I had to ask myself one question to make it come clear for me.
“At what points does this story tie into the most important theme?”
I realized that it was when the heroine is in direct conflict with the villains, and that to end the story on the strongest possible note, there had to be scenes in the conclusion where she had to be alone with the villains, and forced to deal with them separately and together.
Once I understood what would make the theme come to life and be exciting, I suddenly had the scenes.
I’m excited. Book will come out at around 159,000 words if I write it as outlined.
If, as happens to me way often, I think up a bunch of cool, critical stuff that goes in between the planned scenes, it’ll run longer.
So I’m done for tonight.