Although I'm a long way from just the start, I thought I'd log my progress here. (I tend to leave my work from time to time in favour of other things and perhaps with others able to see my progress or lack thereof, it'll prod me into keeping my pace up.) A few months ago, I finished Cast Into New Eden, a sci-fi whodunnit-ish that was somewhat more concerned with the personal journey of the main character, Steve Wilson. Steve is a(n Australian) police detective seconded for duty with the Federation of Spacefaring Nations some 150 years or so in the future. He is sent via experimental means to the remote planet New Eden to investigate a murder, the first off-Earth. Length topped-out at around 180 kilowords. If anyone is interested, it's up on Smashwords. I'm around 35 kilowords into the sequel, Trouble In New Eden. And it needs to be torn down and rebuilt. Simply, I repeatedly failed to treat the work as a stand-alone novel, and before I knew it, I had a mass of characters all vying for the reader's attention, and then tried to cobble some exposition into the prose so that the reader would get some idea of who the characters were. Eleven, in total, with some scenes containing as many as six characters. Just too many to juggle (and I think, to give meaningful dialogue to) and I felt the work was about to implode. Given the detail I put into character dossiers, and the way I want them to contribute to Steve's journey, I had to come to a halt and rebuild from the second sentence. (The first is set: The little boy screams.) I'm also trying use the AuthorSalon six-act structure which I think has a fair amount of merit. (There's a lot of useful stuff there.) I've established the themes for the story, and I know how Steve is going to change over the course of the novel, and I think I have a fairly despicable antagonist. I know where and how I'm going to raise the stakes, to keep things going forward. I don't have a reversal in mind yet, but I will before too much longer. I use WriteItNow to keep everything together, which has some really nice features, not the least of which is ease of use. I've tried most, if not all the other leading software and this works best for me. I spat the dummy (pacifier) with Win 8 some months ago, and now work in Linux Mint, with WIN in a virtual box and all works well. So I'm just pulling characters out of scenes and assigning important parts of the story to those who remain. I hope it won't take too long, but I'm convinced it's necessary.