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Accountability Post 2021 Week 15

Introduction to the Accountability Post 2021 Week 15

Another Shock!

Two things impacted my word count this week. The first thing I more or less expected, but the second thing took me by surprise. Since both within the outline I wrote, you might think I shouldn’t be surprised. You’d be right! But I think I know what happened.

In the first case, I had to take some time to design Alder’s office. But, it couldn’t be any old office. It had to be higher than Booth’s office, which is on the fourth floor of the Residence Palace in Brussels. In my novel’s future setting, several European Union Parliament committees have taken over the building. The ECON Committee, which Alder chairs, is one of those committees. So it makes sense that Alder’s office would be in that building.

But, the office needed to occupy a more prominent location. So, I researched the Residence Palace as it is today with a view toward adding a few new floors. Then, because I wanted to have the scene firmly set in my imagination, I chose the northeast corner for his office with windows facing north. I used Google Maps’ Street View to look in that direction to see what Booth would see out the window. I have to say I love Street View. There have been days where I got lost walking around Arequipa, Peru, looking for the site of the rescue Martin and Colonel Mamani orchestrated.

Well, More a Surprise than a Shock

Ah, but my imagination informed me I needed more! It couldn’t just be any office. It had to be a special office. So I did search into office furnishings until I had some shots that helped me balance the room.

I think I designed the office to showcase Alder’s personality. You can see some of the other sets and locales I’ve designed in the left nav pane.

It’s a scene that’s in a single chapter. I doubt I’ll visit that room again. But it was a critical scene. I had to get it right! Or at least as right as I can get it. You’ll see the impact it had on my Sunday writing output (below). I think it was worth it. It set the tone and dramatized a turning point in Booth and Alder’s relationship. I’m anxious to see how readers respond to it!

The surprise came when I realized two beats-ish outlines I thought I’d discarded came back to life. I had not expected Pope Nauman I of the American Catholic Church and his Secretary of State, Cardinal Clifton Tadlock, to be in this book. But I got to about chapter 80 and realized, “Crap. I need to have their foreshadowing.” So, they’re back! Those beats-ish were practically first drafts, so they bumped up my word count on Saturday.

I should not have been surprised, since those scenes had been in the original. Now that I’m more into the plot, I suspect they’ll play a bigger role in books 2 and 3. Live and learn!

Accountability Post 2021 Week 15 By the Numbers

In my accountability post for last week, I mentioned I’d written 6,337 words to bring the total to 96,919 words. How’d I do this week?

It’s kinda rare for an unexpected turn of events to improve my word count!

This week, I wrote 6,695 words to take the count to 103,614! It’s a completely arbitrary number, but I feel pretty good about heading north of 100,000 words! Now that I’m into 2021’s fifteenth week, I feel like I’m hitting stride. I’m more confident in the tools. In case you’re curious, here’s my tool set:

  1. Apple MacBook Pro: It’s the one with an M1 processor. It also has 16Gb of RAM and a 1Tb SSD drive. It’s hands down the best laptop I’ve ever owned.
  2. Scrivener: The harder I push it, the better it does.
  3. OmniGraffle: I design the spaceships, space stations, and org charts using OmniGraffle.
  4. Safari: I keep Pixiv running on one tab. For some reason, I find the ascetic inspirational. I open new tabs to scout for raw material for sets.
  5. Google Backup and Sync: Copies my updates off site in almost real time.
  6. Apple Time Machine: Backs up my changes in almost real time locally.

I have no complaints about this week. I’m trying to retain my focus when other parts of my brain are trying to discourage me by pointing out I need to write four books prior to launch to get the sequence right. Of course, the old demons told me that scenes like the one I just wrote will bore my readers to tears. Like I haven’t heard that one before… I guess I should be happy that those demons have had to change tactics!

Feedback Welcome!

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!

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