Between everything else that's been going on (the catalog runs to several single-spaced pages; I won't reprint all thathere), I somehow — somehow — managed to kick off the all-new, revised version of The Underground Sun.
Call it Underground Sun 2.0. It's only a couple thousand words, and it's more notes than actual text, but it's the right couple thousand words and the right actual text. It took a lot of effort to push off the table all my preconceptions about the story, but it's paid off: I finally have an idea of how to start it, how to shepherd it along, how to keep people interested in it, and how to give it the ending it deserves. And, most importantly, how not to write something that essentially repeats many of the same points as my previous work.
I still have a whole slew of unanswered questions, but I suspect they will untangle themselves as I move along. What's most important is that I now have a new and better framework for how the pieces I have will be deployed. The last time out, it was so seat-of-the-pants I didn't have time to think about the real implications of the story I was telling. End result: I went facefirst into a wall, and no amount of wild plot gyration could save me.
I wonder if it would be interesting, or just horribly narcissistic, to create a special "collector's edition" version of the book. The regular version would be just the novel. The deluxe version would be that plus the original version of the story, like a "workprint edition" of a film (I'm thinking back to Alien³, to be honest). Something else to think about when I'm actually done with it and can wave it under people's noses...
I hope to have something positive to say about the Really Cool Thing I Can't Talk About Just Yet by sometime next week.
The suspense is a-kickin' my butt.