Therin of Andor wrote:
Well, Jeri Taylor wasn't telling the truth when she stated that "Kes wasn't working and was hard to write for". In fact, Mrs. Taylor herself managed to come up with two good Kes stories in the books "Mosaic" and "Pathways".
Huh? "Mosaic" was a flashback novel relating the story of Janeway's pre-Voyager family life and career. Kes was barely in it.
"Pathways" was a collection of "origin stories" of all the other main characters, told round the campfire. Kes had already left the show, so Taylor had to rewrite the Kes tale to be channeled by Neelix.
Neither of which example proves your claim that Jeri Taylor told lies. When a show-runner says a character is hard to write for, and therefore not working as they'd like, they are obviously not telling you all
the reasons why that is so. But the writers certainly painted themselves into a corner. Kes was scheduled to become an old woman - very soon - wearing expensive latex wrinkles in every episode till the end.
Not to mention that Taylor and the other writers had no problems with writing stories for Kes in the first three seasons of the show.
But... ideas and opportunities can be exhausted.
Re-read "Mosaic" and you will see that Kes played a very important role in the story during the crew's adventures on the planet.
And in "Pathways", Taylor managed to come up with a good and detailed background story for Kes, in fact one of the most interesting background stories in that book.
Ideas and opportunities may be exhausted but it's still a somewhat lame excuse in this case, especially if you watch season 3 where it looks like Kes is getting a more important role in the future of the series.
As for the aging thing, my theory is that they probably would have prolonged her lifespan to avoid all the make-up work. It was actually hinted already in "Cold Fire" that it was a possibility.