I am now 75 pages (slightly less than 31,000 words) into completely rewriting the original "Goldenlea" material that I'm going to add onto my "Linen Butterfly" material to make into a single work. I'm progressing at a rate of roughly 3-5 short scenes per week which is slow, but it adds up.
One of the things I cringe at as I go through my old material is how terribly bad a lot of it was. I'm only able to reuse a few sentences or paragraphs here and there, but for the most part I'm just rewriting it scene by scene and cutting out many scenes that don't go anywhere or relate to old subplots that I'm no longer using. Probably the worst part is the dialogue, though; it's hard for a novice writer to write convincing medieval dialogue. Most either lace it with modernisms until it takes the reader out of the era entirely, or go with stilted, overly-formal quasi-Shakespearean rigamarole. But writing something that scans like authentic dialogue from a noble court of the 14th century while working in modern English is a real challenge that I'm only really starting to feel comfortable with after 13 years of constantly refining this project.
The plot will have changed substantially, so anyone who was lucky enough to read the first drafts of both will see a vastly different plot; I hope I don't disappoint. Personally, I'm loving how this is tightening up into a focused but intricate mix of sci-fi and period drama. This is the one I want to be uniquely my own blend of elements. I had originally conceived "Buttefly" as a PKD tribute but when "Vimana" eclipsed it, I lost the need to go there. The only PKD-esque element in the story will be the use of simulacra and vaguely Gnostic themes, but the treatment will be 100% unmistakably mine. I want it to be the sort of book that people point to as "Classic Rose LaCroix" and don't identify with anyone else.
Incidentally, I'm thinking of changing the title. "The Linen Butterfly" referred to a plot element that was mainly in the sequel material, and a good many mentions of its meaning were cut when I trimmed a subplot from the "Butterfly" material early on. I still want a snazzy title that conveys an imperfect simulacrum, though. Any suggestions?