It’s always the little things that trip you, those nonsense facts that get in the way of a perfectly good story in the mind by cluttering it up with “issues” once on paper – it’s the little things that force you through necessity to change the structure and eventually warp the entire story – And guess what, we’re going to use Va’el as an example (again), so grab a cuppa and get comfortable.
Evolution happens during the writing of most stories, I guess, and sometimes it happens because of those little things that shouldn’t matter, but do. Time constraints seem to cause me more issues than anything else. By “time constraints” I don’t mean being limited to writing a certain number of hours in a day. No, I’m not talking about time constraints on me, I’m talking about time constraints inside the story.
A perfect example is Va’el being 10. In my mind, when I planned him, he was 18 and just emerging as another villain with interesting potential somewhere around book 4 or book 5. So why the heck did I introduce him in book 2 at the age of 10?
Because I did the sums and I had to.
Sturn lived in exile for 10 years. As I want him to be in his early 30s now, he was in his early 20s when he left. That works. If I made it 15 or 20 away for him, he’d have been a child himself when he was kicked out of the Empire and not likely to have fathered anybody, or he’d be a heck of a lot older now and his story back home would be different.
See how the little things can mess you up in big ways?