I went in, this morning, hacked out loads of superfluous endings crap and rearranged the latter part of the book so that it 'worked' but left the reader 'hanging onto an uncertain future' for himself, his fellow man and planet Earth.
It's got structure, unlike any other book I've written - you can expect 'structure' if you've spent (essentially) three years of your life 'researching' the world the book's about to inhabit - but it doesn't have classical three-act narrative structure. It has what I'd like to call CRISIS POINTS. There are several in the novel, and one or two of them had to be spliced into earlier in the novel so that later events might have more meaning; more resonance. This 'fluid architecture' was built up in different strata or layers so that the very simple "do right by" Free Planet premise (that I've taken such 'stick' over) could be properly slaughtered on the altar of dramatic sacrifice.
And there's a lot of sacrifice in the novel.
Lots of that good 'horror' stuff that so attracted me to the form. And then there's the open-ended resolution, the last few chapters involving The Illuminati? Can that really be the end?
Second draft will be the 'fleshing out and concreting of the timelines' but, as it stands, I'm VERY HAPPY with where this novel went, even though I performed my own Devil's Advocate exorcism on some of the specific Free Planet issues expressed in the Free Planet blog that became the Free Planet FREE ebook.
What I've achieved with this Free Planet novel is to 'take a naive idea' and put it through the adult grinder. It's truly horrific and asks some insane questions of Humanity, as a global race of seven billion sovereign individuals. Meat, of some intellectual/entertainment substance, has extruded out the other side and I can't wait for you all to read it.
Mike Philbin, Oxford, UK
March 29th 2012.