Aaaaaand back we go to the non-linearity. This chapter was written weeks ago — mostly — except for the scene Alyc and I added to it last week. There’s a character who’s sort of fallen out of the narrative that we needed to drag back in.
This is one of those places where “how story works” and “how storytelling works” are at odds. This particular character’s absence is significant, a sign of things going on where the reader can’t see. But narratively speaking, that doesn’t work: a character who vanishes from the page is one the reader isn’t thinking about. We had to come up with a reason to drag them away from what they’re doing and into interaction with a viewpoint character, and figuring out the best approach to that required a great deal of thinking. Fortunately, when we finally arrived at the answer, we managed to solve several other (smaller) problems at the same time. I’d noticed when I was revising the scene at the end of this chapter that a particular person was doing very little there (and they person they’d brought along was doing so little, we’d failed to even mention that one’s presence); what we wrote for the insertion gave us good reason to remove both of the superfluous ones from that final scene. It also lets us bring up a particular problem right away, rather than coming up with reasons why the person who knows about it sits on the information straight through Chapter 17. The real reason for the latter was “there just wasn’t any chance to bring it up before then, and even Chapter 17 was a crappy place for that discussion,” so it’s nice to have this elegant of a fix.
Let’s just pretend it didn’t take us about two hours of discussion to come up with it . . .
Word count: ~109,000
Authorial sadism: Putting someone half-drugged and flat on their back in front of the absolute. last. person. they want to see.
Authorial amusement: Somebody getting set down not once but twice with the reality that other people have problems too, y’know.
BLR quotient: Mostly love, since this is mostly about people working together to fix problems. But rhetoric literally delivers a rousing speech at the end.