Recently I’ve run into a problem in my novel. I was talking to my writing friend, T.S. Rather, about a certain ‘quest’ my two main characters were going on and I was saying, “Well, they don’t have to do this thing, cause it’s not that important.” And she replied, “If it’s not important to the characters, it’s not going to be important to your readers.” And I was like “But-” And she says, “CHANGE IT SO THAT IT’S IMPORTANT. Change it so that they have to do it.”
I’m not saying that you don’t have to follow the rules of your world. You can’t change someone’s character mid-novel or make up a new magic law when it’s convenient. But, if changing that character at the beginning of the story is plausible, then do that. I had a sweet little grandma in my story that was causing me all sorts of trouble later on in the story and, again, T.S. Rather simply replied, “Then make her mean.” So simple, haha. And, of course, making her mean would change other pieces of the story, but nothing important, nothing I was too attached too. And it solved multiple problems later in the plot, so why not?
I talked with you briefly earlier about having a writing buddy and this is one of the many reasons why. They can see outside of your box. You close in tighter and tighter on this world or this story that you’ve created and suddenly you feel trapped by it, but you don’t have to.
Something that I often forget, and Rather has to constantly remind me, is that I am the god of my book. If something isn’t working, isn’t strong enough I could LITERALLY change everything. My little heart, and months of planning and notes, sometimes ties me down so that my thinking is restricted. I’m like, I can’t do this because of this. And Rather just says, “So CHANGE IT.” Hahaha, and it’s not always that simple, but you have to keep your mind open to the possibilities. You have to remember that your story is flexible.
Remember than none of your story would exist if you weren’t there to create it. And you are at liberty to change any aspect of it that you want at ANY POINT in the writing process. Just make sure that you flesh out those changes through the whole story and don’t just abruptly add them in when it’s convenient.