4/25: 922 words. I wrote about half of the last of four climactic chapters. It went well, but I realized that the way I’d outlined it, I had the characters doing something the hard way instead of taking an easier option. The problem was I hadn’t give them a reason they had to do the hard thing. So now I have to come up with an obstacle that prevents them from doing the thing the easier way.

4/26: 1238 words. A couple of nights ago I sent a half-dozen chapters to my editor with a note that said, “I very much need your opinion about two of the climactic chapters of the book.”

When I woke up this morning, I had message waiting for me: “I finished reading these chapters. I’m honestly not sure how I feel about [the chapters in question]. How do you feel about them?”

That confirmed my uncertainties. So I spent the next hour walking through each of the characters decisions in the chapters, why they made the decision, and whether it was the most plausible course of events. I felt much more confident after doing all that work.

Unless I use that as part of an Author’s Note at end of the book, it will never see the light of day. But it was extraordinarily useful. After my editor read all my explanations, when talked about ways that I could improve the chapters because not everything I was thinking had made it onto the page.

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