So a while back I share the beginning chapters of a story with a couple other writers. Their feedback: add a romantic interest. It isn't enough that the main character agrees to wed a tempestuous god to save her family. She needs to leave a boy behind. Amps up the conflict.
Being a novice writer full of insecurities, I ignore my instincts and insert a third major character into my WIP. But new readers ask why he's barely mentioned.
Then it hits me. This guy isn't fleshed out because he doesn't fit the story I want to write.
It's funny how it all comes down to trusting your gut.
I wonder how many other writers have ever changed a story based on feedback and then returned to their original version. Have you?