As I sit here bleary-eyed after midnight yet again…I’m issuing a warning to anyone contemplating facing the same situation. Do Not Try This At Home. Yeah, eventually, every writer is in this spot, but it’s often (not always!) avoidable and avoidance has many benefits.
Such as a full night’s sleep at least every other night.
What’s been accomplished? Well…another round with the sheepsfoot roller (a thing they used to use on highways before paving–maybe they do still–to compact and smooth the surface) on the first four hundred pages (deemed OK until after rollering, which always brings up a surprise or eight.) A sequential bottom-to-top workover of pages 400 – 550-something (I’ve already closed the file.) 600-800 have already had that done and been combed repeatedly, as have the last x-many pages (it varies, as work along the way shrinks & swells the whole.)
This work has included rewriting all the repetitious bits found in that section, with the emphasis shifted from “what happened” to “how X reacted to what X thinks happened.” The longest re-write was this evening (naturally–the things that are going to keep me up after midnight to make something all-of-a-piece do not land on my plate in the morning…no, they land on my plate past 8 or 9 pm.) Good new material got added–I’m very pleased with it–but my eyes are still burning from last night and it’s almost 1 am. Renamed a duke (ditto about the burning eyes.) Figured out a really neat connection between Umph and Ehrrr that improves the next 200something pages (ditto about the burning eyes.)
OTOH, there’s no doubt at all that I will have this finished…oh, wait. No title yet. Um. Well, this volume’s actual story content will be finished and off to Editor on time. At this point, even if the crazed time-traveling ninja leapt through the window and beheaded me…the story’s so close Editor could tidy up the things I’ll tidy up tomorrow and on the weekend. Multiple copies of the current version–up to the minute–are on external media. One never says “Nothing can go wrong now” but…precautions have been taken.