Another milestone reached today, with the first draft of Bardo, part 3 of Transformation complete. This is the weirder section, with a little too much exposition on the first draft and a lot of gobbledegook. That, to some extent, is it's nature, but sure I can trim that a little on the second draft.
In the end, it comprised three chapters–Rescue, Reality and Reincarnate–and came to a total of 8,200 words which was a little above the original target of 7,500. The chapter Reality is the most gobbledegooky (to coin a word) one I've ever written.
Despite the gobbledegookiness (see above), I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. It's set things up really nicely for the finale, part 4, which for the first time I now have a pretty clear idea as to how it will go. It also leads nicely into the Prelude...
I'd intentionally left part 4 vague in my mind as I knew the characters would tell me how it was going to end if I gave them the chance. There's one character in particular who I never intended to be part of the finale, but now will play a key role in it, just by sheer force of will–and it also gives me a way of allowing each least a couple of characters a happy ending. Unless they upset me before I finish, of course.
I'm now up to just over 35,000 words, nearly halfway towards my rough goal of 75,000 on the first draft. If you've been paying attention, the next thing on my to do list is part 2, Apocrypha. As a reminder, this is the rough chronological order of the novel, with the main protagonist for each part:
- Interludes: Conversion, Epiphany, Consecration (Katinka Farkas)
- Part 1: Proselytism (Nevin)
- Part 3: Bardo (Nevin)
- Prelude: Ordination (Katinka Farkas)
- Part 2: Apocrypha (Katinka Farkas)
- Part 4: Pralaya (Multiple)
As you can see, I've largely decided how I'm going to tell the story of part 4, with each chapter being from different protagonist's perspectives. It will be mainly featuring Nevin and Katinka Farkas again, but I do intend to switch to at least one other perspective. I'm really looking forward to writing the first chapter from that character's perspective, someone who's delighted and surprised me at every turn. If I was honest, it was a character who was initially just a plot device for me, but who grew to something more and deserves their time in the sun.
But first, on with part 2, Apocrypha. I've largely planned out this already, expecting it to come in around 15,000 words and comprising five chapters–Intention, Insurgency, Introspection, Investigation, Infiltration. Watch this space...
One more thing while I'm here, largely to record the moment for my own posterity. The ideas for my next novel to come after the Tamboli Sequence are starting to crystallise nicely. It'll definitely be a standalone novel, with no chance of being part of a series, even retrospectively. My notes are expanding nicely, before long I'll create a Scrivener project all of its own to capture my ideas.
I've given it the somewhat playful working title of My Family and Other Ghosts, although it bears no resemblance to anything to do with Gerald Durrell. A couple of other works did cross my mind while I was thinking of the story–Christopher Priest's wonderful The Affirmation and the differently wonderful musical Next To Normal. The story has no resemblance to those either, but what I'm trying to achieve reminded me of them. If it ends up being a tenth as good as either of those works, I'll be happy.
Oh yes, I need to finish Transformation first...