Rambling to myself mostly. Sometimes just writing out a problem and potential solutions really helps work through the problem. 'Tis called "brainstorming", methinks.
It might just be me, but would you believe it's possible to write two characters who you intended from the start to be together, but who, the way they have grown and developed, might not be right for each other at all?
Clark and Laura have always been the romantic couple of my project. They were intended to be so from the beginning. The whole story I intended to tell sort of hinged on it.
Thing is, Laura is pretty much useless in the story as it stands right now. She just... is. And just... being and not actively kicking anything off makes for a pretty boring character. She doesn't do anything: stuff happens to her.
After having realized this, I thought about what I could do to make her more proactive. I thought about making her actually romantically involved with Gabriel, my angel-man. Originally, I didn't want them involved because then she would just have been jumping ship from Gabriel to Clark, a complete one-eighty, at the drop of a hat and who likes a character like that? Not me.
So I thought maybe I could actually have her being in on Gabriel's schemes and whatnot. Right now, she is innocent of anything beyond harboring a fugitive (who she didn't really know was a fugitive). So what if I made it so that she really did know about it and was actively hiding it from Clark?
There are two problems with this:
1) Then why would she give up on Gabriel like she is supposed to? (Seeing as how my original intent was a deconstruction of the monster boyfriend trope.)
2) Clark is not the sort to fall for the enemy. I know, forbidden fruit and all that and there's the whole "good guy brings the bad girl to the light" or something, but that's not Clark. The femme fatale holds no attraction for him.
So, what does this mean? Well, the way she is right now (completely useless), I refuse to reward Laura with a relationship with an imminently more useful guy. I mean, she doesn't deserve it and he has no reason to fall for her anyway.
The way I see it, I have several options.
1) Give up and cry about what a sucky excuse I am for a writer. ("Outline? Planning? We have not these words in my country.")
2) Have Clark and Laura's relationship not be romantic in any way (because it seems like no matter what I do for Laura's development, it drives them apart).
3) Rethink my characters a bit. As I was typing this all out, I had the crazy idea of removing Laura as my main character and instead try out another female character as my viewpoint character. Maybe a policewoman or something. I want it to be a female because it seems like lately all my interesting characters have been male and I want to see if that's just a fluke. Plus, it would allow her to sympathize with Laura's situation a bit more, methinks.
(Now I have a whole rant I want to do on female characters - based on an essay on writing female PI characters I read recently.)
The only thing is that reworking the characters like that would have me lose some of my more favorite moments I already had in mind. However, it does open the door for some other situations, such as actual legitimate reasons for Clark and whoever to be together in some scenarios, where before it was difficult keeping track of both Clark and Laura's stories because they were apart so often.
Hmm, I'm almost afraid to say that I have finally worked this out (seeing as how I had thought that before and this is what came of it), but this has me more excited about this whole thing than I have been in a while.