Doggedness helps under these situations: you just keep pecking away at the bastard until it gives up and hands you the keys.
This morning on my run, it occurred to me--the solution is to kill somebody in the first couple of chapters, and let that be the tension that drives the first half of the book. I even know why; now the question is who. And I suspect I know the answer, and I'm not happy about it.
This means (yay?) I get to rewrite the first half of the book again.
This sort of thing often happens to me. I get a third or a half of a book done and I have to go back and restructure the whole thing, because once it's put together I can see all the way it's not bearing the weight of the story.
This sensation, though frustrating, is actually positive. It means my brain is starting to get a handle on how the narrative needs to be shaped, which is a positive thing, as it will eventually lead to a story that works like a suspension bridge--I hope.
I spent a bit of time last night looking at pictures of Akhal-teke horses (a breed I've had a fondness for since I was a kid, and saw the famous photo of the Russian racehorse Kambar in one of my many horse books--yeah, many of them they really do have a bizarre metallic shine, due to a peculiarity of coat structure) as research/inspiration for The Steles of the Sky. They're a skinny, sturdy, hardy, phlegmatic, ancient breed adapted to harsh climates and long travel, and my steppes horses are modeled on them.
Bansh is going to be a bay mare much like this one. But the horse that really caught my eye is a perlino stud cold named Habib who died last year (I don't know if it was misadventure or illness--his owner sounds very broken up about it.) Tell me this is not Death's pale horse, right here.
Oh yeah. I got a use for this guy.
The near-manelessness is also a breed characteristic, and it adds to the generally alien look of these horses.
Here's some youtube of a stud horse showing off, while I'm here.
Today, the plan is sit on the sofa and work, PT, go to a cafe and work, climbing, come home and eat potato pancakes and pork chops, and work some more.
We'll see how it goes.
Tea today: pai mu tan vanilla
Teacup today: thatpotteryguy mug
Temperature this morning: 28 degrees
154.5 miles to Isengard