Finally got some non-work writing time set aside last night. I spent most of it doing some heavy, heavy restructuring. Basically I moved half of Character B's scenes up by one. What happens now is that Character A has top billing, but Character B has a longer intro scene. Hopefully this will augment the balance between the two.
This came as a result of me realizing that I'm a sixth of the way through the story, and I'm still at 165,000 words. More drastic measures have to be taken to reduce the word count. One part of me says its too early to be making drastic decisions like this, that I've still got a long way to cut, but I've also noticed that reductions have dropped off since the beginning. Not that the restructuring did anything to reduce the word count, but maybe I can kill a few darlings.
Doing a zipper story is hard, I don't think I'm going to do another one for a long time. It's difficult to maintain the balance between characters, making sure the timing's right. I get too wordy, and I'm not in the right place at my career (i.e., the beginning) to be attempting these writing challenges. I recently read that agents get very suspicious of new writers with novels over 120,000 words. I have doubt that I can reduce Black Hole Son to that length. Maybe close, but I think it's going to go over. So what might happen is that Black Hole Son ends up being my second published novel, and Mermaid story will be my first (aiming at 90,000 words for that one). Of course, that's pie-in-the-sky thinking, so we'll see what happens. No matter what I've still gotta keep working.