Having just chopped ten thousand words out of the manuscript of my latest book I sit here wondering how many other authors have been through similar experiences.
To say that the character I removed from the plot was disruptive is in a way disingenuous, as the lady concerned was beautiful, intelligent and sincere in her affections. Considering that my hero has been through three unpleasant adventures, without the joys of feminine companionship and affection, I felt it about time I balanced the books as it were. The idea started off well in that I chose to re-introduce a character from a previous novel, who Vaughan had shared some of his dangerous moments with. One would think that such a character who understands the life he
lives would be an ideal companion, but that turned out to be totally wrong.
In chapter seven I found myself struggling to justify their coexistence and finally realised that her remaining in the book was slowing things down and seriously disrupting my plot.
To make sure that I was making the right decision, I went back to the very beginning, and started to read my manuscript through very carefully. In analysing her role I discovered that she not only failed to fulfilling her function, as drama relief for my hero, but equally important failed in furthering the plot itself; both functions that I felt I had achieved well with Amelia de Lima in ‘Shadows in Sunshine’.
What I found was a romance almost separate from the main story, detracting from a drama and acting like sea anchor slowing the whole thing down. Sadly she had to go, and Ian Vaughan continue his lonely existence, possibly. Like all disruptions, their disappearance leaves a void, a vacuum that must be filled, and that is now my task, thankful that I discovered my error before the vacuum became too large to fill.