I have just finished the third draft of the new novel -- incorporating a multitude of changes as suggested by my faithful and ever-helpful readers. For the most part, the comments were exactly in tune with what was in my own mind. I created the first draft at very high speed -- about a fortnight of writing -- and intended that it should tell the story in bare outlines, sticking to the thriller format of keeping things MOVING at all times! I knew that in thrillers you don't have much time to spend on purple prose and character development -- in many thrillers you really have no idea what the hero looks like or what motivates him, and more often than not you couldn't care less..... Speed is what matters, and to hell with depth. But that's not very satisfying from an author's point of view -- the interactions between characters are what gives novels their appeal, and a story is much more likely to be popular (I hope!) if the reader empathises with the main characters and actually has an interest in what happens to them as the story unfolds.
So the main comment was that the characters had to be fleshed out more -- and I have obliged on that score, while pushing the word count up from 67,000 to 97,000. There are now much better descriptions of the key players in the story, many more interactions between them, a whole host of moral dilemmas, new characters who bring extra dimensions to the story, many more adventure episodes, and a more fully fleshed out climax to the story.
The next task is to find an agent ---- and things are moving along on that front.
In the meantime, I keep on finding more and more fantastic images of the area in which the story is set. East Greenland -- it doesn't get much more exotic!