I finished editing Dead Isle this afternoon. This pass was primarily to cut some length; I went back and checked my first draft's word count against this draft, and I did manage to cut it...from 200K words to 195K words. Job well done there, Starbuck.
It's good though -- there was a lot towards the end that wasn't made as clear as it could have been, and now it's much more coherent. I never liked the cheesy newspaper article as the ending, either, so I've left a bit of it and added a more proper epilogue-y scene. And a little more Anderson, which I know will please twirlynoodle
Plus, should I ever write a sequel, I have the plot built right in. I originally planned a trilogy, but I don't know that I have even a sequel in me just now; perhaps one day. I can't deny it would be fun to write a novel about Barataria, the country that almost-was. I used to think historical fiction, even fantasy historical fiction, was too hard; there's just too goddamn much to know, and too many ways to mess it up. But a history of the American deep south and the golden age of piracy can't possibly be as difficult to untangle as the history of Australia, and I managed that (though not without both flow-charts and an extensive bookmarks list).
One of the things that turned up in recent research -- because I realised I knew nothing about indigenous Australian weaponry -- was an astoundingly beautiful Aboriginal-made dagger
. I don't know that this is a historical design, because I haven't found any pieces in Australian museums that match it, but apparently coastal tribes did have the habit of studding their weapons with shark's teeth. It's more common in the Polynesian islands, and seems quite common to indigenous Hawaiian culture, but it appears to have made its way to mainland Australia too.
At any rate, it's nearly done. I need to do one more pass through to change some things I put in notes -- for one, I need to take a long hard look at the whole use of the word Tribals -- but that shouldn't take long. I'm pleased; I'm a month under my self-imposed deadline. If I do this well with all the deadlines I set for 2012, it'll be a very productive year.