Normally I work out problems on my own, go to my sister (who will be dead to the world until tomorrow, at least) or ask at my old Writers' Guild... which unfortunately died about a year ago. I need outside help at the moment so I trying this place out. Don't let me down! (Edit: I do want to say that this isn't the first story I've created or tried to write and I have finished past novels... Having a story in my head for six years is... well, this is the only one. It's really special to me, which is probably why I'm hesitant to make this decision.) Warning: I do have a tendency to go on and on and through tangents. Bear with me, please, I will be grateful. The problem is this: actually, I'll start with some backstory first. The story... lacks a title. However, it's been in my head for the past 6 years. For some reason I've never actually tried to write it so far. This is probably because the story is so dear to my heart, having been in my head for so long, that I didn't want to attempt writing it when I didn't feel experienced or prepared enough to do so. However, I've just started to feel prepared enough and I actually want to try writing it in the near future. As one can imagine, the plot is pretty well understood (having been in my head for years) and the characters are very solid. In fact, one could say they are the driving force of this story. Another reason I never tried to write this story is that occasionally I make HUGE changes to it... this is a good thing because I was a young person 6 years ago and I had some terrible ideas back then. Really terrible ideas. I get rid of characters then bring them back, change names (always for the better but still a very painful process...), and more detail (and thus restrictions) to the world... Recently (read: last night while I was falling asleep) I had a idea for another HUGE change. This idea would seriously help the annoyingly weak plot. Because the (unchanged) plot is weak and unbalanced. The improvements this change would make are seriously tempting, and while it would wreck another recent addition to the story-flow that I liked, I think these improvements are more worthwhile. BUT. This wonderful improvement had one very terrible drawback --it would end up deleting a character. There are four core characters to the story that have been a crucial part of the story for the past six years. (There are another two who are recent but are now also crucial, and there's the "fifth" core character who was once the main character, then deleted, and then brought back as a minor character... yeah...) Anyway, the deleted character was one of the four core characters. Her name is Linn (not the greatest name, but far better than her first name). These six main characters all have very solid (although dynamic) personalities. Linn is a character I've spent a lot of effort on (say, six year's worth). She has been, for the past six years, the catalyst character who starts the story (with the change the role switches to another core character). Linn is the friendliest (the others often fake their friendliness, hers is always real). This may seem minor, but the other characters aren't friendly enough on their own, she was the one who tied them together as "friends" in the first place. The new catalyst is... not so friendly. Distrustful is a better way to describe her. But... as important as she was as the former catalyst and matchmaker of friendships... later on in the story, her role dwindles down to almost nothing. She's still there... but while the other characters interact and cause conflict she doesn't. She's just "friends" with everybody. That was important to the start of the story, but nearing the end it causes her to fade away. So she was sort of a deadweight to begin with. Yet at the same time, she still has a powerful personality, one formed from six years of planning. I understand her interactions with other characters. I've never written her backstory in detail, but I know who she was, where she came from, how she was raised, who her childhood friends were... (I can't say that for one of the core characters or one of the newer but still central character...) She's also the emotional, uninformed character who gives me the good reactions and the questions so I can help the reader understand the world. I feel like I've come down to Plot vs. Character. Which is more important? There's going to be a huge loss with Linn's erasure... but at the same time the beginning that I've always struggled with will improve immensely. The plot improvements are so tempting... but losing Linn will be painful... The core (and central) characters of this story feel like real people to me, I know them so well... the idea of erasing Linn as a character almost feels like ending a dear friendship... I can barely imagine doing it... but it will improve the plot... Ugh. Okay, I've gone on for long enough. I apologize for my excessive use of ellipses, I rather fond of them. A bit better than my semicolon abuse days.