Finished up the first draft in a burst of enthusiasm and sent it immediately to my critique group. Some of the characters and background I made up in the early parts are unused at the climax, which means that they can perhaps be excised, but on the other hand they add richness to the world. Whatever. If it's a problem, my critiquers will tell me.
I got a little weepy when writing the climax, which is always a good sign but doesn't guarantee that others will feel the same way. It's impossible to know whether enough of the things that were going on in my head made it to the page or not.
I do know that the climactic scene itself was not exactly something I'd planned. It was a solution to a problem that had been bugging me yesterday -- the question of "how do you know what you know?" In this case, all of my protagonist's information was coming to him through an unreliable channel, and he's a smart enough guy that he'd realize this -- how does he make any decision when he knows he can't trust his information? So I, or perhaps my subconscious (which jaylake calls "Fred") came up with an outside source of confirmation -- an outside source that also answered another problem I had, which is that I felt my setting was being underused, and provided a powerful image of the protagonist's emotional dilemma. It all came together in a single brief scene which is the one that almost made me cry.
I have many short story ideas knocking on the inside of my skull right now, but I think I really ought to work on the novel next. However, I may take a day or two off first -- I've been grinding really hard for the last week and Kate needs some of my attention.
After that, we went downtown to the big public hoo-hah over the new Gerding Theatre, a marvelous refit of the grand old Armory building just one block from Powell's. While waiting for our backstage tour to begin, we wandered over to nearby Chinatown, which was also having a grand civic celebration in honor of the opening of its new street renovations, and had a bite of dim sum for lunch.
In the evening, we met up with square dancing friends Bo and Don for a fabulous dinner of many meats at Brazil Grill (and, by the way, if you haven't read this you must: Argentina on two steaks a day). After which we watched the first episode of Heroes, which shows a lot of promise.
An excellent weekend.