First: Get a lot of the latest iteration of the cover art for Unmortal! Barring a better concept, I'm most likely going to stick with this one as our final design. It also shapes up nicely against the others in the Infinimata lineup (compare it with the covers in the sidebar). Aside from a consistent typeface and element mix, another thing I wanted with the Infinimata "look" was a certain flavor of imagery -- steely sleek and fiery, like the curves on a new car.
Second: What's going to go between those covers is shaping up nicely, too. I spent the last couple of days doing what I call a "rundown" -- a scene breakdown, written from scratch, using the existing manuscript as a guide. The idea is to figure out what's there now, what's not there yet, what needs to be there, and how to connect those dots.
I've mentioned before about how a story changes when you're down in its trenches as opposed to 30,000 feet up. The original outline I wrote for Unmortal I only ended up following in the most remote way. By the time I was 2/3rds of the way through the story, I realized I needed to back up and reassess. Fall Of The Hammer had the same thing happen to it as well. No way I could properly finish that knowing how much I'd already deviated from my plan, so I backed up and did a "draft 1.1" rewrite.
Two kinds of things have been missing so far. One is simple connective tissue for the plot: how details make their way onto the page, and how they're developed. The other is the fulfillment of the promise that various characters bring to the story. I had many situations in my outline where I'd introduce characters and give them things to do, only to find in the actual story those things didn't fulfill the promise I'd implicitly made to the reader about what they were or what they stood for. All that needs to be whipped into shape.
It occurs to me that while the general methodology for each of my books has been the same, the exact sequence of steps used to enact that methodology has not. Hammer and Unmortal both had/have a lot of back-and-forthing in their genesis. But not because they were troubled books; only because I knew that extra degree of work was needed to make them really sing out and shine. It was those books' ways of telling me, "Don't get lazy now. I need you."
New York City
Other Lives Of The Mind