It seems the closer I get to the end of a book, the harder it becomes.
In this case, it is not the first draft, but more like the fifth. The first is to correct any continuity errors and hidden clues that, when the reader gets to the end, it’s not a case of ‘how the hell did that happen’.
The second and quite possibly the third is to correct all the grammatical and spelling errors.
The fourth is to read it as a reader and to find anything that may have slipped through the first three passes.
Sometimes there isn’t the fifth reading. On those very rare occasions when there isn’t it is when I am satisfied with what I’ve written.
But this doesn’t happen too often, because, after the fourth reading, I let it rest, and let it stew in my mind. If it doesn’t fade away after a week or two, it means there’s something wrong.
Hence the fifth reading.
And, yes, in this instance I felt there was something wrong, and it needed a few more pages earlier on to reinforce what comes later, but now I’m three chapters from the end, there’s something missing.
I guess it’s time to go out and do some gardening, take my mind off it, and I’m sure it will come to me.