One of the big challenges with this book is wrangling when to have all the various plot strands resolve. When you’ve got like seven of them in the air, they can’t all come down at once; apart from the fact that it would be far too pat, you’d also wind up shortchanging them all. Nothing would get a chance to have its impact properly felt.
So as we draft this book, we keep having to finesse the timing of the different resolutions. Some of them have been easy; one was a problem we raised at the end of The Liar’s Knot, which for thematic if not causal reasons needed to be dealt with before other things happened, so we could safely stick that midway through this book. But others . . . the plot that wraps up here was first tentatively slated for the conclusion of Part 2. And that would have made a fair bit of sense! Except it felt like that was too early; the reader would, somewhat justifiably, wonder what the heck was supposed to come after it. So we put something else there and pushed this back to Chapter 21, and there’s still six chapters to go after this — which, admittedly, is quite a bit — but there are other plots that will resolve better with this one out of the way, plus one thing that needs room to grow from the consequences. But then we have to put all of those in sequence, and there’s one we kept kicking down the road that we’ve decided we actually need to retrofit into Chapter 16 because it just doesn’t merit a spot in the end-of-book lineup, plus one we put into the end of Part 2 wound up not having room to breathe so we dragged it out of there and put it in a chapter I haven’t blogged about yet, and AUGH.
I feel a bit like I did at the end of writing the Onyx Court series. After four books of scrupulous research and political intrigue, it was a relief to write Lady Trent, with her much more straightforward adventure plots. Whatever we write after this needs fewer complications, more Shit Blowing Up. 😀
Word count: ~153,000
Authorial sadism: There had to be some price to pay. And somebody had to not play ball, or this wouldn’t have felt difficult.
Authorial amusement: By contrast, one person was entirely willing to play ball — and it might not be the one you expect. (Actually, having typed that, I realized I could be referring to two different people.)
BLR quotient: All of ’em together, even if someone winds up bleeding in the end.