Okay, here's my first gripe about one of my Helpful Readers: he or she wants me to insert a brief general history of Research Region for nonspecialist readers.
I forsee problems:
1. I need to cover this briefly, so that I'm not losing my reader in minutiae, or reinventing the wheel. I'm thinking 1,000 words, tops. But this is a lot to cover in such a short space. Research Region has, like any region, a long and complicated history, one that spans at least five centuries before you get to my book, and one that has complicated links with three neighboring regions.
2. Because of the above complications, I will inevitably overgeneralize, leave out things that some people think are important, and probably irritate specialists.
3. I'm so irked by the enterprise (mainly because others have done this more completely and coherently than I have) that the whole thing is clunky and stupid.
4. I'm fearing a critique along the lines of "What is this clunky, stupid, out-of-place passage doing in this book anyway?" To which I can only answer: "That's an excellent question."
Hm. Again, I'm stuck. So here's a picture of something red (always a good bet, photographically speaking):