Disclaimer: I know exactly how my story will end. I even know how at least two important plot lines are going to be resolved. The problem is that I need to get through the final third of the story without rushing anything, while also tying up some loose strands that do need resolution even if they aren't as important. I am aware that this is just my first draft, but I do still want to have some semblance of how Point A leads to Point C and everything in between (so then the typed draft can be improved with more clarity). I've brought this up a few times in my story's progress journal, but I know that the journals are more of a place for us to write out our own thoughts and normally aren't used for discussion and help from other users on this site. Here are the plot points that I need to resolve without rushing them, but without dragging the story on longer than it needs to be (that's really the conundrum I am facing) -- The main character needs to realize that she does in fact have deep feelings for a boy, and they need to acknowledge that openly. Luckily, I know what the scene will be that will show that, but I need to get there in a believable fashion. They already have had several meaningful interactions over the many months they have known each other (yeah, sorry, it's story logic. I can't have a years-long romance develop in this piece of fiction due to extenuating circumstances), I just am unsure at what point would be the RIGHT TIME to take their relationship to the next stage. In order for this to happen, the MC needs to be open with the boy about how she did love someone before him, but how that relationship had ended abruptly due to her girlfriend being sent away. She's still trying to deal with that while also struggling with the fact that she likes this boy on his own merits. Complicated young adult stuff, I guess. The MC will need to go to the royal palace and find out that the queen has been poisoned by one of her attendants, who is actually in league with the bad guys. The poisoning is not something that is killing her, but it has been negatively impacting her health and keeping her out of commission for a long time. Also the reason why the king and queen have not been able to conceive a child, leading to miscarriages. This really is the scene that will push the story into its final act, because the MC will want to report her discovery to the king, but he's not going to take the news well and will flat-out disbelieve her and...yeah, it gets messy after that. But, again, it's a scene that can't happen too soon especially because of the dangerous consequences it unravels. The MC WANTS to go see the queen ASAP, but I guess she will be held back by other things so she doesn't go rushing in so soon...? Story logic, I guess... The MC is actually in a very important position in her society, a priestess who is able to communicate with their god, the Phoenix. But several priestesses, even high-ranking ones, have not been happy with her, seeing her as not worthy of her title (even though she was born to be in this position, and nothing anyone can say will change what she is). Some have even suggested she'd be better off dead so a new Speaker can be born. Not that they'd act upon that threat...would they? This is a secondary plot thread that really needs some sort of resolution before the story goes into the final act/climax. These naysayers need to somehow be dealt with. There is unrest in the capital city due to many unsettling things happening, which I don't have the time to explain here (I'm already writing quite a lot in this post as it is). As Speaker, the MC is also expected to be a spiritual beacon for the people of the country, and so she would need to somehow calm the peoples' fears. Of course, the only real way she can resolve this is by tackling the major conspiracy plot point that has been going on, which is related to point #2 above. So I need to have there be at least one scene before the final act where she tries to talk to a crowd, makes a speech. Not sure what it would entail, but that's something that needs to happen at some point. I know it will happen BEFORE point #2, but not sure how soon/late between now and then. So, yeah, I got all the major things planned out, as you can see. I'm having no issue with figuring out WHAT will happen, or HOW certain things will happen, but it's mostly a question of WHEN (and some minor points do have the "how" question, but the important stuff is figured out). I am sorry for rambling on so long, but I needed to get this off my chest and hear your opinions.