It has been a wish of mine to join an improv class to see if it would make me a better writer. I am a ‘pantser’ by trade, which means that I don’t pre-plot, I let things evolve in the story, which (I think) makes is more natural and less forced. But in doing so, while following the class, I found a fatal flaw in my writing which came as a bit of a shock actually. I am not as good as I think I am. Though I know it is not good for a writer to point out his own flaws, I will so anyway.
Take Children of the Moon, the prequel/sequel to Foothold of Tethys.
In it I refer to people visiting who suddenly become to play a vital role. I even have the character notice it, feeling like ‘someone is pulling the strings’ (which there is, but more about that in the story itself).
I do that a lot, as I see it as natural, part of life. People you meet play a part in your life at that moment and their influence leads you to your next step.
But I also think it is a weakness bid to call up a new character in the story to progress it when you just don’t know what to do with it anymore.