I wrote a story, which had a male character, somewhere in his late twenties, get lost in (kind of) enemy territory, and be rescued by a teenaged female. I like the idea and it wrote fairly well until I started to feel like I was writing an invitation for someone to ship them should that story ever see the light of day and enjoy some success. Back then, I was still set on trade publishing, so–despite knowing how slim the chances of success are–I worried about things like that.
To be honest, I’d rather worry about five things that never come to pass than not worry about the one that does. Self publishing makes that a little easier, except now I’m convinced I’ll end up committing tax fraud.
Anyway, back to that story. I tried making the female older first, because I’m not all that comfortable writing teens anyway since I wasn’t what one would consider normal at that age. Not that I’m now but….
Making her older broke, first the character and then the plot. So, I went back and made the male younger instead. And that sort of worked, only it changed the way these two interacted so much that the age change was no longer necessary. Of course, it also affected the plot to the point, where now both characters “work” better, if they’re in their thirties.
Bit annoying, but I can’t say I mind too much, because I finished that story and it’s undergoing revisions and has spawned several other ideas.