Here's a summary of the plot:
The main character goes to a mountain to visit his half-sister. He hasn't seen her in years.
She went there to undergo a spiritual healing. Later he discovers her wound has something to do with their elder brother, and that she needs him (the protagonist) in order to recover from this affliction.
But that isn't all. While he's in the mountain he meets a girl who (apparently) doesn't possess a soul. She is often seen in the forest near ancient trees. After he meets her she tells him that he didn't only come to the mountain looking for his half-sister, but also looking for her. That he must help her to accomplish something. Something of utter importance.
He's sure he hasn't seen her before, though she looks a lot like a girl he met once when he was a kid.
I'm more or less satisfied with this plot, however, I can't shake off the feeling that the protagonist is more a "spectator" rather than someone who's playing an "active" role in the story.
This isn't happening in another story I'm writing. The story is about a man who tells his wife about a sexual fantasy he has. But that he's OK if she doesn't want to go along with it. However, the wife suddenly stops talking to him, and after that a series of surreal things start to happen to him: he's visited at night by a black bird, and meets a young girl in the forest nearby their house.
Unlike the first story, in this one I feel the main character is deeply rooted in the plot; the story is after all about his relationship with his wife and his sexual desires.
What can I do to solve the problem with the first story? Or should I just drop the entire project (or let it cool down, at least) and focus on the second one?
I've already written 16,000 words for the first one, and 5,000 for the second one (both are second drafts).
(I usually write two stories simultaneously. When I feel I'm "stuck" with one I jump to the other to "relax." Yeah, I don't have many hobbies.)