I always remember going back to revise Wishing for Truths the first time and getting about halfway and finding out that I had somehow switched the two guys – Ben and James – around. In theory it was just a name, right? An easy fix. But it wasn’t.
Even then there was something in my head that said ‘this is wrong’, but I never had the experience or knowledge to understand what it was. Characters are more than just names on a page. They are their actions and words. They are the swagger across the street, or the way they creep through shadows.
I had broken Ben and James, and it broke the original story.
When I came to revise and republish this story, I looked at the pieces and realised how some pieces didn’t fit together quite the way I had imagined they would. I wanted romance, but what I had was an afterthought, and it didn’t work. I wanted family, but I hadn’t put in the connection.
I took my three main characters and asked them what they wanted. Each one had similar answers, to protect, to love, to have a family. Then I asked what would get them those things, and I built the story changes from there.
It was fun, challenging and sad to let go of the parts of the original story I had built but no longer fit. I couldn’t have everything. But I could have those three things. This story is very much about family, the good, and the bad, with a little romance too.
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