Reluctantly expanding a manuscript when instincts say cut

Over the last few days I have written and inserted three whole new chapters into my The Murder Plague manuscript and I’m somehow feeling uncomfortable about it.

I’m suffering that mood even though they’re pretty damn good chapters, they add quite a bit, and they slipped in quite nicely, as newly-numbered Chapters 12, 15 and 18, requiring almost no revisions upstream or downstream to make them work.

My Beta readers so far are saying The Murder Plague had inadequate character development for Drs. Mike Andrusek and Tim Crosby, and that there was a plot gap. These new chapters address those concerns. In new Chapter 12 Mike has an uncomfortable phone call with his parents and, through that, sheds more light on who he is and where he comes from. Chapter 15 has Tim dealing with his family, particularly with the revelation that his 13-year-old daughter  Cindy has a boyfriend whom everyone except Tim seemed to know about. In Chapter 18 Mike and Det. Marty Francisco confront the private detective Emily Sanchez, a scene I actually intended when I first created Emily back in Chapter 6, but just never got around to including. I guess the plot worked without that scene in my mind, but Beta disagrees.

Is Beta right? I’m committed now.

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