I guess I'm not the only one thinking about the promises we make to the reader and paying off on them. Elizabeth Spann Craig of Mystery Writing Is Murder tweeted a link to this post at The Editor's Blog about Bad Novel Endings. She goes into some good practical detail on the disappointment side of the equation when you don't pay off properly.
In the meantime, yesterday completely wiped me out, and today I barely recovered. This is my usual late night -- I don't get home until after 8pm. But I did write about 400 and some words, and will do some more before bed. Right now I'm exploring one of two ways to pile on the complications. I've got to give the character (and audience) time to process one complication before I get to another.
At the same time, it can be good to let the complications compound. Don't just let the problems be a string of beads, which you deal with one at a time. (Or perhaps I should stay a troop of evil minions, who conveniently come at the hero one at a time.) Sure I want to space them out to give them time to develop and be comprehensible. At the same time, I want to build and connect.
So the hero takes care of one immediate problem, and realizes he has a larger, less immediate problem on his hands. As he studies that, the next immediate problem happens, and he deals with it, only to find that it has created a bigger problem.
But tomorrow I can devote more time to this. I'll see you then.