Well. I was thinking about that yesterday and missing Mike Ford, because I didn't mean to write a libretto, and more to the point I didn't want to write a libretto, and I thought, well, if there's anyone I've ever met to whom I could have wailed, "But I didn't mean to write a libretto! Bits of it just snuck up and started libretting on me! I couldn't help it!" and gotten sympathy, it would have been Mike Ford.
The difference, of course, being that the ones that happened to him were good.
Sometimes you finish writing a chapter and think, well, that was awful, and you go back and read it on the revision and find that it wasn't awful at all, you just needed perspective. But sometimes, oh, sometimes you know very well that it isn't a lack of perspective, and it isn't writerly angst, and it isn't an artistic temperament. It's that the chapter you've written is just no damn good.
And I was thinking about the kinds of no good a chapter can be and how this is a very functional kind -- how it's like having a tarp, maybe, or some plain wood over your head: it'll do for the moment, but eventually you're going to want insulation, and you're going to want shingles. And my brain said, "No. Tiles." And, huh, whaddaya know, my brain is right: the city of this book has tile roofs. And the thing about tile roofs is that I suspect it's far easier to chuck broken tiles at the king's guard than shingles. Far easier than thatch. And I'm back into another of the chapters that needs doing, because there is some brat on the roof with broken tiles making himself useful, and this bit is maybe good, maybe going to be worthwhile, maybe...yes. This is how this book goes.
I am all for self-defeating, useful whines in the future.