I don't know how to write this next part. I'm bothered.
Last time I hit this wall I went back ten chapters and rewrote the characters. Now I still have no idea who they are or what they're doing because I'm having a hard time getting them motivated to do it. Cat shows up and does things... hurray.
I had two versions: the one where they meander through the desert kind of depressed and stop for a moment by the road to have a character scene, then evade a couple Brushcasters by pretending to be whiny teen runaways, and the one where they get caught in a dust storm and charge blindly into a dramatic event. Slow version and Fast version respectively.
Benefit of the slow version is we have character moments. It gives us a chance to sort into our new roles in the group and shows Cat growing up a little and reacting bravely in the face of danger instead of uncertainly. Drawback is ITS REALLY SLOW. It feels like filler and that's bad. When we get to Earth Town you feel like you're going through the Cursed Town paces like the last three we went to.
Benefit of the fast version is it's more exciting. It rockets us from one place to another without the boring travel scenes and introduces Earth Town in a huge exciting event. The bad news is that it doesn't give the Curses riding shotgun a whole lot to do. They're almost like other baggage in the wagon right now appearing every so often to have a conversation with Cat then vanishing back into the tent like they never existed.
Maybe I need a touch of both. Maybe I should salvage the stop on the path from the slow version and put it in the new version ahead of the big event. I don't know if that'll solve the problem or not. I really don't know anything right now, I'm so frustrated with the rest of my life piling up that it's throwing me off my keel.
I'll experiment with sorting paragraphs around. Revising always makes me feel better.