So yesterday, after revising Chapter Three again, I had a few epiphanies.
First, I totally understand the appeal of using the same basic plot over and over again, as some authors seem to do. Talk about taking a lot of the angst out of the writing. Mind you, I'm not saying all their books are the same, because to my mind, it's really the characters that bring the unique to a story. Still, rather than having to make up a new pattern every time, they just have to change the colors.
Second, the first half of the book is always the most difficult. Comparing writing a book to bowling, the first half is setting up the pins. If I'm not using the same basic plot, I'm also coming up with a new layout for the pins. The second half of the book is knockin' 'em down. A lot easier, to my mind, although believe you me, the second half can have plenty of problems of it's own, like the crisis and the satisfying ending, so I'm not saying the second half is a breeze. Just easi-er.
And finally, in every book, I have a Chapter O' Doom that takes much more work any other chapter in the book. In this case, it's Chapter Three. Why? Because this book is a sequel, for one thing, so I'm not just setting up the characters' backstory, I'm also trying to figure out how much from the previous book to include, and a lot of those elements seem to be converging in the aforementioned Chapter Three. I spent literally hours on it yesterday, and I know I'm not done yet.
On the other hand, there are worst fates. And so far, I think Book III has a less complicated plot to develop, although complications have a way of creeping in as I write, so no doubt there'll be a Chapter O' Doom in that book, too.