Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland:
Worked on geography and finished notes on the Witchy Wizardy subplot. Overall sense is that it needs a deal of work - but that work done, it could smooth off some of the other plotlines and ideas as neatly as sandpaper.
This large plotline is the most organically grown of all, having been completely unimagined in the story's origin, and by degrees become central to it. It centres around the three pure magic-specialists in the younger generation: Flashy Elder Brother, the virtuoso wizard; and Bonecold Refugee and her friend whom we might call Knife-Rede, the inexperienced witches. The subplot coalesced around a datadump excuse; the need to win two nonmagical tricks in order for Kate to challenge the Dull Tower; and an intended romantic tie-off at the ending, which has now grown implicit and ambiguous. Much was revealed in the telling, as its three central characters came out of the shadows and spoke to me. ( Avoiding magus ex machina )
Finally, I've sorted out a bunch of details and raised a few more questions about Bonecold Refugee (by far the most pivotal character of the three, as things turned out), and the relationship between the various known approaches to the Art Magic in the Kateverse. One thing I should certainly have picked up without waiting for the revision for it to smack me between the eyes: Bonecold has the training and the turn of mind to be a most formidable witch - in many ways she is like a Katy Elflocks who got smacked with the predictable reality instead of the fairy-tale - but she doesn't really think in witchy terms more than she can help.* I think her true vocation is wizardry, even though she doesn't know or do any, at least in the main course of the tale.
Wherein it is seen that even the author can miss even the most blatant incluing threaded throughout their own text. Repeatedly. Extensively. D'oh!
"turn of mind to be a most formidable witch... doesn't really think in witchy terms" appears to make no sense. What I was trying to say is that she has a mind that can wrangle witchy magical concepts and entities very well - but the directions she takes them in, given any choice in the matter, aren't very witchy at all. Gah, that was clumsy of me!