I’ve set a goal of finishing Legacy of Memory by June 30th.
I almost always blow self-imposed deadlines. (The boss is such a pushover.) Nevertheless, I’m optimistic that this may be one of the times I actually meet one. It will still need a lot of tweaking and polish at that point, but there will at least be a “complete” manuscript with a final chapter.
It’s been slow going recently, and much of that is owed to the fact that there are so many threads to tie together. While A Shadow in the Flames is mostly focused on Michael Flynn’s story, Legacy of Memory is much more of an ensemble tale. Michael has his arc, of course, again caught up with Diomedes, but the former doesn’t even appear in the book until a fifth of the way through. Along with them (minor spoiler alert), there’s Felix and Caitlin, Marc and Marette (both with parts much larger than what they had in ASITF), and Gideon and Ondrea, the latter of whom is entirely new. (And yes, I said Gideon.) Their paths and arcs all intersect in various ways. The Northgate/Moon situations, mostly separate (though distantly connected) in the first book are now fusing together in what I think is a quite exciting way. Pulling that off, especially with so many people and agendas smashing up against each other, has been a challenge, so I’m taking my time.
It’s not that I haven’t outlined where things ought to be going, of course. It’s just that fleshing out the details once I’ve written to particular points on the outline isn’t always as easy as I imagine it. It’s a fun challenge, though sometimes maddening. (Once or twice I had a plan for how something would play out that looked just fine in outline form, but when I got down to writing it, I immediately realized it just wasn’t going to work, and it was back to the drawing board.) Equally fun and maddening are when I’ve planned for a character to be doing something or reacting to something in a certain way, only to have them turn to me in my head and tell me in no certain terms that there’s no way they’d ever do THAT. Instead they’re going to do/say this other thing whether I like it or not, and if I know what’s good for me I’d better follow THEM thank you very much. Sure, it plays a bit of havoc with the outline, but it’s already made for some more interesting drama.
Then again, sometimes they just have to die. (Insert evil author’s laugh here.)
So we’ll see if I can make the June 30th deadline. Then we’ll see how much needs polishing (and, he said with not small amounts of dread, how much needs a complete overhaul).
In other news, Indy 4’s good, but not great. My thanks to Mr. Spielberg and Mr. Ford for reigning in Mr. Lucas as much as you managed. I may blog more about that if enough people want me to. 🙂