Well, I finally let myself print out my WIP pages today and, by Jove!, we have a real, live manuscript! 212 pages worth. Of course, it’s missing the last 50 pages, but it is very much a part of my process to have to stop and revise the whole thing at least once before writing the ending.
I also have to take a few days and design and develop the Top Secret Location and Community in which the last act takes place. I had hoped my subconscious would do all of it while I was busy occupied elsewhere, but it didn’t. Yeah, it was a bit of a pipe dream.
One of the problems I’ve had with this book, in addition to changing locations so d@mn many times, has been one of communities. I think one of the reasons readers like series is that they become attached to the characters and the community those characters form. A huge challenge I’d given myself in the fourth Theodosia book was that I’d completely changed up the milieu and removed Theo from her community, the readers community, as well. Plot and character-wise, it had to happen—she has to be on her own and left, for the most part, to her own devices. But is has risks, too. Risks that readers will miss the other characters they’ve grown fond of. Also, one has to create new communities to take their place. And that’s a lot of bloody work.
However even with that last act still hanging over me, there is something very, very satisfying about that two inch high stack of paper. Progress!