The past week I edited the existing chapters, as planned. One chapter grew so long that I had to split it in half, meaning I now have 8 chapters instead of 7 chapters. I thought of just cutting stuff out to bring that one chapter back down to size, but I realized there were interesting and relevant things there that needed drawing out, so as I drew them out, I cut them off and made a separate chapter out of it.
The "darkness" that had me bothered last week is much more tolerable now. I added some lighter stuff in where I could to balance it out, and managed to keep the sense that something dark has happened but we're still in a fun story in spite of it. I especially enjoyed adding extra bits of dialog into a couple of scenes to draw out more of the humor between the characters. It's humor for humor's sake, and it was fun to work with. It also shows a little more of a glimpse into how these characters really would interact with each other, if we could watch them beyond the narrow focus of what's happening in this plot line. Adds a sense that they have lives beyond just the story.
I'm still trying to get these chapters just right so that I can then stop, refocus, and plow on ahead with new material. I look forward to writing a few more chapters all at once, like I did with these existing chapters. I have about a third of the novel already -- written in one week, edited in one week (plus...). I just need to wrap this up as best I can and push on as soon as I can.
I can say at this point that Chapters 1-5 are pretty much DONE, and Chapter 6 is nearly done, and then I still have to work more on Chapters 7-8. If I can get a lot of work done this weekend, I might be able to wrap this up, but I suspect it will take another week to accomplish this editing, and by mid-week or late next week I'll finally be able to break new ground again. That's fine. I really like the quality and nature of the stuff I'm producing.
I'll post again Saturday, hopefully, with more news.