Last night, I wrote the last words on the alpha draft of what I've been calling Clockmakers, the actual title of which turns out to be "The Miseducation of Mara Lys".
Calling it an alpha draft is a bit generous, to be honest, but in the interests of having something pinned to the page which I can print out, read through, and start turning into something coherent enough to be read, it'll do. I've spent this morning duly reading through it, adding to the comments in the margin and taking down a master-list in my notebook of Things To Fix. About one-third of the way through the manuscript, still in the relatively-well-written-and-clean section of the story, and the master list is already 4 pages long.
I had hoped to have the coherent draft written by the end of today, but clearly that isn't quite going to happen.
I'm quite enjoying the read-through. It's already daunting, and even the opening section is not as clean as I remembered, and the tone is inconsistent as well as utterly wrong — but writing down questions without having to trot off and research/answer them straight away is awesome. Did Babylon have ducks? What names did the Moors use for that delicate lacework of stone thing they had going on in their eaves and architraves? What types of wood are pliable and flexible, and which more rigid, and which ones would be accessible in Mara's city? Do they have paper? What types and colours of cloth are common? (Why don't I know any of this already?)
The good news is, Clockmakers is (hopefully) the last story in my Twelve Planets collection. So now all I have to do is get Cherry Crow Children and Clockmakers into proper beta draft form so that they can be edited, and and and … (could it be true?) there'll be something for Twelfth Planet Press to actually work with?
I can't even let myself think it, I want it so much. Oh for more actual blocks of time I could give to my writing!