Peacekeeper is now at 76,000 plus words and I am now working on the final few chapters. Unfortunately, there's a LOT of editing left to do. The problem with trying to write a long novel on weekends only is that the details of the story tend to fade a bit in between times spent on the computer. As things are starting to come together, I've taken to adding to my todo list instead of going back and actually doing the editing. This way, I can actually finish the book and then go back and edit it.
Many of the problems involve character development and a few have to do with the timeline. I recently discovered that a fairly major character suddenly vanished toward the end of the story. Now, I'm a fan of the cult scifi classic "Plan 9 From Outer Space" where Bella Lugosi dies before finishing the movie so the director just drops his character, but that sort of thing won't fly in my books. I think the first editing pass is going to be a lot of work.
One of the other things involves the main character and how I would like the reader to get to know him very well. As I approach the end of the first draft I realize that I have not accomplished my goal. More things to add to the list of corrections.
In other news, I have to admit that I've recently learned a huge lesson about writing. I've read a number of books about writing and the knowledge of how to write a good story is there. I just have to learn how to apply it. Example: I submitted a short story that will be published as part of an anthology. Jody Nye and Mike Brotherton are editing it. Jody is a fantastic editor and she gave me some good tips on how to turn my otherwise good short story into a great story. Everything she said was something I'd read about and thought I had learned. Reading and applying that knowledge are two very different entities. In writing, the only way to apply your knowledge is to write and have someone point out where you didn't apply that knowledge. She has been very patient and the end result is a very good story.
Writers need to learn from each other. The more experienced ones should help those who are starting on that path find the right road. If you are new to writing, find yourself a good writers group with some experienced members and join. Bring what you are working on to the meeting and LISTEN to the advice. If you can't take criticism then you shouldn't be a writer. Anyone who has ever learned how to ski knows you can't learn unless you fall down a few times. Learn from the fall, get back up, and try again. Eventually, you will be writing great stories.