If you are my fiction publisher or editor, look away now. I'm sure my non-fiction editor is already in despair of me.
I have, I must admit, struggled for far longer than I expected with an early chapter of the novel. As mentioned before, Warring States has a certain element of numerology in its structure. Not only are there a set number of chapters, each chapter is to be a certain length. I started out with the good intention to race onwards and skip scenes I was struggling with in order to get the bulk written and thus avoid the common problem, with tight deadline novels, of the rushed ending. This particular chapter, however, showed signs very early on of being horrendously over-length. So I thought I'd best get it under control at this stage otherwise the discipline on the later chapters is undercut before I even begin. Last night, I managed to cut a tenth of the problem chapter out. I still need to cut another fifth. On the plus side, it is at least under control and I can race on with the next chapter with a secure mental grip on my structure.
Note how I do not mention which chapter I am on, for fear of alarming the