I thought it was worth a separate post to record my plans for the edits leading to the final draft of Transformation. I came back from my trip to see my son with a long list of things to consider. It was an excellent discussion, and unusually, we didn’t argue once! I had a few concerns after my recent read-through given the space of a month, and he highlighted the issues I was worrying about too.
I've taken a couple of days to fully consider how to address them. The majority of them are just tweaks to individual sentences and small scale changes throughout, which I've already completed.
There are then a couple of adjustments to secondary characters arcs that I want to make a bit more satisfactory; everyone is a hero in the story from their perspective, and I want to ensure their individual motivations come through to do them justice. Most of these are minor tweaks throughout, but some need a little more work, in particular a minor rework of the last chapter of part 1. I have notes on how to attack these next, but a couple need more significant effort.
Luckily, these bigger character tweaks fit in nicely with a couple of larger changes I need to make anyway.
Firstly, there was an aspect early on in Katinka’s story that I was feeling increasingly dissatisfied with, and my son highlighted it straightaway too. Also the first interlude wasn’t adding as much value as I originally anticipated, and the information was largely duplicated later in the story in a more organic fashion. Luckily, there’s a solution that solves both problems – a brand new first interlude. I’ll be reusing some of the concepts from the original, but told from an entirely different perspective.
My efforts on the original interlude, Ascension, won't go entire to waste. It works nicely as a standalone short story, providing a bit of background to how Katinka Farkas got to where she was, bridging the gap between Integration and Transformation. It can safely be read either before or after Transformation - but definitely after Integration. I've now made this available from the bottom of the Transformation page on my website.
Secondly, Transformation acts as an extension and culmination of both the novels Integration and Long Division. However, the denouement of one of these, in the last section, was rushed and unsatisfactory. Luckily, there’s a solution to this too, involving splitting one chapter into two longer, extended ones. That should give the conclusion of that aspect room to breathe.
That has the side-effect of making the last section little inordinately long, so I'm going to split it into two and rename a few things, which creates part 4 (Salvation), and part 5 (Pralaya) – each of which acts as a climax to a specific story thread.
That gives me room for an additional interlude, which will be Epiphany, and will solve the last of my character arc issues.
That gives me the following final structure for the novel:
Given the scope of these changes, it's highly unlikely it will be completed before Christmas, but I'd definitely expect the novel to be available in January 2020. I'll return with another blog post once the final draft changes have been made.