When it comes to writing, I’ve become a ‘plotter’ through and through. Outlines, prewrites, character profiles, the whole nine. Which is nice, I’m definitely more confident diving into a scene, but every now and then, some idea blindsides me during the drafting process.

In this case, it was a brand new character. John was a character with a romantic interest in Vera, our protagonist. In the opening scene, he attempted to ‘save’ her from her problem, which she turned down for various internal reasons.

The problem is, introducing this character made me realize his position, and their past, would become important in the further details of the plot. Which freaked me out when I realized that, unlike the rest of my cast, I didn’t know where John’s lines were. I didn’t know what it was that would challenge his world views and where he’d stand when the push came to shove.

So I got to spend a few hours panicking over this and trying to learn what he wanted and why. Thankfully, talking out what I could throw at him, I realized where he’d stand and what he’d be willing to give up in the long run.

Too bad it means I have to completely rewrite the outline because of it.

Do you have a John? Talk about him, her, or it in the comments.