Hazards Of An Intuitive Writing Process
Sometimes I envy writers who start writing at the beginning of the text and work straight through to the end. They have their outlines, and their characters are not permitted to deviate from the initial plan in any way that would break the outlines. Some very successful books have come out of very linear creative processes. I could never work that way, for a whole lot of reasons, but I won't disparage people who do.
Meanwhile, the Ria manuscript has a beginning, several variations on an end, and about two thirds of a middle with big gaps that are filling slowly in. As each gap closes, what I need to do to fill the other gaps gets a bit clearer...except when it doesn't. My cast was big already, with the usual ensemble players from the coven, a few familiar outsiders from previous novellas, and a couple of new minor characters who are integral to Ria's life but not to the lives of her covenmates. Oh, and about half a dozen walk-on psychiatrists whom Ria meets once apiece and then immediately fires. For a 25,000 word target, that's plenty of characters. I did not want one more, but she seems to be necessary, though I haven't yet figured out everything she's for. I wish she'd go away, or hurry up and do something really cool. Hexing Ria's kitchen appliances doesn't count, unless the consequences of the hex get a lot more entertaining than they currently are.