Finishing the Next Chapter (After a Writer's Block)

Thank God! I managed to surpass the writer's block I had on that one part of the story (the part that took place during the dust-chase) and move on. I did this by, ironically, just skipping that part entirely. I realized that part of the reason that I was having writer's block there was that I couldn't think of anything interesting or logical that could happen during the timeframe in question, that would extend the plot point I had in mind to the length I had imagined for it. Indeed, there were numerous easy and somewhat interesting ways to move the story beyond that point and onto the next, the simplest and most straightforward of which I took in the end. The reason I was so hesitant to do this at first was really that, to be completely honest, I had sort of become fixed on a specific tone or pacing and was pretty much just pulling an authorial fillibuster until that part of the story was the right length... actual content and plot be damned. As soon as I gave that up, everything flowed extremely smoothly.

In fact, the new pacing is much more break-neck and brutal than the previous way; this is actually better because this is a very sad and brutal juncture in the story, where the characters (even the antagonists) are pulling desperate moves left and right because things are going wrong for everyone. I had originally wanted this to be a very long and drawn out thing, punctuated by check-ins with Aedus' PoV in the desert with his people—so that I could do something like the "wandering in the desert" from the Bible in Exodus or various scenes in Dune, etc. The new structure which replaces this authorial filibuster has a sort of musical feel to it, the pacing like a drumbeat, with disappointments and desperate moves answering each other like musical cannons, and the various PoV's staggered like different voices, while returning to a few key character actions or points like musical themes.

Overall, I'm very happy with this last chapter. It really feels like this book has come into its own: the characters are starting to be responsible for themselves as far as actions (without me having to force them along by brute-force thinking about what they'll do), and the plot is beginning to have some meat on its bones—i.e., "the plot thickens." My writing style has also approved a little bit, especially in the dialogue department; and my attempts at doing more complicated and involved character interactions—especially in the context of politics—seem to have paid off very well.


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