Introduction to the Accountability Post 2021 Week 12
In last week’s post, I noted that I’m now writing strictly according to the braided plot outline. Over the next several weeks, I want to watch my average weekly word counts. I’m curious if some kind of real beats in the future might be worth the investment. It’s too early to know, but this week, I think I did realize one thing: Having a structure for behind the scenes materials helps a lot. Conversely, not having that structure hurts.
Better Living Through Standards
I used to be a Java developer. More than other languages I’ve used, a lot of what happens in Java has less to do with the language and more to do with standards around that language. Certain directory structures let a variety of build tools do their work. Certain conventions let objects interact. Turns out, it’s the same thing with having a framework for sets and characters involved in a book. At least, that’s the case with the way I approach writing.
I was back-filling chapters to prepare for two related plot points affecting Jack Booth and Melchizedek “Dek” Conrad. That’s when I realized I wanted some details about Booth’s office. I checked my Scrivener section for Places and didn’t see an entry for Booth’s office. I thought for sure I’d made one. But since I didn’t see it, I researched the Residence Palace in Brussels, which is where Booth’s office is located. I found some office layouts and put together the set.
A consistent way of organizing my data would have saved me about 15 minutes on Saturday. Just looking at the Places section, it seems I have a little more work to do!
When I tried to name it “Booth’s Office,” it told me that the name was already taken. Yes, I had created it, but I hadn’t put it in the right place. Now, if you look at the above image, you can see I’ve better organized my Places section. The lesson this week? Organization helps!
Accountability Post 2021 Week 12 By the Numbers
By the end of last week, I’d written 80,306 words with a total weekly count of 5,429. Keeping in mind that I had missed Saturday, March 13th for family business, that count was lower than most weeks. How’d I do last week?
It felt good to write during all three planned sessions last week!
I felt fortunate to have time to write during all three planned work sessions. The book’s word count is up to 86,301, and last week’s contribution was 5,995. Two weeks ago, I had hit 7,714 in a single week, so this count’s a bit low. I really did feel like I had to do some more pre-work this week to get ready for those plot points. Since the goal’s quality and I’m only using word count as an indication or progress, I’m going to declare last week a success.
In the coming week, I hope to keep an eye on how much set/character work I have to do. I’m trying to be conscious of how creative I’m being, too. I don’t want to get mentally lazy and let the plot kind of drift towards a climax. I want to purposely control the pacing, character beats, and plot developments to create an emotional reaction.
Other than “WTF”, of course!
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!