Yeah... me too.
There's one scene in Catgirl Rommate in which the main character, Sam, has to have a difficult conversation with a person who had given him a lot of trouble.
He navigated the conversation in a joking, casual way that was designed to scare the other person off... but while the tactic was effective, something about it left a bad taste in my mouth.
Sure, it was funny - at least to me. And the character on the receiving end of the encounter deserved it.
But to treat it as casually as I did in the first and second drafts ignored a rule I don't like to set aside: remember that people act like jerks for a reason.
Not always a good enough reason to justify their behavior, and sometimes said behavior is toxic enough that it wouldn't be healthy or wise to keep them in your life... but to reduce this unpleasant character to merely the butt of a joke seemed dangerously dismissive of the probability that he's like that because he's in pain.
So here I am, with a looming deadline, and an additional arc of character exploration that I don't have the time or a strong desire to write into my book.
What's a girl to do?
Well... not every character wants to explore their own backstory. Some, such as this one, would rather bury their pain beneath a brittle, faux-tough facade, and keep on pushing others around in order to pretend to themselves that they're strong.
If I ever wrote a sequel to Catgirl Roommate, this character's backstory and future development would probably be major driving elements in the plot - but that's a low priority among a plethora of other projects I want to complete.
(Besides, I'd need SO many more weird cat habits and incidents to fuel a second CR book, and I've nearly mined my own cats' hoard of shenanigans bare.)
For now, I wanted to at least acknowledge the fact that the encounter wasn't something to be taken lightly, nor were the emotional consequences to the jerk in question. He may not have been a major character, but he wasn't a prop to be used for a joke and then thrown away, either.
So at a ludicrously late hour of night/early hour of the morning - and no, I'm not going to admit which one - when I had too much ill-timed energy to go to sleep, I added a scene that explored the character's possible struggles, but left the onus on him to decide whether he's willing to try to do better and stay relevant to the plot, or to simply allow himself to be removed from the protagonist's life.
Chances are, he'll take the latter. He's too proud and too fragile to admit that he was wrong. But even if this minor character's development is never fully explored, I'm glad that I at least gave it the gravity it deserved.
Who knows... maybe the first two rounds of editing on Catgirl Roommate getting accidentally deleted was a good thing.
Between this newly added scene, and the better explanation I gave for Mr. Michi being able to afford to house Sam and his feline companion, I think this book is going to turn out better than it would have if I hadn' t had to redo the edits.
I'll let you be the judge of that - you can start on December 18th, when the final draft is released into the wild.
In the meantime, if you want to get your copy for a third of the normal price, you only have 13 days left! So if you're interested in Catgirl Roommate, please take a minute to pre-order it on Amazon for just 99 cents.