly 'alive' without him. When he's not there, it's obvious that he's missing.
It doesn't even have much to do with Romance because that whole element hasn't come strongly into play yet (I'm a fan of drawn-out romances). It really is that he is a character that adds a needed edge to the story.
So now I need to figure out how to handle this lack when he's not around. I think there is a certain part of it is that is good. The readers need to miss him when he's not there and feel what an important character he is. If my pre-readers tell me that they missed him, I'll count that as partially a good thing.
But I also think that a complete absence of my hero for the first 65 pages is a problem. So I need to determine how to bring him in or strengthen the other characters to hold the weight better. Actually I need to do both.
That's why we have second drafts.
Anyhow, I wrote eight pages today and I feel immensely satisfied with the fact. I've been in a rut where I haven't been able to write more than a page or two at a time and it has been very frustrating. My writing retreat really forced me to sit down and write for a long period of time and got me back into the groove.
It also helped that my doctor identified one form of caffeinated tea that my body can handle. Which is lovely because it gives my brain that extra jolt and focus I need to sit down and seriously write some quality focused material for two or three hours.
Anyhow, draft one is currently 79 pages and 23,000 words long. Considering how long I've struggled to start this sequel, I think that's a pretty significant start.