In writing the first draft of Floodtide, I sometimes feel like I'm back in the same process as for Daughter of Mystery. I have a general idea of what's going to happen (though not always a clear notion of what order all the events will come in) and I'm just laying down text to see what happens. If I stop to think too much about structure, I get this sneaking suspicion that it's all a horrible mess. So I try to avoid thinking about it at this point.
I'm fairly good at reminding myself that this is the "making clay" part of the process. Throwing the pot comes later. But it sometimes feels like not enough is happening in this middle part of the story. After the initial excitement when Roz was dismissed from her first job and struggled to avoid falling into a hole she'd never climb out of, most of her experiences have been about meeting and getting to know the other key characters, and about the slowly expanding scope of her awareness of events in Rotenek.
I--as the author--know about all sorts of exciting things that are going on, but they aren't the sort of things a half-time apprentice seamstress cum lady's maid would pay any attention to. She worries about how to balance her two entirely different sets of duties (and being grateful for the opportunities they both offer). She deals with the aftermath of a crush that went horribly wrong. (Any romantic disaster that ends with thinking you're going to get your neck wrung by Baroness Saveze's armin can be concluded to be a disaster.) She's only just figured out that she apologized to the wrong person for the wrong thing after it all fell to pieces. She's intrigued and a little frightened at helping her friend Celeste experiment with charms and amulets. And she's about to be dragged into all manner of potential scrapes by the young woman she attends (the impetuous but impishly charming Iulien Fulpi) because the company of a lady's maid can make almost any adventure sufficiently respectable.
I don't know if that's enough to have happening at this point--I'll figure that out later. When I throw the pot.