Literary murder, that is.
After coming to a screeching halt on "Future Tense," I realized that one of my secondary characters and his whole plot thread is the 'one of these things is not like the other' problem.
It doesn't belong in *this* story. Travis Young is a wonderful character, but he doesn't serve enough of a purpose in Matt's character arc to warrant keeping him. Yeah, the karate class scenes are solid and show a facet of Matt's devotion/commitment, but I show that in other ways.
I think part of me always knew that I'd be yanking this thread from the story. I was concerned enough about the cliche potential of the karate teacher, that I deliberately make him *not* oriental. But that wasn't enough. Having the martial arts teacher be the 'wise council' is still too much of a cliche. Matt has too many adults who care about him in this story.
Sorry, Matt, but your journey needs to be more complicated, more difficult. Having the dojo as a place of sanctuary makes it too easy.
So slash and burn time. And sadly, the word count moves in the wrong direction. But a story isn't word counts. Getting this right now means a stronger and better story later.
Off to commit (literary) murder. . .