We’ll call that the end of Act Three. It doesn’t have any flashbacks in it, and it should, but I don’t yet know what one of them is going to be, and the other will either be the coronation scene I have already written, or the scene that takes place after the execution of the Queen of Scots; I need to write Act Four before I’ll know which scene goes there and which one goes here.
I mentioned before that now’s when the backstory starts coming out. That’s a cool thing, from my point of view — the backstory is easily half of why I wanted to write this novel — but the corollary difficulty is that this chunk of the novel, the end of Act Three and probably a goodly chunk of Act Four, threatens to be very exposition-heavy. Which is undesirable at any time, but particularly in the middle of a book. (The only worse place to put it is the end.) So I need to find ways to convey that information without letting it slow the story down.
Having characters come near to stabbing each other in the middle of the exposition is one way to do it. But I mustn’t overuse that trick.
So this is why Act Four is something of a gaping void in my head. Not because I don’t have anything with which to fill it — I’ve got easily half a dozen major revelations that need to occur — but because I haven’t yet figured out how to make those revelations happen in exciting ways, with enough other stuff going around and between them. Act Five will be a cakewalk by comparison, as it will probably only have one Terrible Revelation (assuming it isn’t used to end Act Four), followed by a lot of stuff blowing up.
And somewhere in there, I need to go rewrite half of Act One, the Deven half. I can leave that segment in 1588, but what I’m doing with him there just Doesn’t Work. On the bright side, changing it means I’ll probably get to stick in a scene I had given up on having in the novel, namely, a chase across the roofs of Hampton Court Palace.
Anyway. Time to re-read Act Three and hope it doesn’t suck, then maybe noodle around a bit with how to start Act Four.
Three-fifths of the way done.
Authorial sadism: making Lune be herself during that conversation.
LBR tally: Rhetoric just stuck a knife between Love’s ribs, which I suppose counts as Blood, too.