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The Novel, as I’ve mentioned before, is stretching out much longer than I initially expected. I planned to have the ending come at about 400 pages and 100,000 or so words.

I just passed 600 pages and I’m at about 150,000 words. (I say ‘about’ because I have 139k transcribed and an estimated 10k-ish in longhand.)

Thinking about it over the weekend, I broke The Novel down into four sections. The first two are pretty straightforward military SF. The last of the four is turning out to more or less fit that mold. In my opinion, those three pieces could fit together, with some significant revision, into either a series or a really long book. Their stories are separated enough by time and distance, and are complete enough, that they could each become books in a series. They are also closely related enough that with some severe editing, condensing them into one long-ish story isn’t entirely out of the question.

The big question is what to do with the outlier. The outlier, in shooter’s terms, is the shot that deviates significantly from the mean of the other efforts. Section three (which is the biggest of the four) doesn’t fit with the theme of the others. It’s a little too similar to the old pulp stories like ‘Amazonian Women on the Moon’ or ‘It Came From Beyond the Stars’.

There’s some pretty cool stuff in it, IMHO, things that I don’t want to throw away, but it’s going to have to come out. I will make every effort to salvage the section and perhaps develop it into its own separate story. It promises to be a painful process.

This, then, is my first direct experience with having to ‘murder my darlings’, though murder isn’t perhaps quite the right word. Placing them in a long, sustained, suspended animation is perhaps more accurate.