When I read science fiction and fantasy, one of the things I despise the most are how caricature-like the characters are. Arguably that's one of the reasons I dislike the genres in the first place and also probably why I distance myself from it so much when I write. For the most part, the character creation is GODAWFUL. The emphasis is put almost entirely on the worlds and not on the people who fill them. Characters are bland, trite, pointlessly snarky. I'll die before I let my characters be like that.
So if you want an excuse of why it's taking me so damn long, it's that.
That and I've been fiddling with some Part 1 material. I've rewritten a few of the earlier chapters, like one, two and three. I think they're FINALLY where I want them--but then again I've rewritten these entirely at least three times before. People have liked them, but from a writing standpoint they didn't do a good enough job of establishing my characters. That's the real challenge of Part 1 for me--introducing my characters and how they treat Roman in a way that'll set the tone for the rest of the book. Yes, Cloudnigh is about evolution on the grander scale, but it's also about personal evolution. And Roman's personal changes, while present in some of my early drafts, aren't done to the point where I feel like I have a solid foundation for the book to stand on. There are also some world building challenges I'm struggling with, too.
On an unrelated note, I finished A Feast For Crows finally. Definitely the first fantasy series to hook me since His Dark Materials. Maybe it was the split with Dance, but I really didn't like the book as well as I did the others, although it is abundantly clear that the fecal matter is about to hit the rudimentary air conditioning. I am waiting, and mindblowingly stoked for A Dance with Dragons.
Back to Cloudnigh, I suppose. I'm really eager to finish a chapter or two of Part 3 that I can share on here. I've got a sample up on Cloudnigh's Facebook. Check it if you feel like it!
Thanks for reading!