Just finished chapter 7, which was way more amusing to write than I was counting on, partly because of inter-character tension, partly because of some random details which manifested out of the gray froth of my subconscious. Namely, the appearance of a drunken hobo flower plant and some cleaning squids. It's a weird setting.
Chapter 8 is when shit officially Gets Real. It's the last chapter before the final act. It looks like the rough draft is going to wind up right around forty-some thousand words, which is close to where I was shooting. This time around I'm going for tight-but-short, instead of loose-but-way-too-long, on the general theory that it's easier to add awesome stuff than to remove awesome stuff.
It's also mostly a piece of detective fiction and, frankly, I have to go back and layer in details to make the plot hang together. I've got the bones of the important stuff in there, but there's definitely some parts where the chain needs more links for it to become an actual mystery and not, say, completely stupid.
That's the main difference between detective stories, as opposed to just about everything else. You have to write everything backwards. When you're chunking out a rough draft, you're still surprising yourself, discovering what the story's going to be about. Mysteries require a bit of deliberation and at least some sort of appearance of fore-thought, which is not my forte and something I always have to add in later.
There's also a great deal of detail in the setting I want to layer in. As it stands now, it doesn't quite feel like science fiction. Not yet. There's not as much of a sense of place as I want there to be, and I think that's just something I'll have to smooth in during post-production.