By the time you read this, the SF project will have crossed the 70,000-word barrier. There are several milestones a novel must reach if traditional publication route is an option. 60,000 words is the minimum length of a commercially produced novel. In fact, Road Rules‘ 55,000-word length was a major hindrance to its sale. 90,000 is the usually minimum length for a science fiction or fantasy novel published traditionally. 70K tells me I’ll have no problem meeting that length.
However, it’s not the end of Act II. I have a couple of major characters to kill off, and I have to bring two sets of protagonists together. In this story, Harry doesn’t go to Hogwarz until late in the game. Getting there is much more interesting.
One thing I’ve run into is the fear that this is not good enough. It happens to every writer with every novel. With science fiction, it’s amplified by the future factor. The devices I’ve come up with for hundreds of years into the future will be obsolete in a couple of years. Why do my characters behave a certain way? Why do my aliens shoot like Stormtroopers from Star Wars? One thing I have to remind myself is that this is a first draft. I’ve already accepted that a massive rewrite is an option. So, instead of “ZOMG! I got a lot of work ahead of me!”, I’m actually disappointed that I have to wait until the next draft to put all these new ideas into play. Theoretically, I could go back and rewrite earlier scenes, but then I’ll become one of those writers who keeps tinkering and tinkering and tinkering, never finishing the damn thing.
Kinda like Brian Griffin.
The best part is that I’m almost to the last act. And in the last act, I’ve been known not to shower, go to work, or even speak English to people asking me questions.
It’s my favorite part of writing a novel.