It’s a real progress blog! By which I mean that, after months of me posting well after the fact because I didn’t actually start progress-blogging when we started writing, I am for realz posting right after we finished a chapter!
And we are in the home stretch! Very visibly so, in fact. You see, Google Docs doesn’t always cope well with very large files; much above 50K words, you can start having problems with lag and such. As a result, we’ve always divided our drafts up into multiple files, one per part, to keep them in the safe zone. But because this book is in three parts instead of four or five, that would mean each one is in the 60-70K range, and we didn’t want to find out whether Google was going to get stupid about it. In order to keep the feeling that the file divisions are at structurally relevant points, we actually have nine files for this book, each one containing three chapters. (Yes, this will be annoying when we have to collate them all.) With Chapter 25, we have officially created the last file!
(Shhhh, don’t tell me if Google has fixed that problem in the years since we started writing The Mask of Mirrors. This is tradition now.)
People who have read the first two books can guess more or less what’s going on at this point, not in its specifics, but in its shape. Although things have been building toward these events for a long time, this is when the avalanche starts to roar downhill. Different people each get signs of Something Rather Bad; when they compare notes, it’s clear that actually, Something Incredibly Bad is going down. Which they will deal with in the next chapter.
. . . but Alyc and I en’t writing that one until next week, because dammit, we get some amount of holiday off. (Please to be disregarding the other work each of us is doing on the book in the interim, because we have a few holes we want to patch before we officially reach the end of the draft.)
Word count: ~182,000
Authorial sadism: . . . honestly, I think the meanest thing in this chapter is what Alyc did to me, suggesting a certain thing to do with pattern.
Authorial amusement: Giving a minor spear-carrier who may not have even had any lines before a crucial role to play.
BLR quotient: They’ve been bleeding all this time. They only just now realized.