I recently received feedback on a piece-in-progress and one suggestion was to introduce a character earlier.
Great idea! I thought. I can do that, no problem.
I easily introduced the character earlier in the story, in terms of physically writing them into an earlier scene, but then my characters became speechless. It was as though the characters were just staring at each other, not knowing what to say to each other.
That is, there is so much they could say, each statement potentially taking the story in a different direction…What do I do?
I’m an amateur knitter, and the situation reminds me of the time I picked out some very pretty yarn from a yarn shop, brought it home, and it became all tangled to hell. I wanted so desperately to save it, but it was going to take a lot of patience (and probably a few snips with the scissors) to untangle the mess and make the ball salvageable. Because I so desperately wanted to make something of that lovely yarn.
In the end I did manage to untangle the yarn, but there were many moments where I wanted to tear out my hair and/or toss the whole mess into the trash.
I’m at a similar point now with my characters. I need to untangle them before I can make anything out of them (and make them talk to each other again). It’s going to take patience, it’s going to take work…because in my mind, the characters are too “pretty” to just throw away! Even though I know it’s always an option.
I know they will haunt me if I toss them…
Let the untangling and the snip-snipping begin.