The end of Part 2! And another big set-piece, this time of a very different kind. We’re two-thirds of the way through the final book of the series; this is the time on sprockets when we start pulling out all the stops.
If the last chapter featured several emotional moments we’ve been looking forward to since before we even started writing, this chapter features the payoff for a whole slew of plots. Including some the reader may or may not have even noticed were underway — but that’s okay, because when I say “payoff,” I don’t mean this is the end of them. More like all the little, subtle, possibly-unremarked bits come together visibly at last, and we the authors get yell “THANK GOD FINALLY YOU KNOW” and proceed with the effects of that reveal, our sleeves finally empty of cards.
<shoves the nine of spades back inside the cuff>
And it also features the payoff for a thing we didn’t see coming until, like, two chapters previously — the thing I mentioned back in the post for Chapter 16. I said there that it will need finessing; that’s true here, too, in that a key piece of information got lost in the shuffle, and I won’t know until I revise whether it needs to go here or a little bit later. Two pieces of key information, possibly, but I suspect the other one will fit in just fine in a scene slated for Chapter 23.
Word count: ~132,000
Authorial sadism: I want it to be the scene I tagged in our spreadsheet outline as “Following bloodcrumbs,” just because that’s a delightfully horrifying phrase, but it doesn’t actually win the prize. It’s a tie between the machine-gun series of flashbacks, and everybody realizing where they’ve wound up.
Authorial amusement: A certain character justifiably thinking an action of his would have no consequences. Surprise! You’re wrong.
BLR quotient: With the sheer quantity of ideas unfolding here, rhetoric’s got a strong lead. Love is what keeps everybody from losing their shit in the face of that, though.