There's good news and there's bad news. The bad news is that I've been pretty much stalled on Tempest for the better part of two months. The good news is that I discovered that my story had problems before I'd written 100K. I was only half way there.
I've spent the past couple of weeks going through many of the lessons in the How to Think Sideways course from Lesson 7 through 16. This time I've actually done the assignments instead of just reading them :P I also have open (and am working back and forth between) Create a Character Clinic and Create a Plot Clinic, also both by Holly Lisle.
I wish I didn't have to report that I've removed every scene from Aben's viewpoint in the draft thus far. (I moved them to an out-take file, so don't panic. They're not deleted! But I doubt there will be much in them I can re-use.) You'll notice Tempest's status bar on the right went from 47571 to 33618.
I've deleted all Aben's plot cards, completed and *future*. I found out that I'd written a character whose one redeeming feature is that he's a hard worker. He's also full of himself, afraid of heights, and a whiner. How did I not notice this months ago? I have no answer for that. I'm trying to hang onto the fact that I AM seeing it now, before I've finished the novel, before my crit partners look at him and go *huh*?
It's a bit humbling to find myself a third finished a first draft I thought I was half done. It's a bit humbling to find myself making such a simple but complex error when this is my eighth novel. But I'm trying to look on the bright side. Reading through the entire draft this week, Tempest herself is fairly strong. She has a strong voice and she certainly has conflict in every scene and she has a lot at stake in this novel. Sure there will be stuff to revise--it's not perfect--but I'm not throwing out anything but Aben's scenes at this time. I can work with Tempest as a character.
But my job for the next few days is to recreate Aben into a worthy love interest. Sure he needs a flaw or two, but he needs more positives than a good work ethic. Honestly. Where's the romance in that? :P