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Accountability Post 2020 Week 52

Introduction: Christmas 2020

Here’s my Accountability Post 2020 Week 52, as I promised in my December 21st post. This is my first weekly update on how much I’ve written for the working title A Ghast in the Shell. I’ll give you the counts in a minute.

Hint: Yes, I have counts to share. I know, the event shocked me, too.

Last time, I talked about how Dan Wells’ videos gave me the key I needed to get moving. There was another key that I’d like to share with you — something else I did to improve the odds that I’d put butt in chair and write.

I bribed myself.

Look, it’s not a crime if I bribe me, so I figured if it works, why not? It worked back in the 1980s, and I thought I’d give it another shot. I bought myself a new Apple MacBook Pro 13″ with the new M1 chip, and I bumped the RAM up to 16Gb and splurged on the 1Tb solid state drive. I connected it to my gaming monitor (an Acer X34P 34″ UltraWide). All I can say is that if I can’t write with that setup, I can’t write.

Everything you’ve heard about the new MacBook Pro (well, if it’s positive) is true. I wrote for between 2 and 3 hours at a sitting on battery power, and even driving that large monitor and using the beautiful, built-in Retina display as a secondary display, the battery only dropped to 85-90%. If you’re in the market for a new laptop, it’s absolutely worth considering.

How’d 2020 Week 52 Stack Up?

So, after the videos and the bribes, did I actually get any writing done? After all, there was Christmas in the middle of everything.

Yes, I actually did get some work done. Not a ton, but progress is progress. Here’re the word counts:

DateDaily TotalGrand Total

The numbers aren’t stellar. I had honestly hoped for more. Both writing sessions were about 2 or 2 and a half hours. But if previous experience is any indication, then I should get a bit faster as time goes on.

The amount of set building I had to do surprised me. I thought I was ready! But the opening scene (at least for now!) took place in the TransStell Deep Space number 1 platform (TDS-1), and I found I had not designed its launch control center. Plus, I had to map out the mud flats between Dunkirk and Brussels.


The Accountability Post 2020 Week 52 Includes Proof!

Well, it’s proof if you trust that I didn’t doctor the shot! Here’s what the Manuscript section looks like in Scrivener:

While I’m pretty sure that the chapter order is solid, I’m not numbering them in the Scrivener binder yet. But those represent the first drafts of chapters 1 through 5. Those cover the hooks for the main plot, Melchizedek “Dek” Conrad, and Jack Booth. It also includes the “Save the Cat” moment for Conrad.

I Can Hear the Old Demons…

It’s funny. All of the old doubts are not only still there, they seem to have practiced their delivery. They’re more convincing than ever. You’d think that after spending 1,228.5 hours writing anime reviews and related materials for my anime site during the Fall 2020 season that it would dawn on me that I can write steadily over time.

I’ve written that site since summer 2015, and I’ve published consistently ever since. You’d think my brain wold take some notice of that.

But no, I’ve already begun tearing apart my outline. I’m second guessing where I’m bringing Linda Southfield into the story. I’m worried that my hook for Booth isn’t strong enough.

Let’s hope my practical self wins out this time. My practical self says that it doesn’t matter if the writing sucks. It only matters if it’s on the page. I can always rewrite bad writing. But I can’t do much with an empty page.

If I get time, I hope to give you a review of The Quantum Garden by Derek Künsken. Was it as good as The Quantum Magician, the first book in the series? Hint: The post might include the word “giddy” in a non-ironic way.

Do you use Scrivener? Do you use labels and statuses? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!

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