Introduction to the Accountability Post 2021 Week 13
I woke up around 1:30AM this morning to a terrible realization: I’d forgotten my week 13 accountability post! Not forgot to publish it; forgot it entirely! It’s the end of the Winter 2021 anime season, and Monday night, I stayed busy working on episode guides for the series I’ve been reviewing. They kept me so occupied that my subconscious felt compelled to wake me up to remind me about this post.
It was an interesting week, too. I had looked forward to talking about it! Well, better late than never.
World Building Reduces Word Count
Back when I tried to write beats, I would build out the world as needed. So as I converted those beats-like chapters into actual chapters, I found that I had already created most of the world elements I needed. Well, as I built the plot outline using Dan Wells’ technique, I didn’t think as carefully enough about what I would need by/at each plot point. So this week I had to build out not one but two massive government structures. Jack Booth had to contact a Regional Air Force (RAF) Wing Commander, but I couldn’t have her just hanging out without a chain of command. Position details helps me writer a character in his or her own space. So, I had to define her position.
Then, since Booth is part of the Foreign Ministry in the Great Britain Commonwealth, I had to define his relationship up through the Foreign Minster, then across to the Minister of Defense and down through the Chief of the Air Staff and so on. I had to do this to make sure I understood how the two would interact. What rivalries did their Ministers have? Their services? That’s particularly important for Booth, who’s not confined to one service.
Thanks, Chloe! You just had to be relatively realistic!
And of course, I couldn’t content myself with using the existing real-life implementations. I had to start with the fall of the British Monarchy, and ripple that through the government and the related territories.
Booth, not content to make me create one entire governmental structure, had to also contact someone in the military on the EU side. So, I had to study up on the EU military’s current structure and try to project it forward. I ended up making the Crisis Operations Core a permanent fixture and built on it. Because when Booth contacted the Colonel in charge of CROCL (the lunar Crisis Response Operations Core facility), the two had to interact not only as an EU Minister of Parliament and an EU military officer, but also as a British government employee and a rival military’s officer.
You’ll see the impact this had on my word count (below).
Accountability Post 2021 Week 13 By the Numbers
Last week, I’d gotten to 86,301 words. The single week total was 5,995 words. Here’s what last week looked like:
World-building isn’t free!
This week, I reached 90,582 words for a weekly total of 4,281 words. I think focusing on the plot outline and skipping the beats is my best bet, at least in terms of throughput. World building slowed me down a little, but I think the average speed of “outline + beats + world building + first draft” is still longer than “outline + world building + first draft.”
The biggest questions in my mind is how this’ll impact character details and interactions. My characters have a tendency to head off in different directions, even with an outline. Those directions and details build into later developments. Beats-ish chapters helped me explore those. I’m going to watch that idea as I get closer to finishing the first draft.
Which is an exciting thought — actually having a draft! I’ll tell you what: I’m looking forward to that!
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!