This is the problem with being a pantser rather than a planner: I’m 70,000 words into my novel and I’ve just realised that I may have to cancel one of my three main characters. Egad! I’ve got tons of material on her, details and background and about 25,000 V-specific words, but it’s just dawned on me that this story is a duet and not a trio.
I’ve had intuitive hints for a while – a sense that there was an imbalance, a feeling of unreality when writing about V but a sense of being in the sweet spot when writing about L and S. Logistically, it is not a problem to excise her, since the structure thus far is three separate strands and I can just unwind her and her lay gently to the side. I also know that the material is not wasted: there’s a place for her in Novel #2.
Right now, though, it’s about L and S, and although this is a body-blow in terms of lost time, I’m suddenly enlightened. There’s a clarity in the story of L and S to which V only added fog.
On a practical note, Germany’s Top Husband and I have come to a time-sharing agreement which will allow me a couple of mornings off a week to write. This means as soon as I wake, I’ll head directly to my garret, and he will do the morning routine and school run. This will open a huge chunk of time to write, so that I can forge ahead and finish this first draft. In return, he’s going to be putting in a couple of extra evenings in the office while I do the night-time routine. Occasionally, we may even see each other.
In the meantime I’m retiring V, with the proviso that if I receive a blast of intuition that the narrative needs her again, I can re-insert her.
V, you’re on ice, baby. Me, on the other hand, I’m hot to trot.