Word count (outline and notes): 15471 I wanted to start drafting by the end of February. I didn’t make it. But I did spend this evening thrashing my first draft chronological outline into an insanely complicated spreadsheet (with color coding: blue is backstory, prologue, and epilogue; green is the alien plot thread; yellow is the human plot thread). So far I have not done anything to make sure the two threads complement each other well (balancing, echoing, mirroring, etc.). And I see that Clarity doesn’t have enough to do in the second half of the novel. At this point I’m prepared to run with this, knowing that things will change as the work goes on. I can shift incidents between chapters, and even between threads if I have to, to get the balance right. Looking over the outline, I’m excited. It looks like a rip-roaring story; the alternating plot threads seem to keep the tension up nicely, with a turning point at the end of just about every chapter. I hope to begin drafting this weekend.
David D. Levine is the author of Andre Norton Nebula Award winning novel Arabella of Mars, sequels Arabella and the Battle of Venus and Arabella the Traitor of Mars, and over fifty SF and fantasy stories. His story “Tk’Tk’Tk” won the Hugo, and he has been shortlisted for awards including the Hugo, Nebula, Campbell, and Sturgeon. Stories have appeared in Asimov’s, Analog, Clarkesworld, F&SF, Tor.com, numerous Year’s Best anthologies, and his award-winning collection Space Magic.