So, that was faster than expected. The second draft turned out to be a quicker and less detailed update than I originally expected. I think that's down to a couple of reasons.
Firstly, I seem to have settled on a working method that suits me best. I'm very slow at getting creative first thing in the morning, so I now routinely start the day with a bit of editing. I usually review what I've written the previous day, fix it for typos, conciseness of language and add the bits I've missed out to make it a coherent story. That gets my mind nicely prepared for the new chapter to come.
Secondly, the weather was crap, so I stayed in and just cracked on with the draft. It really helped get through it faster and focus on it intensely.
I'd made a long list of things to review, mainly character arcs I was worried that I hadn't executed well, or things I thought needed expansion upon, perhaps with additions scenes. It turned out that most of those worries were misplaced, and I'd done a better job that I'd expected, probably as much due to those early morning edits.
One minor tweak from my last update is that I've rationalised the interlude names to given them a more religious feel, so they're now called Ascension, Consecration and Renunciation respectively.
So, I've compiled the manuscript with the changes, which now comes in at just under 80,000 words, and sent it to my son for review. That usually generates many more changes on the final draft, and it'll be much better for it. He's a hard taskmaster to get things past, and he's usually right, dammit.
As I'm unlikely to get the full detailed feedback on Transformation until sometime in December, I'm currently hoping to self-publish the novel early in 2020, probably by the end of January.
I've made a preview available of the current draft of the interlude and the subsequent two chapters on the Transformation page of my website. There are spoilers in it for both Integration and Ling Division, so I'd strongly recommend finishing those before doing anything as foolish as clicking the Preview button.
In the meantime, I'll be pushing ahead with work on my next, standalone novel, which as I've mentioned before has the working title of My Family and Other Ghosts. Although it definitely has (and is defined by) a science-fiction basis, it's much more of a personal, family-based drama than the Tamboli Sequence. No Earth-shattering, world-defining events, just a family in a self-inflicted crisis, working to pull itself together again after an accident left it in turmoil. I'll follow up on this in more detail in the next week or so, where I'll record my current thoughts and tease what's to come. It'll give me a nice benchmark to see if what I deliver bears any resemblance to it. It's going to really stretch my capabilities in every way.
[Update 28-Nov: Looks as if I might get the final feedback earlier than expected in the first week of December. If I get my act together, there's an outside chance I might get it out before Christmas. Doubtful though, as I expect it will need at least one new chapter and tweaks throughout, before a final read through to make sure I'm still happy after a month. I’ll provide another update when I can.]