For instance, the book currently starts out that he's a single child with parents who seem nice but are distant. I figured I'd change that to add some more desperation, like he's the youngest of three: his eldest brother is grown and in the navy, his older sister ran away at 18 and hasn't been heard from for years. His dad tries real hard to be the nice guy, but his parenting is distant and aloof, while his mother is strict and overbearing. His parents are older and tired. And when they move back to the states, their marital problems increase, and there's a lot of fighting in the house. This is a more plausible backdrop to why Tony ends up on his own a lot.
I'm not sure where to go. I think I am stuck because I am trying to fit the story in the framework I already set for it. I think I am afraid I'll "throw away" all the previous work I had done, but really, is it THAT precious? So precious that it will cost the story to be written at all?
I am such a control freak. I should just let go; it worked for "We Three Gatekeepers" and the Punk Walrus saga.