And in the process, I've realised that, in my determination not to get sucked into the endless revision loop, I've (as usual) veered to the other extreme. One of the reasons why the WIP is feeling a bit sluggish is that it's at the transition from beginning to middle. I need to bring in the new aspect of the protag and villagers taking action and actually trying to do something about the disaster that is befalling them. However, I also mustn't forget the threads that have already begun, which must be plaited in with the new threads. What I need is a graphical representation of the story, with subthreads. I've never worked in such a systematic way with a novel before, but I'm hoping that more planning of story structure will result in less struggling and thrashing when it comes to turning first draft into something more like a finished novel.
What I need to do next:
- stop worrying about forward progress for the moment
- consolidate what has gone before, e.g. inserting missing names and deleting obvious infodumps
- devise a way of plotting story threads in some kind of diagram that works for me
- start to sort out all the useful stuff that came out of the brainstorming thread on rec.arts.sf.composition.