I thought it would take just one pass. I found myself going back and forth through Chapter 1 making major changes to a lot of scenes and then making tweak after tweak after little tweak until now it's all but perfect. All the typos and continuity errors are fixed, all the foreshadowing and revealing character moments inserted, all the words made right. I even converted all the dream and vision sequences into embedded poems, simply because I got bored with just italicized and double-indented narrative prose that looks like I copypasted it out of a nonfiction book on dreams, and because I found I can write dreams and visions better when they're in formatted free verse.
All this means: I'm finally finished editing Chapter 1! The final edit on it's almost done! Except for one scene: the new opening.
This new opening is formatted like a movie or TV script. I call it the "Propaganda Reel". Filmed, it's the bombastic opening to a patriotic superhero cartoon, with America itself the ultimate superhero, far greater than even the series' (antagonist) superhero team the Liberators. It's full of Hollywood Blockbuster bombast and the utter lack of originality caused by studio-enforced rigid conformity to Blake Snyder's Save the Cat! beat sheet. I realized I could map Christopher Vogler's hero's journey beat sheet to the Snyder template so that the Reel spins out an entire hero's journey for main antagonist Henry Becket (costumed as the superhero American Crusader in the Reel) telling of his 9/11/01-12/21/12 rise as he would have us see it in just 7-800 words of script, with the series itself being in part the tragedy of his fall, his fatal flaws being self-righteousness (an ever present danger for superheroes) and paranoia (a flaw that reaches deep into his backstory). The Reel's soundtrack is a pounding and bombastic military-metal theme song inspired by such songs as the G.I. Joe cartoon theme "A Great American Hero" and "America, Fuck Yeah!" from Team America: World Police. The Reel's plot? The deeply fascistic "Annihilation Plot" of Fort Apache and the movie version of World War Z.
The whole Propaganda Reel serves as an ironic counterpart to Chaos Angel Spanner itself, whose main plot commences with the first scene, Shira's defiant trash-talking videoblog post (and the plasma disruptor her brand new unlicensed 3D printer is building up). What better to show just what Shira and her friends and allies are up against? And Becket's actual appearances in the story reveal that he just might not be the hero he thinks he is; he might even be what his ex-wife and nemesis Willa (Shira's Rocker psychologist aunt) calls him, a mad-scientist villain who thinks he's the only sane man left alive.
One more scene left. I'll take a break to give the muse a rest (unless of course she has no intention of resting), and then I'll attack. One more scene...