Some folk hang around in the background and are very easily overlooked. They are not as exciting as the people in the foreground, at the centre of all the action. But then you look a little closer and realise that the nobody in the shadows actually has an interesting story of his own, and an important contribution to make to the events unfolding at centre stage.
That's how it is with David Whitaker. I have just come to the end of the first and major stage of my current novel which completes the basic compass of the story (and the story within). So now I am about to go back to the beginning and fill in the various holes which I left for for some hazily visualised episodes which I hoped would become clearer once that they had a more distinct place to fill. And there are a couple of supporting characters who can now show their mettle.
It wasn't clear to me how important David would become until late in the first draft when he seemed to emerge from the wings to take on a vacancy which I needed to fill. So I've had to spend a while thinking about him and what he has been getting up to while Judy has been, well, Judying all along. If I have appeared to be sitting around idling away the time, then the appearance has been misleading. I've been hard at work and the result is that I discover David had plans all along for taking over the family business. And Grandad wasn't just sitting in his empty bar and refusing to move while the pub became more and more shabby around him. He was making sure that the rest of the family wouldn't get their hands on the place until David was ready to step in.
Two characters who had been little more than shadows in the background are now clamouring for their stories to be told along with the saga that Judy has been disentangling for goodness knows how long. Looks like I've got work to do.