So where did this new chapter come from? I had originally ended Part III at the exact point that I ended Part II - just from a different point of view. This had been planned. It was always going to be like this (well, once I'd actually decided to structure a Part III and this particular POV into the novel). When the new chapter suggested itself to me (see my last post), I had no idea it was going to work so well. The conversations just fell out of my fingers. Ten breezy, easy pages, all wrapping up the novel to a brilliant, satisfactory but also wildly surreal point - why only NOW?! Why couldn't this ease of writing have come sooner, like, you know, about a year ago? Is it because I only now know my novel well enough to know how to end it?
In that case, all my struggles have been worth it. I have found the near-perfect ending.
Now I only have to worry that it comes too late, that the novel takes too long to reach this point and that there isn't enough of a hint that it's coming. But this is a flaw in my writing that I've always had and have never managed to resolve. At the very least, the mist has begun to clear.