I realize it will be difficult to get some feedback without a full in-depth look at where I'm going in my story and where I'm stuck. I've been trying my hand at the "snowflake method" of designing for my novel, and I seem to be hitting a snare. I want to know if I'm biting off more than I can chew for the story (and making things convoluted) or if there's a way out of my predicament. Here is a dumbed down, simple version of the story. A common man named Lyte falls in love with a warrior queen named Saria. After learning of her secret family history, Saria suddenly disappears, leaving Lyte with an insatiable desire to find her. His quest leads him into a new world, where Saria’s fate is now caught up in an ancient struggle for power. As Lyte comes close to finding her, he realizes he must release Saria from a prison of depression and lost memories by confronting an impossibly powerful warrior who has committed his existence to the end of "Artisans" (a family history that Saria hails from). After defeating his enemy, Lucien willingly releases his hold over Saria along with his other powers, and wild freedom is restored to the new world. Lyte then wins Saria over to him. The two sunset the powers that bridge the two worlds together, and Saria lives humbly with Lyte as his beloved in the old world. THE END. Part of defeating Lucien weighs on Lyte's ability to convince nine others with special powers of their own (borrowed from Lucien) to confront him. Where I get tripped up is this: I want to find a way for Lyte to have known them as children in the new world and then go off for some reason (look for Saria? Run from Danger?) and then when he comes back 12-14 years later, they are grown up and involved in different problems that he must rescue them from. The idea feels a little forced, so I wanted some suggestions. It feels forced because I can't see why Lyte would go away from children that he might love fror 12-14 years willingly and then comes back just to claim their allegiance for his own gain. He's too good of a guy for that. My wife had an idea that maybe Alejandra (one of the nine with time travel abilities) meets up with him as an adult and sends him back in time to meet the nine when they are children. Would this make sense? Thanks for your thoughts!