The days off are helping. I’m reading a couple of Anne Perry novels, and a Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb “collaboration”, and sleeping more than a bit, and the brain is coming back online a bit, a little at a time.
I’ve managed to identify some of the problems I’m having in this last third of the book. First, I’m going to have to retrofit more relationship stuff between Gair and Talyn. I had this well in place the first two thirds of the book, but fell into old fantasy novel habits in this last third. And thirds being as long as they are, there’s been a fair amount of room to drift.
Second, I now have significantly more story than I have remaining pages to write. I’ve been grumping about this ever since I realized it, but I just recalled about an hour ago that I had the same issues with THE SECRET TEXTS trilogy. That was a story I’d planned out for 600,000 words that I ended up having to do at 375,000 words, which made writing the trilogy feel perpetually like doing haiku. I may be the only person ever to write a 375,000-word haiku, but what the hell. Everyone should be first at something. So now I’ll break out the same techniques I used in TST, and compress what I estimate is 160,000 words of remaining novel into 60,000 words, which should really accelerate the pace in this last section. It’s already been moving at a tight clip, so it ought to start feeling like being strapped into the front car of a roller coaster.
I’m getting to where I’m okay with this. Relaxing helps. Still taking off tomorrow — I’m not yet eager enough to get back to work. But I may cancel the fourth day of my mini-vacation in favor of digging back into the story.