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My questions are twofold:
1: What do you do to avoid such problems occurring the in the first place?
2: If such a thing does happen, how do you go about fixing it?
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2) Again, sometimes I think it’s best to simply leave it be. Unless the difference is so drastic that one route will leave the other feeling lackluster. Filler scenes (particularly if it’s a romance) are one option.c but finding a way to incorporate a side-story or side-quest (preferably related to the overall narrative — even if only the themes) would be my personal preference.
Anyway, that would be my way to approach it. Good luck! ^^
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IE. before 'filler', character has no dog
IE. within 'filler' character gets dog
IE. after 'filler' character has dog in bedroom occasionally seated in different poses on the bed (or whatever)
and then if it's still too short
you can create an arc around the dog going missing or something horrible happens to it, and then invoke tears in the reader by getting them attached to the dog and it dies.
and you've successfully become filler again. (especially if you never reference the dog again)
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I agree with sonnenblumen - all that matters is that each arc and path is thematical and narratively satisfying. You shouldn't force a story to be something it is not, just for the sake of parity with another story. That can easily lead to bad storytelling and can destroy pacing.
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On the other hand, if one is 40k and the other is 10k, you might have a problem. Here you'd want to think about how deep the character with 10k and their arc is - maybe it's complete based on what we know about him, but, like you said, lackluster compared to the other character.
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