Nah, I think it really is funny.
* * *
I finished revising Chapter 13 of Knife today! I'm nearly 2/3rds done! And I've knocked off 10,000 words from the ms. so far, none of which were doing any good whatsoever (people eat sandwiches, they take baths, they hang about waiting for other things to happen, they have long conversations about paintings the reader can't see and artists the reader probably doesn't know, etc.).
Meanwhile, I've streamlined the plot -- oh, there are still red herrings and unanswered questions and (I hope) plenty of other things to keep the reader guessing, but there aren't so many tangents. I've also eliminated a number of unnecessary characters (does the Queen really need three attendants, when there are only forty-seven faeries in the Oak? I think not) and given a minor antagonist (Mallow, for those of you who read the last draft) a more substantial and ongoing role.
Still, by far the biggest changes will be coming in this last section, where I finally say goodbye to an element that people have been questioning from the beginning and replace it with a much more action-oriented scene that I'm quite excited about. Until now the last few chapters of the book have been very talky, with all the big revelations coming out in a single conversation; in this draft I plan to spread that information out a bit, and give Knife a more dynamic role in bringing it to light.
I have great hopes that my editor will be pleased with this revision, and I think it will definitely help the book's saleability to foreign markets -- but we'll see. In any case I'm still on track to turn in the revised draft by the end of February, which makes it very likely indeed that Knife will hit the shelves in the summer of 2009, rather than 2010 as originally scheduled. Yay!