I finished part 2! This includes the cutting of the prologue and the interlude (hence the drop in word count). Things are spaced very well right now, with 37K words in part 1 and 40K words in part 2. This leaves me 43K words to conclude the novel, or else nearly that if I also introduce a chapter 1/prelude version of what was formerly Tuk’an’i’s POV in the prelude. Still deciding.
I continue to be concerned by some foundational elements that overlap too much with other works. I have managed to remove these elements from the main of the story, but there are some excellent endings that require me to alter these foundational elements in the conclusion in a way that brings those overlaps back into focus. It is a pity, but I am going to keep looking for alternatives that do not ignite this issue further.
Having read a good amount about second drafts, I have to say I am proceeding somewhat unashamedly through the manuscript. In many ways it is liberating to not worry so much about every detail on the first pass. With the knowledge that so much needs to be re-written on round 2, I can see that spending too much time on such things in the first round is not worth the effort. Far more important is expressing the ideas in whatever form the emerge, and making it to the ending. From there, the work of clarifying and cleaning comes in its own time.
Also of note, I am just past the 4 month anniversary of this venture. In the interest of actually completing this project and making something (however fleeting) of my writing career/hobby, I intend to finish part 3 in another month’s time. By the end of the year, I want draft 2 complete so I can begin to invite beta readers. That would put me in January/February when I’ll be reaching out to agents to see what (if anything) could come of this project.