Yep. It happened.
The thing that always happens.
It just happened a little bit later in the book than it usually does, perhaps because there's so much damned world to build in this thing. So it fooled me this time; I thought I might get away clean.
I've figured out what's wrong with Carnival. It needs to go back in the oven; it's not ready for carving yet. The major characters--the protagonists--are ripe and ready to go, but the secondary characters, now that I've figured out who they are and more or less what they're for, need to go cook until they turn into people rather than cogs. They're not alive yet, and I need them to grow childhoods and backstory and trauma and aspirations, so they become real. Also, my subconscious needs time to tease out threads and implications from what I've written, to stew and ferment and consider.
Fortunately, given the rate at which the story eels are mugging me, Whiskey & Water appears to have completed its gestation. So I will have something to work on while Carnival cooks. And May *is* "Write your bleeping elfy novel month." So perhaps I should listen to the brain, when the brain is telling me things.
Whiskey & Water did the same thing to me when I started it. I got fifty pages and it stalled dead. Like running up against a wall. So far, every book I've ever written has gone all stubborn on me for between three months and fifteen years. (although the gap does seem to be shortening, since none of the newer ones have stalled long enough to be problematic.)
This is another one of the ways, by the way, in which I am a very bad writer who doesn't follow any of the advice about what you should do to be a successful writer. (For example, in this case--"Work on and finish one project at a time.") But what the hell, it's my process, and it works for me. So good, so far.
all the words are going to bleed from me and I will think no more.
Yep. It happened.