The actual writing of this story was a great, rollicking discovery from beginning to end but, of course, the plot was too complicated to work well. I've spent time removing extraneous, unresolved plot lines and beefing up the character arcs. It worked, but there was still something not quite right. My two main characters kept sliding into the background.
It wasn't because they weren't good characters, although they could both stand with more emotive responses. It was that the third major character was so strong and charismatic that he took over.
I decided he had to go.
Enter problem number two: I couldn't kill him. He's the hero in the third book in the series.
My solution? Remove him from at least half the book. Leave him there at the beginning, then bring him back when he's needed to help win the final battle and segue into the next book.
Easy right? Surely there's a convenient place for him to disappear, severely rocking Starr's newly-built trust in him. I found the perfect place, then began rewriting... only to come across a scene where he absolutely had to be present. Hours of work and I'd hit a dead-end.
That's when I packed up and went to bed.
I need to decide if that scene has to remain or if it can be deleted or changed so the other character plays the part. Or can I leave my guy there until a later time? There's another place that would work well for him to leave. That means undoing all I did yesterday.
It's a good thing I have strict version control with my manuscripts. Going back to an earlier version is as simple as opening that file. (That was a lesson learned the hard way!)
It means I lose yesterday's work, but I can redo that from my notes - which are in a different file. I'm going to need to reread the book to choose the absolute best place for my guy to disappear. I've already made extensive notes on where he comes back and what happens then.
I'll do the general edits I've already planned first, then read and edit again. That will put it at Beta-reading stage.
It's getting close to finished! I love this part.