I’m going to stop numbering these dispatches; I can’t keep track. But here I am in the home stretch of the book, galloping (well, in fits and starts; there’s also a lot of standing about looking at the roadside ditches, contemplating the sky, lying down for a nap and so forth) towards the conclusion of the second plot strand (the book has two parallel plots and one is done), and I suddenly realize, there’s a great gaping crack where a character should be.
I did, in one of the many scrapped chunks, have a character of this type introduced. But that all came out as I refined and streamlined, aiming for efficient elegance in a story that is awfully complicated and convoluted, what with the two plots and characters whose actions in one affect the other without them ever actually meeting people from the other stand in person. (I didn’t intend for this to happen; it just did, so soon as A. and G. wandered in and decided they like the look of this book, they were taking over now, thank you. KV saying, “But … but … you’re supposed to be minor, you’re a catalyst, that’s all.” To which A. responds, “Shows what you know, doesn’t it?”) But now, at the very end, I see that although the new guy/old scrapped guy shouldn’t have been in that place with those particular characters, a person of his type is necessary. He is the final dash of something or other out of the spice cupboard that brings other vital ingredients to the fore. There’s a place for him, and right now it’s empty. He needs to be there, so, in he goes. Again. With a new name, as I can’t remember what his old name was and can’t be bothered hunting through all the scrapped drafts for it. It was probably an alias, anyway.
I think I’ll put him in now at the end, and go back after and weave him into an earlier existence. He only needs one or two appearances on stage, to establish his presence.
Mind you, the wisdom of six in the morning, like the last-minute-before-bed scrawl in the notebook once the computer is shut down, is sometimes revealed as folly after tea and contemplation. But not, I think, in this case.
We shall see.