My story has some holes and I am flexible in how to fill them to make it work.. what is important is that at a point later in the story his friend encounters a woman who introduces herself as his wife and the other character is completely taken aback by this. He needs to have a daughter, this character has always had a daughter and it is she who drives the whole start of the story (which starts in the future and flashes back). The friend never knew about either and only learns of the daughter many years later. C1 is the main character and C2 is the gay character as you may recognize from my other recent posts. C1 also has kids and I struggle a lot with the timeline for this, too, for theoretical reasons. I have entertained tonight the option of changing the while timeline to return to what it used ot be, that C2 marries this female much later in the story only after he knows he is dying. That would give me the chance to give them the blown out fancy cathedral wedding I wrote that they had (basically a sham marriage arranged just so that he has someone to leave his shit to when he dies). It doesn't give me the opportunity it did though to, prior to that point, have the whole show down between the two characters- C1 and wife because they would not have been married yet at that point. I altered the story at some point to make C2's daughter way way younger so that I could incorporate a specific scene where both she (C2's daughter) and C1's daughter of similar very young age spend a day together when C2 babysit's C1's little girl for him. C1 has NO idea C2's daughter even exists and is concerned when his little girl comes home excited and happy telling all about her exciting day and her new friend Julia- thinking she's got a make believe friend. His guilt kicks in that shiz at home, like having to send her off for a couple days because stuff is going on at home- is starting to effect her emotional stability. Unknowingly, many many years later C1's daughter has a vague hazy splotchy recollection of that time she spent with that person and going to the park and all... and until that happens C1 never knew about the fact that C2 secretly brought his own secret daughter along to help him entertain his friend's girl (he isn't very experienced with kids). My boyfriend trashed the idea of both characters having accidentally having children and being in relationships by default because sticking around to parent the oops baby was the right thing to do. When he put it this way it made me question where I have gone with the story and the plausibility, but getting back into my plot as I know it, he makes a lot of assumptions. I planned to omit why C2 ever had a wife and child of his own, particularly since the premise of his life is that he runs away from home at 15 as a gay youth. He does, however, come from a wealthy family and as the only child he knows he is going to inherit everything (and it is a lot) so I actually drafted the scene idea where he tells his best female friend of his business proposal. It is plausible that he may have experimented enough early on to have fathered a child, but it seems kinda wishy washy. I have a hard time abandoning the wife and daughter thing, though. Especially since the large part about the story is answering a lot of questions from earlier, later, and C1 learning a lot of stuff he never knew. C2's wife is a very independent, career-oriented modern feminist-ish woman of the 70s. She, too, comes from a prominent family of self-made wealth and for me this character could easily be the type who would want a kid but not the entanglement of marriage and, as it were, in the end it'd be a sweet deal because she knows she'll get some substantial shit out of it from his inheritance that he could care less about, but cares enough to be sure it stays in the family as it has for several hundreds of years. They each get to live their own life. The other side to this is that he and the wife are friends, C1 only encounters her briefly early in their friendship as they live kinda different lives. But anyway, C2 and she share a lot of other interests, they are both incredibly musically inclined, that is what cements his affection to her, is that he is a countertenor and spent his childhood in the choir, etc. She is vocally trained and a soprano and wanted to be a singer but was motivated into the direction of a more practical choice and goes to Vassar and gets into business and begins working for the family's very large company. In their special girl/gay boy world there are lots of duets together performing favourite arias because they sing so well together, with piano playing and going to events where they do vintage dancing (19th century dancing, etc). She kinda is the outlet for who he is quietly inside his mind, this estranged highly cultured English boy from the country who was forced to abandon the life he grew up in because of his sexuality. So with her he gets to tap into all that like he cannot with other friends in NYC- not even his best best most intimate friend who knows everything about him (mostly) who would not understand or relate to any of this other stuff. So there could be a part of C2 who maybe was in love or very fond of his lady friend but just not in a sexual way. And maybe for her her family expected stuff of her she did not want? Maybe she is a lesbian. She is definitely uppity and upper crust, very fashionable and wearing high fashion when she encounters C1 for the second time. She looks down on him and there is an element of competition or jealousy in their encounter almost as if she is in love with C2 and knows C2 is in love with him and hates him for it. They don't say any of it but it is implied, they meet at the hospital where C2 is and basically when he is refusing to go home she informs him she is his friends wife and like--- go scratch, I have more of a right to be here than you and tell you to leave. What can I do with this mess? Mind you C2 returns to his ancestral home for the first time since running away, with she and the daughter after this. I have not even begun on C1's mess with his kids. I like that at the beginning or end of the story the two daughter's who once met and spent the day together when they were so little reunite as adults. If I could draw a sketch to illustrate the intricate dynamic of this story and characters it would make more sense. C1 and C2 are very similar and in the end their daughters are just like each of them and very close to their fathers and become fast friends. A lot of backstory about C2 is told through his daughter through sharing memories and stories and personal artifacts that belonged to her father, things C1 never knew about him or saw.