THIS &#$#*@! BOOK
Chapter 10 was fine. Fine, I tell you. But it’s now playing host to an additional scene, displaced from Chapter 11. Why? Because we had to make room in Chapter 11 for two scenes that used to be in Chapter 12. Why did those move? Because there was a very large scene in Chapter 13 that needed another place to go. And why did that happen? Because Alyc and I looked at what we had planned for the end of Chapter 14, realized it was significantly larger than we had room for, and faced a choice. We could either have several slightly oversized chapters, or one ginormous one. And while I liked the original plan of sort of having an enjambment of a certain plot (borrowing the term from poetry; the run of that plot was set up to cross over a chapter boundary), playing musical chairs with scenes in the earlier chapters meant we could fit that whole thing into Chapter 13, which ended up feeling like the better move.
So, uh. Chapter 10: fallout from Chapter 9. Fairly extensive fallout, but we like taking our time on things like that — letting the characters really feel the effects of something, rather than skipping along the top and moving on. I won’t name which TV show it is, because I don’t want to spoil the effect for anybody who hasn’t seen it, but there’s a superhero show where the protagonist’s best friend finds out that the protagonist has secretly been doing the superhero thing . . . and I love the fact that the show spends an entire episode on that. Intercutting to other plots, but continually going back to the aftershocks of the big revelation. Too few stories seem to take the time for those aftershocks; they’d rather get on with the next exciting thing. But to me, and to Alyc, that’s the bit that makes the other stuff exciting: the sense that these things really matter to the characters.
After all, they need a moment to appreciate the first earthquake before the next one hits them.
Word count: ~69,000
Authorial sadism: Honestly, the deepest cut is one the reader doesn’t see — an offstage comment made by one character to another, and you only see the effect. But I asked Alyc (who wrote that bit) what the comment was, and . . . we’ll have to share it when we post the annotations for the third book. Since that’s a very buried thing, though, I’ll give the prize to the conversation that just grinds to a halt because some things can’t be fixed with words.
Authorial amusement: Arguments over “morning dessert.” And asking whether a certain character has paper — a bit like asking whether water is wet.
BLR quotient: Love is applying bandages to the wounds from last chapter, but the bleeding has yet to be stanched.