So, work. That's a thing. They cut my route down to a reasonable size, and just 3 months later, it's huge again. *sigh*
Anyway, while working on a second draft of Memories of What Never Was, I took a look back on Spires of Infinity, and, well, I can see exactly what's wrong with it now. It's the same problem I've been complaining at Hollywood for the last few years about. They keep trying to make extended cinematic universes without setting anything up first. DC's cinematic Universe is probably the most famous what not to do story lately, but you've also had Sony's Spider-Man cinematic universe flop, Universal's Dark Universe also flop, Sony back again with their Ghostbusters cinematic universe flopping haaaaaaard. All of these things have one big problem in common. They're trying to build the universe, before telling a story. And that's the real problem with Spires of Infinity. I was trying to tell the bigger story that's happening outside of that book, rather than focusing on what that book was actually about. I tossed in all sorts of references to other stories I have swirling around in my head, and characters that didn't really belong in Spires just to connect it to other stories I was planning to write. And I never really put all that much effort into making solid characters and a good story for them to be participating in. It was all just sort of set up for other stories I wanted to tell.
So, while I'm editing Memories, I'm also sort of rewriting Spires on the side. There are several big problems with the original version of Spires that need to be fixed. First is that half the cast really has no business being part of the story. They, and their storylines, are gone. Second, most of the things that tie this story in with other stories I may write in the future have been removed. I left one of them in, because I can't figure a way to make the story work without it, but the rest of them are now gone. Third, I'm changing the core cast of characters to be more well rounded characters with solid pasts, personalities, and reasons for being who they are, and for doing what they're doing. Fourth, I'm getting rid of the talking cat, because, well, it's one of those things that seemed like a good idea at the time, but the more I think about it, the less it really fits into the story. I mean, there are a few pretty good jokes I made with it, but, it just doesn't really fit the story. With all the things I'm removing from the story, and all the other things I'm fleshing out, I hope to hit about 90,000 words with it, which is about the average length of a sci-fi book these days, rather than the 140,000 words that the original was, which is more in line with an epic fantasy book.
The original idea I had was to take a bunch of short stories I had previously written and mash them together into one big story, but that idea doesn't really work with the core story of Spires, either, so that aspect is gone now as well.
As NaNo is a little over a month away, I was thinking of powering through a big chunk of the new version of Spires of Infinity then, and may start posting some chapters from the first draft of the rewrite soon.
I also took some time off to write a Novella called Identity, which is about a routine time travel trip gone horribly wrong, and deals with questions of what makes us who we are? Is it the time and place we live in? Our bodies? Our minds? Our souls? Are we still the same person if we find ourselves trapped in another place, another time, and another body? I've been shopping it around to a few literary magazines, but had no offers on it yet. I may post that on my site soon as well.