Some of you know the nonsense song, and some of you don’t, but in terms of finishing this book…I found the elusive duplication, removed the elusive duplication, put the single copy in a better place in the sequence, and…then found the elusive sequence gap that I knew was in there somewhere and filled it. Progress returned to normal for a time, with only top-level fine-polishing to do.
Unfortunately, it has not been one peanut, duplication, or gap. Soon I was holding the polishing rag in one hand, the wax in the other, and staring at a gap too big to jump across without a running start. Once I’d imagined the rope and grapples and then the bridge-building materials, and built the bridge, and started off to polish some more…there was a vertical cliff right across my path, and the next sequence was up a few thousand feet, its raggedy edge dripping clods on my face.
Moreover, new fossils are appearing every time I set fingers to keyboard–fossils being those facts, characters, and conversations that made sense in the previous version, but now are not there…or shouldn’t be there. Though the correction be made in one chapter (no such fact, person, or conversation ever happened), their consequences–now fossils–may be spread across a dozen, and failure to find and eliminate all these connections leads to snarky remarks from readers, of the “This writer is so careless/lazy/whatever…” variety.
I am not happy with whomever wrote this thing in the first place. Lovely scenes here and there; lots of disconnection. The chart (the plot daemon has finally provided one) makes sense, but the person steering the boat seems to have run aground on a few reefs, left out some of the ports where vital machinery was to have been delivered, and stranded passengers at ports not even on the chart. That’s the maritime version. The map (the plot daemon has finally provided one of those, too, for the land portions of the journey) clearly shows that the expedition leader *could* have gone this way, and avoided that long detour through alluring but useless History of Elves, thus allowing ample time to explore (building bridges and scaling cliffs and Making Things Clear) the rugged but interesting Land of Long Plot-Moving-Forward.
Remonstrating with the plot daemon does no good at all; he has retired to the boiler room, from which come mysterious and alarming noises, curses in five languages, and the comment that “She could blow any second…!”
So it’s up to pitiful remnant of the rescue team…the one who only yesterday was polishing away for all she was worth, thinking that the worst was over…to hitch up her jeans, locate the tools, machinery, etc. needed, and get the job done, meanwhile joining her curses with those of the plot daemon lest, in fact, “she blow any second.”
There will be a stern lecture to the original writer just as soon as this book’s turned in and I recover–say after a week’s sleep.
Just for the record, the author is imbibing chocolate at a fearful rate, that being the only known sustenance that fuels such efforts. All good intentions related to not overeating in the holidays this year have gone down the tubes, as the need to work well past midnight made itself clear.