Introduction to the Accountability Post 2021 Week 11
In my previous post, I mentioned that I was coming up on a milestone: I was about to exhaust the old beats-ish work I’d done. That also means I was about to embark on writing all new chapters. It also meant I was going to rely completely on the braided plot outline.
Before I disclose whether that succeeded or not, I have good news and bad news. First, the bad news. I didn’t write a single word on Saturday, March 13, 2021. That’s the first time I missed one of my three weekly sessions since I started this sprint back on December 28, 2020.
The good news is why: My daughter and son in law welcomed their first child into the world! I’m a grandpa now. In terms of accomplishments, even if I never publish a single novel, I’ll die knowing that my life was a success at least where it really counted.
We Have Cleared the Tower
So, did I actually put the beats-ish work behind me? Did I write a write a chapter free and clear of their influence? Yep. I finished converting the last three beats-ish outlines into first drafts on Tuesday, March 9, 2021, and I wrote the first chapter using only the braided outline on Sunday.
The 67th chapter was the first to be written without a prior outline/beats-ish chapter guiding it. I had no idea Harper Applewhite would show up, either!
The good thing about outlining each chapter ahead of time was that I was able to work out sets and characters. I thought that was a huge advantage. In retrospect, it helped in some regards. But the more chapters I write, the better I know the characters and world. So by the time I got to end of the beats-ish outlines, what I thought would be the case at a specific point in the plot had changed significantly. So, the more chapters I wrote, the less useful the outlines were.
On the other hand, having the characters defined ahead of time, along with any sets, did save some time during writing. For Chapter 67, “Not Cut Out for This,” I only found out about nurse Harper Applewhite when Quaid Adair needed a flashback. Dude could have told me! I had to stop writing, flesh out the nurse, then design a hospital emergency room. Okay, I borrowed an existing design, but still, it took time.
However, it didn’t take that much time, as you’ll see in the next section.
Accountability Post 2021 Week 11 By the Numbers
By the end of last week, I’d reached 74,877 words, for a total weekly count of 7,714 words. I’ve already confessed I missed Saturday. How’d the number look overall?
Missing Saturday was worth it!
I had a good Tuesday (March 9). As you can see, Sunday’s output barely broke 2000 words. The grand total is now 80,306 words. Having to take the time to define a character and a set reduced the individual day’s word count, certainly. But I don’t think the time needed to write a beats-ish outline plus the time to convert it to a chapter would have been an improvement. We’ll test that conclusion over the next several weeks as I increasingly write based off the braided plot alone!
Do you have any news about what you’re working on? Any tips about how you keep focused? Have you read anything that struck your fancy? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!