Quick progress report. I’m about 48,000 words into the novel or about 175 pages with the lines a space and a half apart… If I were to guess, I am probably about forty percent through with the first draft. Most of my books are between 120 and 140,000 words.

So, as I was plugging away, I realized a new villain was needed to make the story more interesting because the characters took me to a place I didn’t expect. Yeah, I know, I’m the author and I can control that. Well, as I have found, you can’t. The characters take you and places I don’t expect.

In a passage about a thousand words back (I don’t know the real number, but it was several pages and at roughly 250 - 300 words per page, 1,000 is good enough, the FBI agent do-gooder agent got neutralized politically. This meant, I needed a new bad guy. It was easy, he was already in the book, got passed over by one of the heroines and now is a disgruntled employee. Voila, a traitor…. Oh, and the FBI guy may raise his ugly head later.

The traitor’s now in two more passages and I’m working through his motivation and how his treason affects the two heroines. The obvious answer is that he affects their operations, but I am trying to come up with something more sinister.

The Assassin now has two major antagonists – a traitor and a terrorist. Don’t ask me how this is going to come out because while I have a vague idea, the characters got together in the back of my mind and changed the story. Now I have to write what they want to do, not me.