Realized today that while I had a massive external conflict, in my inital sketches and meanderings over this material I had failed to give myself a villain. I had a good, solid villain in TALYN, but was allowing the world and general situations to take the place of a concrete nemesis for my two MCs this time.
Not good. Catching it when I was only a thousand words into the manuscript, rather than a couple hundred pages in, as sometimes happens, is a good thing.
So I spent some time, struggled through a couple of takes on him, finally got him, I think. My villian this time is an amiable, reasonable fellow. A solid guy. A father and grandfather. He wants the best for everyone. He’s determined to have the best for everyone. He is, of course, quite sure that what he wants for everyone is better for them than what they want for themselves.
I think he’ll work, though he may end up revised as I progress through this.