I guess it's time to get back at it. And maybe it's time I remark on the progress of my "project." While at this stage of the work, I'm more likely to call it a novel, what it is intended to become, but it remains only a manuscript until it is published as a novel.
I had hoped to be done with the second draft now and I'm probably over half-way to that, but I feel like there is much more to do. There are more chapters to be written. Certain characters got short shrift in the first draft and they really deserve more pages. And I don't think I can be positive about the ending until I see how all the pieces come together. More may be necessary there as well.
The story lines of most of the characters all come to a climax at one point and it's hard to get it all done for them in that moment, at a climactic pace. I would like it to all be apparent in those pivotal chapters what is happening to them, what changes are happening, what decisions are being made, what courses are being altered. And I would like to do it all without chapters of denouement. I fear over-telling in that. It should also be satisfying to the reader, and I know much of the satisfaction in reading a novel comes from learning the outcome, how things have turned out for the main characters. Having an ensemble, like I do, makes it difficult. I'm reluctant to give them each a chapter post-climax so that we know what's happened. I don't think I can really get that right until the rest of it comes together. While I know that much work lays ahead of me, I remain anxious to get ahead, to write new things.