I've been working on my book structure lately. I'd developed a villain character because every good novel has a villain. But I've been struggling with the character and struggling with some of the ideas that the villain, the way I had designed them, was causing in the structure of my story.
But, I had kept plugging away. Because every good novel needs an awful villain.
Today I and a few others got to have a catchup chat with the writing coach, because we're a bit behind. I realized during the course of the discussion that the villain I had designed is really not the right one for my story. I realized that it’s ok if this character is not the right one. That it’s ok to drop this character, go back and start fresh, with something new.
And luckily, with the process of structuring that we're learning, it doesn't mean throwing out 20,000 words of text. It means scrapping a few structure paragraphs. It does mean a lot more thinking and figuring and brainstorming, but it doesn't mean scrapping a huge chunk of a manuscript.
I'm grateful for this reminder that my intuition is usually right. I'm grateful for this learning process. I'm grateful for the people that are working through this stuff at the same time that I can bounce ideas off of. I'm grateful for the honesty, the constructive criticism, and the questions from my peers and the coach. It's hard. And sometimes I don't want to answer the questions. But I know that in the end, my manuscript will be stronger for it.