It's been a year since I first opened Microsoft Word to write the outline of what would become Elemental Imbalance. I thought that I should give you a proper update of the work and how I have spent many hours since then. Also, the series will now span at least four books, not three like previously thought.
The first book in the series, Elemental Imbalance, saw major revisions in its second draft. I am much more satisfied with the book itself as a whole and can see its placement on bookshelves clearly now. It went from 84,000 words in the first draft to just over 76,000 in the second. I know now that the third draft will merely be a small clean up in grammar and syntax and I feel great about that.
I asked in one of my many writer's groups where they would go from there. I was undecided about the idea of running through the first manuscript a third time or starting the second book. They recommended starting the second book, Elemental Refugees, of which I have now finished the first three chapters. While its the first draft of the sequel, I can tell you that it is a bit easier to write now that my characters are established and I've committed all the quirky, crappy failures that often happen to writers in the first draft of their first novel. I would have to say that this second book probably won't need as major of an overhauling as its predecessor did.
In light of that, I'm going to finish the first draft of the second novel before going through the first novel for a third time. This does mean that I'm still a ways off from submitting to publishers or agents, because I need these drafts to the best that I can make them.
I will also add that my main protagonist in the first novel has had yet another name change. While Keelyn fit better than whatever she started with, Indra seems to suit her personality better. I will keep the name Keelyn in my back pocket because I'm sure it will have its use in the future. Just not right now.