In the original incarnation of Montana Rose, Tom Linscott was a name. A cranky area rancher who’d be willing to bid against the tyrannical land baron Mort Sawyer for Cassie Dawson’s foreclosed upon ranchland. In the beginning, Tom had no lines, no description, no role. He was a name spoken between Red and the banker. Linscott’s a trouble maker, he’ll make an offer just to spite Mort.
First thing I had to do was change dates. Montana Marriages was set in almost the same time exactly as Lassoed in Texas, early 1870s. But to run these families into each other, I needed to push Montana Marriages to a later date to give Sophie’s Daughters a chance to grow up. I still had time to do that because those books weren’t in print.
All of this really matters in the Sophie's Daughters series, especially in book three. I had time to go back SIX BOOKS, from Sharpshooter in Petticoats to Montana Rose, and weave in the details that wouldn't matter until so much later.
My very own Hagrid-riding-Sirius-Black's-motorcycle-type detail. And I included many of them.
It’s hard to mention all the threads in a single blog post, but the bottom line is, I had the Lassoed in Texas series in print, it was set in stone. So I used that as my foundation and built from there. Now I can’t imagine the Montana Marriages series without Tom Linscott. He isn’t a huge character but he’s there in all three books, most importantly Wildflower Bride.
I think a big part of the reason Harry Potter was able to be so complex was because it took so long for Rowling to get published. She had the luxury of time. I’m sure when she was struggling to pay her rent she didn’t see it as luxury, but for the strength of the series, it was vital that she know the whole story, not just the over arching themes, but the details. This is what makes the stories re-readable.
Use this chance to give your stories depth, complexity, details. This is your chance to know your characters on a really deep, personal level.