If I could have figured out a word for "draft" that started with the letter 'F', I could have had alliteration. Oh, well.
But, it's true! Fathom Five's first draft is now complete, as of 10:43 a.m. on Wednesday, August 7, 2002. Born in December 2001, the story is 41,500 words long and took nine months to reach this position (no pregnancy jokes, please. Rosemary and Time reached submission stage in December 2001, taking five months to get there). So, time for me to do the happiness dance.
It's not over, not by a long chalk. The story has to be edited and rewritten. The word length will likely come down by as much as 3000 in the coming months as I prune and fix. I could work on the climax and some of the characterizations, and I can try to insert relevant details to ensure consistency and help the story come alive. Overall, however, I'm happy with the result. Peter and Rosemary's relationship is developed nicely, and the story feels different enough, but good enough, to stand out from Rosemary and Time's shadow.
So, though there's still a lot to do, my priorities must now turn to the Trenchcoat Farewell Project. And then in the distance there's The Young City. Though it Fathom Five will be well over a year old before I consider it finished, this change in priorities is a good thing. If you edit your own work, you are far more effective when you put your novel in a drawer somewhere and don't look at it for at least a week -- preferably a month.
So, everybody cheer: pending the publication of Rosemary and Time and the commissioning of a sequel, there are now two books in the Rosemary and Peter sequence, looking to be on your bookshelf in the distant future.