Yesterday I was speaking to a friend of mine about The Last Captain. Some time ago I had asked him to give it a read and tell me what he thought. He's a very busy, very thorough man, the book isn't done, and it's not his cup of tea, so it took him a bit to finish.
He did, however, finish what I had sent him.
He called me, and we talked for about an hour about it. He was patient and insistent on all the right errors I had made. Mostly having to do characterizations and pay-offs for their story arcs. He quite accurately led me to understand why I was having trouble finishing even the first draft of the work.
At about the fiftieth minute of the conversation, the light flicked on in my tiny mindspace, and the maze of the plot was rendered a straight line leading to an end-point I truly believe will be a bit different, but understandable, even enjoyable...
My relief was palpable, even quantifiable: I wrote about 3ooo words after I got off the phone.
Some tiny issues of timing remain, but they are not insurmountable, and I see myself finishing the first draft by the end of September at the latest.