I have finished a second manuscript (Messioph : The First Book of Ido) for submission to my freelance editor, and have begun work on the rewrite for Pinnacle. I had been worried about this effort. Pinnacle was the very first novel I wrote, and I always felt it was weak compared to many of the others I have written since. Furthermore, it has been cannibalized several times, first as background for the short story about Relliana ("Body Morph") and then again as fodder for the opera project. So the new version needs to not only revise the original story but also to bring in the elements addressed in both the short story and the operatic version. This is a tall order.
I am pleased to report that I have come up with a new outline that does all this and more. I think this will be what I need to make this into a powerhouse of a book, addressing all the issues that have become associated with this story - the power of young people, issues of conformity and bullying, tolerance towards difference and the emergence of radical otherness - while still laying the ground for Oreph's later journey. Already, I have redone the first chapter and from its very beginnings, this story now takes hold of the reader in a way it didn't do before!
Above is a new illustration I have developed for the Great Rift, an opening in the side of the floating city called the Orr Enclave where the events of Pinnacle : The First Book of Eng take place.