By the (constantly-revised) work schedule Alyc and I have laid out, we now only need to write one chapter a week to finish by our agreed-upon deadline.
I say “only” because that hasn’t really been our pace since about Chapter 5. Once we reached the tipping point that let us map out our plot in more solid detail much further ahead, we started going faster, plowing through about a chapter and a half or even two each week. But it isn’t a bad thing for us to slow down now; we need to backtrack revise a strand of the story to reflect the change we made partway through before we try to write the next stage of the new version, and Chapters 19 and 20 still have a bit of ??? to them, during which we need to make sure we braid our plot together in a tidy fashion. I like the thought of having the draft in a pretty solid state when it’s done, rather than leaving loose threads trailing out all over the place, so there will probably be a fair bit of revision during the next month.
But we’re close, man. So close! (Not really so close. Seven chapters away. But OMG it feels so close.)
We’re alo enjoying a bit of narrative breathing room. The stuff immediately after the halfway point was very tense and packed; now we’re stepping back to let the characters just . . . interact, y’know? Still in ways that further the plot — no scene here is allowed to get away with serving only one purpose — but there’s time for some more bonding before stuff starts blowing up again.
Word count: ~136,000
Authorial sadism: Well, we figured out a reason why nobody has found the thing hidden down in a certain place. And then we figured out a way to make that hint at a revelation that won’t actually be forthcoming until book three. And then there was that whole “I can make you want it” thing . . . (not sexual — creepy in an entirely different way).
Authorial amusement: What I dubbed The Magnificent Lie, as R— figures out a way to salvage her earlier mistakes by building a New! Improved! Edifice of Untruth. Also, S—‘s reaction to an idea R— had.
BLR quotient: Started off on love, detoured through rhetoric, wound up on blood. Very literally.