- I knew the beginning didn't work, but some of it can be cannibalized to illustrate where Ping is mentally.
- I think the buildup to the climax is good, but precisely what Ping does at that moment does not logically follow. Emotionally it could follow, but it would need a hell of a lot more explanation and this isn't going to be a novel. Don't have time. So we will turn the gun in the more sensible direction and still get catharsis. Just in a different way.
- Dialing back on the suicidal thing, too. Jittery, short tempered, miserable... and in denial.
- Because of time/length (because time is space, as Einstein pointed out) I'm going to fight my tendency to use a third person objective limited POV. See that chicken livers post for more on that. Actually, the POV as it currently stands isn't too well defined, so shifting it to the very popular third person subjective limited should be do-able.
This's why putting your writing down for a while and coming back with a clear mind is so important. Ping's had some time off and now I'm going to need to get inside his head. A couple years are coming off his age and I'm going to try to remember how it felt to be restless, dissatisfied, itching to go. That feeling I had between high school graduation and moving into the dorm at college. That was quite a while ago.
Or maybe that summer after I finished college, when the job search was tanking fast and I ended up working full time on the breakfast shift at McD's. Constantly tired, sore, bored as hell and no end in sight. That summer, I came to see why some people go straight to a bar after work. Glad that I didn't, but I understood it.
Write what you know, right? People seem to think that means I'd have to know something about living on a rock out in space, but I disagree. "Write what you know" refers to the emotional content of the story. Everything else can be researched or invented.