I've blown past my original deadline, but the end is at last somewhat in sight.
I've set aside time this weekend to push through World War II and get into Korea. For those keeping score at home, the current word count is more than 64,000, quite a bit more than Long Live Death.
In fact, this is currently the second-longest book I've written. (The current record-holder is Fall of the Commonwealth.)
The biggest challenge is knowing when to stop. In earlier areas, there simply wasn't much information out there, so I wasn't tempted to go into great detail. Sources are much more plentiful about modern conflicts. Not only do I risk going into an unnecessary amount of detail, I also am tempted to do more research than necessary, which is far more time consuming.
Ironically, I think the work I've done on the warlord period and now WW II will make my discussion of the Chinese Civil War go much faster since the legacy of those conflicts clearly shaped the later one.
Once one understands that the Nationalists had effectively spent an entire generation at war, it is understandable that their forces were generally exhausted by 1946.
Of course the first draft is just that - a starting point, and I'll certainly have to go back and shore up various concepts and points during revision. I am looking forward to finishing, though. Hopefully that's only a few weeks away.