The Dark Age is moving again. Often times, after a big draft, it's good to take time away from the project; upon returning, you come to it with refreshed points of view. You can more easily see what works, what doesn't, what jagged bits reveal gaping holes in the story, what parts are overtold, hammered home until the reader will likely resent you.
Part of that assessment, for me, is to always imagine the structure as a physical thing. Where is it leaning? Are there entire floors that float separate from one another because I've left out a necessary staircase?
What I'm working through now is the idea of the braided narrative. Every draft of the novel to date has featured intertwined stories. Sadly, the most recent draft allowed those stories to bloat so much that they cease to function the way I wanted them to. They've lost all nuance and texture; they're shiny, filled with too much air, ready to burst. What's more concerning: Each of the individual threads of the story must function as their own standalone work, ideally, and mine aren't quite there yet. When that happens, you wind up with one story readers connect with, and every other storyline becomes a distraction, something they rush through, anxious to get back to the one that matters.