Editing - just do it
I've been working on the third book on the Dragon Gods series. Opal Tears follows Warrior Pledge and Dragon God, and is currently deep in a major structural edit. I'm planning publication for early 2023.
I'd been despairing of getting the book into any sort of readable state. I mean, the writing is fine. I can structure sentences and paragraphs, and follow a logical flow of scenes. But, because I'm a pantser and have what I call 'shiny-brain', I have a tendency to go off on tangents and get excited about something new and shiny and forget what I'm supposed to be doing.
I followed one of those tangents with Opal Tears - to the tune of 30,000 words about bees. Then I struggled to grab the characters and drag them out of the bees' story back into their own.
I've spent the last three weeks doing a detailed scene map, then mapping all the scenes into three-act, five-act, and seven-act story structures, so I can see where everything belongs and how it contributes to the story. Short answer - the bees don't fit. They have to go completely.
I have another couple of scenes where my heroes are picked up and given a lift, only to be dropped somewhere, then picked up again a couple of days later and taken to their destination. It doesn't make sense, right? In my defense, that's where the bees are. Without the bees, it's so much easier for the lift-giving to be done efficiently. The plot moves on at a more interesting pace and there's now room within the word limit to finish the final act in such a way that it FEELS finished.
I'm excited about the story again and am madly making notes on new scenes, and writing. Always writing. **happy sigh**