I've finished chapters 16-20 of the second draft of Spires of Infinity and you can download them at the bottom of this page.
So, if you couldn't tell, I made a goal for myself to complete 10 chapters a week on this story until I'm done. I sat down with a calendar and made myself a schedule to follow on what chapters I'm going to do when, and so far I've been able to keep to it. This is partially made possible by the fact that this story is BY FAR the best thing I've ever written. If I can entertain myself with it, I have a pretty good feeling others will like it as well.
Anyway, these five chapters have seen some major overhauling. Nothing has really "changed" in them except for some minor stuff dealing with Kari's personal crisis. The majoirty of the changes have been to remove a lot of clunky writing, and several things that really didn't belong. As a resuly I've managed to cut 4000 words out of this chunk of the story alone. Everything got majorly streamlined in these chapters and the story flows along sooooo much better now.
In these Chapters, things change tone a bit for Kari and the twins, the last story with them was a bit of a transition from lighthearted adventure to seriousness, and in this part, things are very dark for them, including capture, implied torture, and personal crisises that will be the basis for later actions and struggles.
I'm really happy with how this draft is turning out, and I'm frankly having the time of my life with it. People are even commenting that I seem different at work. part of me wishes I'd continued working on Spires of Infinity rather than tackling the beast of Exile, but you know what? In editing Exile I got a crapton of experience editing and rewriting that is coming in very handy with my work on Spires. Working on that story made me a better writer so that I could do better work on this one. Which, on further thought, may have been the reason my agent suggeted I work on Exile before finishing Spires.
I've managed to cut over 14,000 words from the story in this draft, just through tightening things up so they make more sense and flow along better. Currently I'm 43% done with draft 2. Hey look, I remember how to do math. Remember math? Didn't it suck?