I've finished chapters 21-25 of the second draft of Spires of Infinity, much to my Agent's pleasure, and they can be downloaded at the bottom of this page
Currently the second draft is 151,535 words long and is at 48% completion. Considering the first draft was 166,888 words long, I think I'm doing pretty good. Normally a second draft would be half again as long as the first by now, but this was was written well enough that most of the changes needed so far have been deletions and paraphrasing rather than additions. So, at halfway I've managed to cut out 15,000 words. If I can cut another 15,000 from the second half I'll be looking very good on length. The typical mainstream novel is 75k-100k words in length. Sci-fi and fantasy typically run longer at 150k-200k, with notable exceptions up to 300k and beyond. 135k is the perfect length for a sci-fi book from an unpublished author like me.
There are some minor major changes to the story in these chapters. I call them minor major changes, because it did not take much work to edit them in, but they have a large impact on the story. Gabriel and Sam's relationship goes a lot deeper than in the first draft here, and a few other little bits were added in. One of them on a whim, but works for a bit of humor in an otherwise very serious chapter. Sometimes whimsy adds something to your writing that it needs, others it makes for something completely retarded and nonsensical. We'll find out which one this turns out to be in the final draft, I guess.
I've also been reading Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss, second in the trilogy that began with The Name of the Wind. I have to say that this book is FAR more entertaining than the first, and the story actually seems to be going somewhere, and bulding up to something now, which was something that the first book, entertaining as it was, lacked. These are fantasy books that I think even people who do not read fantasy or sci-fi would enjoy, just because of how entertaining the characters are, and how real they seem.
This is a good month for books, not only did Wise Man's Fear come out, but so does I Don't Want to Kill You, by Dan Wells, the next installment of his serial killer series.