I always drop chapters toward the end.
While I have my outline in front of me I sense certain plot points should come in sooner. The reader will appreciate it and the story won’t drag.
With my current work in progress, bringing these story elements sooner has affected my word count. Often I find the extra words during rewrites, weaving in fresh sub plots while carefully making sure they don’t interrupt the flow.
But this time, I don’t want to do that.
I want the second draft to be story perfect, but with further development of two secondary characters, as well as the usual word edit.
So, I’m down to the second last chapter (after combining several) which will lead to a long finale. The chapter before the one I’ll soon write has a cliff-hanger which is perfect for creating an epic battle which is not in my outline.
At time of writing, I’m also teaching.
This particular week I haven’t touched the manuscript. I’ve been preparing my class and entertaining visitors.
But I’m geared up the next time I find a quiet day to pantster my four main characters and the citizens of a small town as they fight off intruders. I have no idea how it will begin or how it will finish, but whatever the cliff-hanger is, it will feed perfectly into the theme of the story and the twist already planned for the last chapter.
This is why I believe writing should not be rushed.
I know people who aim for a certain amount of words per day. But if it’s not in you that day, I don’t believe you should force it.
It only leads to more that needs fixing rather than leading to more you can build on, later.