One major plot point to go, and about a week and a half to do it in. I got lucky on the deadline – my editor is on vacation, and while he will be back June 1, he’ll be spending his first few days catching up. So as long as I get the ms. to him by the end of that week, I’m good. This is an enormous relief, as I have to spend Memorial Day weekend helping clear out the lake place that Dad is selling, which means I’ll lose a minimum of two days’ writing time…and just now, that’s HUGE. Having those extra couple of days means I get that time back.
I still have a fair bit of tidying up to do with the already-written part of the ms. – there are a lot more blanks than usual where I need a name for a settlement or spear-carrier type, and just kept going rather than stopping to make it up. These are people and places that don’t actually appear on-stage, but I still need or want a reference; mostly they’re of the “We stopped at X to water the horses and went through Y three days later, before we arrived at St. Jaques du Fleuve…” type of thing, and unfortunately I can’t just pull random names out of a hat, or use most of the existing real-life place names, for a variety of story-related worldbuilding reasons including differences in who’s doing the naming of the settlements, their ethnic make-up, and so on. At some point, I’m going to have to sit down and generate a bunch of different likely settlement names from a variety of different backgrounds, so that I have them ready to hand when I need another one. Not this week, though.
This week is for the transition into the final major plot point, followed by getting a good big start on it. I may possibly cheat, which I normally can’t do. The Frontier Magic books, being a sort of memoir style, have a lot more narrative summary than I usually use, so I may end up summarizing a couple of the scenes I have planned and then fleshing them out later when I have the first draft turned in. I mean, my editor is sure to want changes, and it’ll take him a while to read the ms. and get back to me, so I might as well use that time to my advantage. (Don’t tell him I said that!)
What’s driving me crazy at the moment are the specific details. I’ve known since forever that a spell blew up here, but exactly which spell? Doing what sort of damage? To whom? I know that they’re heading back out into the settlements, but not along the same route, so I need some more settlement names…was this part settled by Prussians, Iberians, Gauls/Acadians, Scandians, or by “put together” groups that mixed all sorts of backgrounds? Because the settlement names, and the names of any settlers they run across, need to reflect that. Who else is going along on this trip – I know there are more people involved than just my main characters!
This is where “what happens next” becomes the most completely useless question in the universe. Because I know what happens: they talk about X, decide to do Y, discover Z on their way to do Y and head off to investigate, have problems A and B while investigating Z, extrapolate and implement Q, which mostly works, such that they head back with C and lots of motivation to do what I want them to do in Book 3. (And yes, I know what X, Y, Z, A, B, etc. are; I’m just trying really hard not to spoil things). It’s the details of exactly what they say about X, who and how they decide to do why, what the weather’s like on the way to Y and Z, what all those settlements are named…that kind of stuff that’s the problem.
Well. A week and a bit to go. Onward…