I'm not dead, I'm still writing, and I'm gonna be working on Zero Tango full-time until the dang thing is done. Progress on this project has taken about twice as long as I had anticipated. A new narrative voice provoked some of these issues, creating a society for functional demi-god sociopaths added a few more, but caring too much for my characters was what ran me through.
I got to this point in the story where I knew what needed to happen but didn't make it happen. Didn't want to hurt them too bad, so I dodged. Big writing wrong right there. It wasn't earnest, it wasn't honest, but I figured I could dig my way out of it with some creative twists. Bigger writing wrong. The cheat started to stink worse and worse as I ran.
I decided I had enough tonight. Playtime is over. I'm not my characters' amigo. I'm their tormentor. I was playing the wrong role, and it showed.
I have to take an axe to about thirty thousand hard-fought words chock-full of Dieter goodness to fix the error. Some fun character dev stuff has to go. Real frustrating, but handling Rei's storyline with the proper level of malice is my sole concern now. If some of the words care too much, they must go.
I don't have an ETA right now. Just the promise that this volume is gonna be sad.