Writing as Sculpture.
Working on a book, it seems to me, is sometimes a little like working on a sculpture. The first few attempts are like the plans on paper trying to get a voice or an angle - an idea of how it should look. Then comes the broad strokes trying to establish some shape - the rectangular block gradually wizened into something that roughly describes what the author was intending. Then perhaps it is cut a little more - the finishing touches. Last September I thought I was at that stage, making what I presumed to be the final strokes - but now I realise they weren't.
Most people agree that a book, or indeed any piece of writing, is best left for a while. I've heard it is a good idea to try not to think about it at all and then, when you go back, you will invariably find new insight. This certainly seems to apply to this book. After leaving it for several months it is now at last clear to me what I must do and where the book must go...at least I hope so.