Still working on the second draft. Focussing on two structural issues this run-through: merging two characters and also restructuring the opening of the book, which has flow-on effects. I'm also noting any loose ends that need tying up (there's a few of them).
Due to the restructuring, I've had to write some 'pick-up scenes'. I'm taking that term from film-making, where it refers to scenes that are shot after principal photography has finished.
One of them is a back story, and it got me thinking of that old Donald Rumseld quote:
[T]here are known knowns; there are things we know we know.
We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don't know we don't know.
Writing one of these scenes made me realise how little I knew about the subject matter. Luckily I had some great reference books at hand.
At this point my goal is to have a second draft done by early October. And then, depending on the quality of that draft, send to beta readers that same month.
Still confident that I can have something polished by the end of the year.
I've also been thinking more about the follow-up book, which is tentatively titled 'Dark Matter'.