I have to type this up before I go crazy!
Seth, my protag plays bass in a band. That's been my vision for a good, long while. Despite having written over 40,000 words for this story, I don't know exactly what the significance of the band is in his life and the story, but I keep plugging ahead.
Originally, I thought he should be in a band with his older brother and his bro's best friend. Just the three of them. And they would play shows and it would be cool. But then I thought, what would be the lesson learned exactly? How does he grow?
Then I thought the drummer would, um, sleep with Seth's mom. And it would be a THING. Seth would be pissed at his mom, causing issues at home and pissed at Mikey causing issues in the band and with their friendship. And everyone would have to figure out how to get over it.
I clung to that idea for months before deciding I don't want to go there after all. Partly because this is supposed to be a story for teens. Does anyone really, really want to read all about these adults and their sordid affairs? Blah.
Then I decided that is was WAY too easy for Seth to be in his brother's band. He didn't really have to do anything to get in. He plays bass well and happened to be free when the guys kicked out their former bassist. How convenient. What a non-challenge. What's he going to learn from that??
So, I decided that the real lesson here should be that Seth gets kicked out of his brother's band and has to get over his pissed-offness at the world and get off his ass to find a new band because he wants to make music that badly.
That works. Except, now I have absolutely NO storyline for Seth and his brother anymore. Maybe there's some resentment, but no real story. Well, I could make it that the brother's new bassist isn't working out and they want Seth to come back. But Seth doesn't want to. He isn't ready to play music. But wait. What about the new band he's joining? He's ready to play with them but not with his brother?
And then it occurred to me that Seth's brother is kind of a jerk if he'd kick his little brother out of his band right when his little brother's best friend died!
Maybe Seth wasn't kicked out at all. Maybe he quit because he was depressed about his best friend dying. And now the thought of playing with those guys is just so unappealing. So, even when they ask, he won't come back. And he meets these other guys and starts playing with them instead. But doesn't that make Seth the jerk? To abandon his brother's band,refuse to come back, and then move on to something new? Seth's arc with the band is supposed to be one of some triumph, not him being a jerk.
He doesn't want to play with his brother's band because those guys drink and he gave up drinking? But what about the new band? Is he okay playing with them because they're all straight-edge or something?
Does there need to be any kind of resolution with Seth and his brother in relation to the band? Like, should he join the new band and realize he really belongs with his brother's band after all?
I kind of picture the new band being something he thinks he won't be into, but then he is. Like, the guys are nothing like him and they all have their different prejudices. But then they realize that they kind of like each other and have fun. Seth learns to be a more accepting person in this new band. I feel like the old band is something he needs to be getting away from...
Well, I typed it. I don't think it helped.
Edit: Actually, it did help! An hour later,I was trying to sleep but could not. And I found the solution.