So yesterday I got done on Chapter 9.
I’ve bid farewell to eighteenth century Boston, I’ve blown up parts of London and the body count is already impressively high. I’ve made changes to the structure of the story, I’m adding in stronger transitions between chapters and attempting to polish up some of the themes. I’ve also injected more diversity into the characters – I’m making the changes I wanted to. I should be happy with the progress I’ve made but for some reason I’m not.
It could be that I’m merely experiencing mid-project blues. They are the point in the middle where it feels like you’ve been working on the thing for…well forever and the end seems an eternity away. Normally when I hit this point I’ll go and write some flash or a short story, just to feel like I’ve finished something, anything. But I’m not sure that’s it.
My pervading worry is that I’m finding the second draft of Forever much harder than the redrafting process on The Scarred God and I’m concerned there’s not enough meat to the story in its current form. Still, when I read through what I’d done to date a few weeks ago I was reasonably pleased. Doubts are part of the course. Until I have the second draft done (the point where I start to let a couple of people read it) I won’t really know.
The other part of it is that I’ve got my next two novel length projects firmly in mind and I’m keen to be getting on with them. They’re more ambitious than either The Scarred God or Forever but having proven I can last the distance on these longer projects I’m no keen to stretch my wings and I think they’re really cool. I’d like to get them out of my head so others can enjoy them.
I guess the real problem is that I’ve not got a steady rythmn going on Forever as I did on The Scarred God and that’s creating a perception of delay that probably isn’t there. Redrafts on both of The Scarred God and Forever have taken longer than I would have wanted because of the mistakes I made on the early drafts mean I’m shifting between editing and writing additional material. On The Scarred God I managed to carve out a regular timeslot to work on the manuscript but with Forever for one reason or another I’ve not managed to do this. And so I’m going to try to reintroduce my early morning starts.
Yeah, the middle of a novel length project is a hard place to be.