I thought I was almost done around 6 p.m., when I turned the computer over to my son Max, and got up to make dinner. Then, while sitting in the armchair after eating, something occurred to me that I should have thought of two years ago. I jumped up. Literally, I jumped out of the chair and almost touched the ceiling. I've gotta be careful, my hamstrings aren't as tough as they used to be.
It made total sense. Itchy John's knife. Bring it in again at the end. And if Buck had known about the squire and blamed him, that would bring that whole thing full circle to. It's like the old play writing maxim, if you show the audience a gun in the first act, it has to go off in the last. It applies here to. There's no point putting something in that doesn't have a payoff later. It's just wasted words. And you can't put in a payoff at the end if you haven't set it up in the beginning.
So I went back up into earlier chapters to set those things a little more firmly. Then I tossed about half of what I'd written today and got back to work.
It's now 4 a.m. on Aug. 21, so technically I missed my deadline by a day. But since I haven't been to bed since I started working this morning, I'm calling it one writing session. The last for Scurvy Dogs!, at least until Tori checks in, and then Eddie the Agent, and then whatever publisher buys it.
As Jubal Harshaw says in Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, editors like the taste of the coffee better after they've pissed in it.
And now I'm done. I wrote 4,538 words today, a little more if you count the stuff I tossed overboard. Scurvy Dogs! is complete at 64,911 words, which is right about where I always thought it would be.
Now what do I do?