Next week or so is likely to be slow for me — not much bloggo de blog due to Thanksgiving and such — although Christmas is likely to actually have more of me than before, thanks to me not flying anywhere this time around. The tradition has been to visit my in-laws for Christmas, but this year they're literally just up the road, so there ought to be far less of a hole in my schedule because of that.
That said, I more or less finished draft 2 edits on Welcome to the Fold last night.
Rephrase: they were finished with me.
Given the amount of red ink that was sloshed across those pages, I suspect at least two more passes will be in order. There came a point when I was cutting whole paragraphs at a time, but I added back in at least as much material, if not more so. For a project this conceptually ambitious — which is me saying I'm in way over my head, not me saying I'm succeeding Tolstoy (not that I would want to, the guy was a humorless prat anyway) — some amount of wrestling was bound to happen, but so far I've been getting WWF'ed good and proper by this project. Then again, how are you supposed to build any creative muscle, save for a little struggle?
In truth, I enjoy playing over my head like this. If it means I write only a few really adventurous books instead of a whole bunch of tame ones, it'll constitute time well spent. Not to say that I think people who are following another path are wasting their time, only that I know what I gotta do.
At this rate, I suspect the final edit for the book will be sometime around March of next year. That's about five months later than I was originally planning, but what with the whole "sell the house"/"move cross-country" thing going on, I suppose a few things had to get bumped further down the road.
After that, things get really complicated. Not only do I have several other projects all queued up, all of them are in various stages of disarray, with no one of them a first-round draft choice. I might end up not starting into any of them in earnest until much later in the year. Failing everything else, I might just pull out my written-but-never-finished project The Underground Sun and clean that up — especially since some strands of its DNA ended up in Welcome to the Fold, and so comparing and contrasting the two projects could make for a nifty exercise.
Come to think of it, here's a quick rundown of what I could be doing:
- The Underground Sun — Unfinished project, shelved, mostly written. Would need a few drafts to clean it up. Good story, but most of what made it special has been recycled into Fold.
- Perfect Skin — "near-future" story, a kind of reverse complement to Flight of the Vajra. Many possible ingredients all floating loosely around a center anchored by two characters. Not enough nailed down yet.
- Palace of the Red Sand — historical fantasy based on a panoply of cultures (China, Japan, Korea, Tibet, etc.). Some key details still missing from this one, but I have a general idea of the arc for the story.
- Frontier — somewhere between SF and fantasy, loosely inspired by my move and some events around it. The basic idea is solid, but I need to figure out where it ends up.
- Untitled young-adult story — just what it sounds like. No SF element at all, just a story about the difficulties of adolescence. This might well be the toughest one of the bunch to write.
- Something else?
More when I'm back on home turf.