Today's writing notes:
Working on: The Voyage of the Kaus Media 2nd draft
Or, to be more accurate, I finished the second draft! :) It took quite a while because I've been busy with other stuff and there was a lot I needed to change and add, but I think it's looking a lot better than the first draft.
It's now at nearly 112,000 words, which means I added about 20,000 words... wow.
As for major edits near the end, I added in a scene where Angela and Captain Saixaphas have a good heart-to-heart, because Saixaphas is a great guy and I wanted to make sure he got his due recognition and some character arc closure. He becomes Angela's surrogate father, and I wanted to make sure that relationship got the attention it deserves.
I also ended up greatly expanding the Peren section of the story to give Nir a better character arc and make that part of the story make more sense. It also helps the latter portions of the story to not feel so rushed. I admit that by that point I had run out of ideas and just wanted to get the plot finished ASAP, so it did start to feel more like a bare-bones checklist of plot points to tick off. That's why I appreciate both the opportunity to let the manuscript sit for a bit so I could think about what I wanted to do differently in the next pass, and my editor's feedback.
I think this additional material is also great for giving a more comprehensive look at some of the characters' personalities and dynamics, such as Angela's and Radnama's strong, solid friendship and Nir's ridiculousness. Nir is fun to write because she is a very flighty 16-year-old, but she means well and she doesn't back down from fighting for the things she believes in.
This new material also gives Saixaphas more character development, and I think he's turned into a really likeable character. We can see from his actions now that although he appears stern at first, he is really warm, patient, and gentle, especially with more sensitive types like Angela, Berenice, and Nir. It's said in the story that he has a daughter around Angela's age who is very similar in terms of personality, so he understands Angela like few others can, and knows how to comfort and encourage her. It's these traits, coupled with his steely determination and sincere caring for everyone under his jurisdiction, that make him the great captain he is.
Also this new material includes a new character, the admiral of the secret Pereni skyfleet, and her automatus, because you can't go wrong by adding more giant robots, right? :) My excuse is that her appearance helps the big battle at the end of the book make more sense too.