I've been working on Book 4 and I finally reach the point where the action picks up and the writing is much easier. Usually when I reach these points I stop and look back, which is exactly what I did here. It was obvious to me that Iriel's reaction to killing her mother was not severe enough. Sure, the woman was a perfect stranger to Iriel after having been gone forty years but aside from a little consternation at the beginning of the book, you'd never know Iriel was affected by her actions.
So I stepped back and reasoned that if I made Iriel moody and unpleasant, a reversal from her normal self, that would suffice. Suddenly in an instant, I realized that this book is about Iriel's journey dealing with her mother's death and the fact that she, Iriel, killed the woman.
You might think that Iriel couldn't possibly have done such a thing. But in fact Iriel had many good reasons for killing her mother, the primary one being she was the enemy. The elves in my world are split by political differences and one group has gone to war with the humans as a result. Iriel's mother was one of these elves. She had to die or everything Iriel believed in and all her human friends -- including James -- would be exposed and at risk.
But that does not change the fact that should be side effects or some consequences to the character should he or she kill a parent. And so I decide that is Iriel's journey in Book 4 and it is resolved when later James nearly dies and she realizes what is really important to her.
In the meantime, all my other plots and subplots remain intact -- more or less -- so all I have to do now is revise the beginning of the book I've already written, add the rest of the story to my draft, and then shake well and serve.
That should keep me busy well into March I'm thinking. But we'll see. I'm just glad I suddenly realized what to do with this book because I had been struggling with it and it was starting to annoy me.
Keep writing everyone.