I think I finally came up with a way to work out a Starcaster plot tangle that has been plaguing me since the middle of January. What I wanted was a romance that doesn't work out. However, it was important to me that neither party be guilty. They both have compelling reasons to agree that it is over, but I didn't want either to come across looking bad.
In the "before" scenario, Tory had been compelled to betray Sam as part of one of her missions. Therefore, there is a trust issue between them. However, I couldn't pull this off without making Sam look sullen. This is not in keeping with his character. I want him to be a great guy with lots of "it could have been" potential.
In the scenario that I just worked out, I changed a lot of stuff. I realized that I needed to take the focus off of Sam for the history between them. Therefore, I brought Sam's older brother into the mix, and he is a true villain. I didn't want him to be a younger brother, because then it would just seem like he was "misguided." I also found a way to bring one of Tory's leading men into the scene. Also, I'll be able to give the reader background information without infodumps.
And once again, I can't wait to write. I probably wrote two or three thousand words of stuff over the last month and a half that I'll have to throw away, but that's what you get when you try to force your muse.