When completing a jigsaw puzzle, most people start by searching the box for edge pieces, though not all of them are found straight away. The bigger the puzzle, the more likely that an errant edge or ten will slip the eye, lurking undiscovered until much later on. This can be particularly frustrating if, as often seems to be the case, a missing edge piece contains some crucial clue as to where an edgeless clump should go, or if it links two long chains together. Corners are particularly prized. And so on.
Currently, the process of fixing my new novel is very much like assembling a jigsaw, except that I’m also tasked with isolating and discarding false pieces. With roughly one hundred pages of scenes stuck in the wrong order, and after several confusing attempts at aligning them, I’ve been in desperate need of an edge piece: something to help contextualise the existing fragments and suggest how they link together. Yesterday, I finally found one. Glee!