This is where putting your work aside for a time really helps – Reading through my manuscript to date (book three in The Khekarian Series – The Bastard Line), somewhere after page 40, I came across one thread that just seemed out of place – nothing seemed really “wrong” with it, it carried information necessary to the plot and future events, the writing itself was fine and it was not one of the earlier problem areas – I read on, having marked the place for further consideration.
Then the next segment in that thread didn’t sit right, either, and nor did the one after that, so clearly something was out of whack with that particular thread.
It took me a little while to work out what the problem was and why it didn’t sit right. I realized that the book up to that point had been concerned with the present, which is necessary of course, as a whole lot of stuff is happening there, but I also realized that the problem was that references to the past had been more focused on the distant past and not the recent past. I had referred to Sturn’s time away in exile, which leads in importance when it comes to his homecoming, but I had skipped over most of his recent traumatic events.
As the recent events (book two – The King’s Sacrifice) will have repercussions, these cannot be ignored, so the “fault” turned out to be not in those non-fitting segments of thread, but in my lack of setting up the background earlier, against which these thread segments would make sense.