First of all, outside the cut, I really want to thank persephone_kore for reading, the fantastic MLs in my region, and everyone who I did word wars with (you know who you are!).
And now under the cut:
- 50,000 words! It's way more than I've ever written before; actually, I think it may be more than my previous output combined. To be honest, I didn't think I'd last more than a week or two, but somehow I managed to make it all the way.
- I'm finally creeping slowly toward something resembling subplots! I think one of my many weaknesses as a writer is that I usually have an A plot... and nothing else going on.
- I can write pretty quickly; in fact, I can write about 2000 words in an hour. This makes me a lot more confident when it comes to stuff like fic challenges; Yuletide and white_lotus both have 1000 word minimums, so that means I could theoretically bang out a first draft for each of those in like half an hour. And then if it totally sucks, I can just write another one in another half-hour! No more procrastination because I feel like all my ideas suck!
- The plot and characters stayed pretty close to my initial ideas. The only major character I wasn't expecting was Qaf; I hadn't thought of her before I started writing, but she just kind of came out of nowhere and ended up joining the crew.
- Phrases to be exorcised from my vocabulary: "come on", "you know".
- Argh, the pacing issues. I tend to write in a very fast-paced way, and I don't think I did a lot to assuage that here; part of the problem is that when I tried to slow down, I would get bored and lose motivation, so then I would throw in something else happening to maintain interest :/
- Argh, the pacing issues; part 2. I made it to 50,000 words, but unfortunately that came out to about two and a half story arcs. I do want to finish it, but I've got other stuff I want/need to write, so idk how fast that'll happen.
- (Lack of) worldbuilding: yeesh, I think if I do another SF novel next year (or otherworld fantasy), I'll have to do more prep work ahead of time. There are a lot of elements (pads, cabs, the schooling system, etc.) that were extremely thinly veiled versions of RL items, because it was the first thing that came to mind and I didn't have time to sit around thinking of something more imaginative. It resulted in a novel that was easier to write, in many ways, but I don't know how realistic the galaxy I created was.
- Stupid things in service of the plot: okay, so I knew I wanted Hold Steady to lose her memory and starbanks (or whatever), and I knew I wanted Patel to end up as a crew member, but I don't think I did a very plausible job of showing either of those. On edit, I might drop the whole thing with Hold Steady's star charts; now that I think about it, they could be trapped on Hurston Station even without that, so it's probably not necessary.
And as for Patel, I do still want her to come along, but I'd want to rewrite it: maybe she turns against the Consortium before they leave Hurston, or maybe they dump her at Davis but run into her again on Shakur or something. I still need a reason for them to trust her, though, and I don't think I was able to come up with a compelling one. Maybe Patel and Tatiana could get to know each other before the whole impersonation thing, idk.
- Maintaining character voices: this isn't a bad, exactly, since I always end up rewriting all my dialogue after the first draft, but I had some particular ideas about how I wanted the characters to sound (Tatiana talkative; Kid reserved and brief; Qaf bright and naive, etc.), and I'm not sure if the characters ended up sounding very different from each other. This was part of the reason why I littered so many adverbs in (along the lines of 'Character said ______ly'), so when I go back I'll remember the tone I want the dialogue to be delivered in. I'm also not sure if I want to keep the thing where Patel talks differently depending on her body; that just kind of happened.
- Really, self? Two arcs where Tatiana needs to be rescued? >:( (I realized this partway through the Hurston stuff, and wrote it so she'd be more proactive than I originally envisioned, but still.) And I really dislike damsel in distress arcs, too.
- The whole thing with Jolee and Benjamin (and Tatiana and Kid's reactions to them) needs to be reworked, I knew that while I was writing it.