In "Deadfall Ridge" the hero has a crazy ex-wife. She was meant as a minor character, but she was so interesting, I brought her back at the end and she plays a significant role in the denouncement.
In thinking about how to ramp up the book, I've decided to write three more chapters from her POV.
It's true that villains are easier and more fun to write than heroes. Amanda isn't a villain but her motivations are mysterious and dubious.
I'm not going to explain her.
Dave Cline recommended that I leave her a mystery. I'd already decided to do that. His comment about her was "She's a pocket of intrigue. A
unaccounted for bolt rattling around in the oilpan - you just don't know
if it will freeze the engine or settle to silence."
One of the two big problems with the book is the McGuffin that is given to the hero twenty years ago which he nevers open. I think I can explain this by it being part of Amanda's machinations and manipulations.
In contrast, the main hero is too bland. I'm going to try to go back and add a darker layer underneath. It won't be easy--I'm usually pretty straightforward in my writing and this will require a couple of layers. Don't know if I can do it but it's worth a try.
It's going to require some rewriting, but there doesn't seem to be any hurry about the book. The publisher I was going to send it to still hasn't gotten back to my about an earlier book that I thought was a settled matter, so who knows what's going on.
9 hours ago