I did warn you I might go off this week. Might rant a little. What I wanted to do was explain why I'm altering Morgan's story--and why I'm even keeping him around at all. But just be warned, this might become a bit rant-y. Okay, here we go...
People told me I have too many characters, and should do away with some. I agree. My nominations for characters to cut were: Morgan, Amber, and Bree. Bree has already been almost completely removed. It’s important for her to be mentioned, because she and Rose do develop a relationship in Sent From a Dream (Bree’s first request of Rose is, “hey, can you not write about me so much? Like, cut me out, even?” So, that’s actually why she isn’t around). Amber’s children are too important to later books to get rid of altogether, so my number one nomination was Morgan.
But there is one scene (literally, it’s one scene) that made me keep him, and that scene is way too important to me to do away with. It’s in the second book, when Morgan tells Savannah that she and Ellie can’t go on June’s latest mission, and Savannah gets angry and tells him off. Savannah desperately needs to have this moment. Why can't she tell off someone other than Morgan? Because she needs to stand up to someone she has a big fat crush on (and all my other guys Savannah’s age are with other people).
This scene is waaaaaay too important to me to cut. It's a huge reading peeve of mine when a quiet, shy girl (a Savannah-like character), gets a crush on someone, and just caters to his every need. She listens to everything he says, and never expresses herself if she disagrees, because “someone like that would never like me!” or some BS. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again for the people in the back: being introverted is not a character flaw, it's a personality trait. It does not turn you into a pushover, and it is not okay to tell shy girls (or any girls, for that matter) that if they want to keep a boyfriend, they better keep quiet. Just because you like someone, doesn’t mean you’re never going to be angry with them, or that being angry isn’t okay.
The most common feedback I receive regarding my main characters is: "Ellie is my favorite of the twins, but I personally relate to Savannah more." I've often wondered why so many writers use shyness as a character "flaw," and I think that's my answer: it's relatable. So it's important to me to show this relatable character stand up for herself, despite her shyness. Shy girls need to see that.
Now, for those of you who haven't read that scene, no, I'm not saying it's awesome for girls to yell at people (I mean, duh). I suppose there are actually two scenes between Savannah and Morgan that are super important to me. In the first, Savannah has a very emotional reaction to Morgan's criticism (and of course she would). In the second, she responds to him much more reasonably and calmly, but is still standing up for who she is (the quote at the top is from that scene). It's okay to be angry with someone you like, but it's also possible to be assertive without being mean. Maybe one of the Senka twins will set a good example of how to find that balance (see what I did there?).
So, now that you know the reason behind this change, if you're still with me, you might be wondering how this will work.
Well, Amber will take over Morgan’s scenes in book one, giving her a little more feature time and development (and holy crap, there’s more to Amber’s backstory than I ever suspected!). Then, in the second book, Ellie will attempt to set up Savannah with Morgan as a way for her to move on from Nathaniel. At first she won’t be into it at all, but Ellie takes her into Morgan’s family’s book store (Morgan lives in town now). Savannah and Morgan spend the afternoon talking about books and comparing worlds over tea, and really hit it off. From there, book two goes on like it normally does. I think I can vastly improve The Mansion's Twins this way while still preserving the integrity of the story as a whole.