Fred, I understand your frustration. Part of that's
I know you do. ;-) We edit-conflicted each other probably 20 times just on September
with a wiki. In fact, it's much of the benefit.
However, if you're working
on a complicated article and would like people to stay away for a little
bit, ask people to do so in the Talk for that article. It's always
or sometimes even in the comments--a simple "still working on this" usually
works. Or you can write it offsite and upload all at once--I've done that too.