Decided today to stay up as late as necessary to finish the first two chapters, so I can print them out at work tomorrow and make copies for Saturday's crit group meeting. I managed to finish them before midnight.
I read them over. You know, they aren't half bad. The two viewpoint characters' voices are too similar, and overall it's heavy on exposition. But that's only to be expected in the early chapters of a science fiction novel. We'll see what people think of them.
I've written before about the concept of "trajectory." In a short story the arc that started with a fast rise would have returned to earth (in a different place) after only five or ten thousand words, but here it's still climbing rapidly. I won't have to start pulling things together toward a conclusion for months yet at this rate. It is, in some ways, liberating.
Her first impression was of black glass. The aliens were hard and black and shiny, each a polished collection of too many armored limbs, knees and elbows bristling with dangerous ridges and spines like shattered glass sculptures. The nearest one stepped toward Rachel as she came into its field of vision, gleaming armor plates sliding smoothly against each other with a sense of controlled muscular tension. It moved like an athlete. It moved like a soldier. There was no wasted motion. It had a terrible beauty.