When you begin to realize just what is going to happen to your protagonist

Today I sat down and hashed out my plot holes (read Swiss cheese), with my favorite brainstorming partner, and was able to at long last come up with a direction for Shadow of the Panther.  Keep in mind this is a book that already has two drafts in my digital trunk, and as I started the third I knew that my stakes were missing.  When asking the question “what would happen if my protagonist just left?” I wasn’t able to answer the question properly because the answer was “nothing.”  Now after today’s chat, I am able to say with confidence “everything would go to Hades in a hand basket”, and as weird as that sounds, that’s a good thing. I now know that it matters that Mylena is in this strange wonderland, it matters to her personally and to the people of the land at large.

But, as I planned out this new plot, something triggered in me and I began to weep.  This poor girl has been through so much already.  She’s lost every single thing that mattered to her.  And what do I do?  Dangle the only desire she truly has — that of a safe home — in front of her like an emotional carrot, and then rip it from her.

I’m so sorry Mylena.  I know exactly how this feels, and what you will go through, but I promise that by the end of this you will be a stronger person with a clear future ahead of her.  But right now, I feel like a really bad person.

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