I've decided, in the end, that "The Scorching" isn't a 'techno-thriller' as I originally intended.
It succeeds more as an adventure story.
Ironically, the more technical detail I learned, the less satisfied I was with it as a techno book. People reading it for that purpose were still going to find plenty wrong. Ironically, it will be a very well researched adventure story...
Meanwhile, the chapter headings with the "Incident Reports," which looked cool at first, just ended up being distracting. As did the tagged timeline, which I originally thought would add verisimilitude to the story. I've satisfied myself that the events all take place within a certain timeline, but I don't need to label it.
I also plan to take out any futuristic elements, which turned out to be so minor as to be--why are they there?
I'm going to take out a couple of mucky-muck meetings, and a chapter where one of the characters just sort of lectures the other character about facts and figures.
Streamline it into an adventure story, and I think it will read much better and--again, the irony--probably be more believable for not trying so hard to be believable. In a weird sort of way, I'm giving the subject matter proper respect by not pretending to be an authoritative expert.
In a nutshell, the book is starting to resemble my other books more than what I originally intended. I tried to reach high, but I just couldn't pull it off. By aiming lower, I'm actually writing a much better story, if that makes sense.
I'm at about 100K words now. I figure the changes will cut about 5K words or so, which is more than fine.
I really like this book, it just isn't what I thought it would be.
4 days ago