Or weird quantum-mechanical state of chapter, as the case may be.
Further work on the Fairfields arc of Killer-Kate has revealed that it needs to be tautened up by, 'ere we go again, adding another chapter. I have a fairly strong vision of this already, including the makings of a climactic scene I like a lot. As a bonus to resolving most of the problems set out in the previous post, it gives me a free chance to bring back the Big Bad plotline to the front of the reader's mind again, without adding yet more fruitless talk and speculation. Which makes it a pretty rich vision.
What makes it an embarrassingly rich vision is that I have two of it. There's a pre-Wassail version, provisionally titled Hunt and Holt, and a post-Wassail one I've dubbed The Holt and the Haunt. The former is slightly more focused on Luke and the mortal opposition, the latter on Katy and the Big Bad. The dynamics of the surrounding chapters will depend a lot on which one I choose. Post-Wassail is looking better in several ways. But I can't choose one for certain, except in the act of deciding how the whole Fairfields arc is going to end up. Which can't be decided for certain until the whole-book critical review is finished, so that I'll know what I need to plant in the Fields and what I ought to grub up. Meantime, the chapter exists in a cloud of uncollapsed contradictions, and is going to stay that way for at least the next week or two, as I plug on criticizing the first draft all the way to its end.
Has anybody else had similar experiences? I seem to have spent quite a lot of time with this book, holding contradictory plot ideas in tension until the stronger one crystallizes into truth. This is just a blatant case. It's somewhat mind-bending and occasionally exhausting; and until I'm done I'm not going to know whether it's just inefficient and indecisive, or a necessary part of telling this tale honestly.