After a mini break in Wales I returned to the novel with the resolve to finish Part III in September. This part, as I've said, is considerably shorter than the other two but this doesn't make things any less difficult because I know I have some particularly challenging scenes to tackle.
In every draft I've done I always struggled with the beginning section of Part III because a) it was a lead up to the climatic event, b) what I was writing really happened and therefore I could not change the content but c) that content felt a little too similar to all the other scenes before it, for the simple reason that they emulated the behaviour of another character, by design. It made making those scenes feel fresh extremely difficult. So earlier this month I sat at my desk for two days, trying to get the prose to sing and I was very slowly conceding defeat. It wasn't working, I had to think of something else. But what? At that point I didn't know.
My house move has meant that I'm still living amongst boxes, some of which I unpacked and then repacked for the charity shop. I put them in the car and drove to deliver them, and when I was on the road the answer hit me. I knew, suddenly, what to do. What resulted was three days of reworking and rewriting which ended up only as two chapters in the grand scheme of things, but it helped put me on track for the rest of Part III. Of course those two chapters need heavy editing and stylising (a certain narrative style has had to come into play now which requires research of Georgian period writings - thanks for the recs, #Twitterstorians!), but the words are there, and that's all that matters.
At the time of writing this it was mid-September and I was in Wales again (my last visit before Christmas), putting the finishing touches on some sections and dipping back into Part I, which still isn't 100% there yet. Here's a small video - which is far less melodramatic than the last one - with a low-down of my progress so far (apologies for the wobble and the brief camera turn!):
To summarise then, when I'm done with parts one and three (which won't, as it turns out be this month, something I'm not in the least bit surprised about because WHEN in the life of a writer does anything run 100% to schedule?) I need to move on to the second part, which is another issue altogether. The visit to Wales has also given me some inspiration for two other projects that have been on the backburner for a long time: a Gothic tale set on a North Wales country estate, and a set of short stories inspired by local legends. The notebook got filled, and a visit to Tŷ Newydd gave me extra incentive to keep going. But Autumn is creeping in and as of this week I start working the day job again at a vengeance so my free time is likely to be sacrosanct, and I also have a house to decorate, which will eat up my weekends. But I will of course keep a log of how I'm getting on ...