Well, that was fun. Part four of Two Earths Are Better Than None, called Resist The Caliplex, simply flew past. This is where you find out what's really been going on, and all the pieces are put in place for the big finale.
Despite a few distractions along the way (and large but beneficial vets bills), it turned out better than I could have expected. IMHO, YMMV etc. I had possibly too much fun writing the new characters, Tex and Fifi.
I set out with the plan of having four chapters in part four; astonishingly, that's what I ended up with for once. The pacing was different, and some of the events swapped chapters, but it was pleasingly close to the plan. Due to the changes in emphasis, I gave the chapter titles a rethink, settling on a theme of rejected 1980s Doctor Who episodes.
The Hegemony of the Caliplex
The Evolution of the Caliplex
The Weakness of the Caliplex
The Word of the Caliplex
No, the Caliplex aren't Daleks, but by the end of part four, you'll know all about them. It came in at just under 18,000 words, giving the novel a current running total of 85,000 words. Reckon I will hit the 100,000-word mark before I've finished the first draft.
Now we're on the home straight. Part five, subtly called Destroy the Hegemony, will bring the story to a close across five chapters (probably). The working titles for these are more prosaic, so will likely be binned, but for now they are:
Planning the Campaign
Laying the Groundwork
Executing the Plan
Facing the Consequences
I think I might nearly be there on the front cover above. That's assuming I self-publish this. I'm pleased enough that I'll likely consider submitting this one to a few agents, depending on the early feedback I get.
I'm at the heady stage of thinking this is the best thing I've written. By the time I finish the second draft, I'll likely be convinced it's terrible. The third draft's when I'll settle on a conclusion, although I've not felt this excited by something for a while.
I'd better get on with it. This is the most intense phase for me when I find it hard to think of anything else. Nevertheless, I will be taking a break for a few days next week when my son visits, which is as usual timed for when there's a new Marvel movie to watch. Ant-Man awaits.