Progress Post

Accountability Post 2021 Week 18

Introduction to the Accountability Post 2021 Week 18

As I inch closer and closer to finishing the first draft, two things have jumped out at me. These things might affect how I approach preliminary work on the next book. I’ll need to think about it, and I want to finish this draft to gather more information.

First, I’m getting farther and farther away from the combination outline/beats I had tried to write. As I do, I find that I’ve had to build more sets and add more characters per unit of work than I did compared to when I wrote the first draft of material that had been based on that previous work. That makes sense, right? The plot braiding outline I put together is really high level. It makes sense that I’ll need to add the details I didn’t add during the outline process.

Second, I’ve noticed that the lack of detail also forces me to jump back and add a sentence here and there for either foreshadowing or preparation. If I need a fleet of spaceships in position in chapter 90, I need to get them moving, for a plausible reason, in chapter 20. Even within the solar system, it takes time for ships to move around, and I hope to appeal to hard science fiction fans. That means keeping the science as accurate as possible. That’s been taking about 10-15 minutes at the start of each 2 hour writing session. It’s not a huge investment. Again, I want to finish this draft before considering how to improve the process for the next book.

I just wish I had more time to devote to writing. I often joke that I don’t feel quite human; that I emulate human behavior based on my observations from a platform in high orbit. But in this regard, more than almost any other, I feel completely human. Don’t most of us want more time to write? But there’s this whole “putting food on the table” thing that I have to deal with…

Accountability Post 2021 Week 18 By the Numbers

In my previous post, I reported that for the week, I’d written 6,685 words to take the total first draft word count to 114,729 words. How’d I do this week?

Accountability Post 2021 Week 18: The word count continues to rise!

I had to go out of town April 30, so I didn’t get any writing done on May 1. I made up for that 2 hour block on May 3.

This week, I wrote 6,755 to take the total count to 121,484 words. All three days, like the week before, were clear of obstructions/distractions, so I think the count represent my cruising speed.

This week saw me finish the first draft of a couple more Plot Turn 2 moments. I need to write two more of those, plus one late Pinch 2 (late in comparison of the others). Then I “just” need to write the Resolution for the main plot and six subplots. I’m getting seriously anxious as I move all potential moments (i.e., existing only in outline) to actual moments (drafts). Anything can happen in potential. Potential can be amazing! But my actuals never live up to their potential, and that’s what is making me anxious. Cause the unfortunate truth is that I can only share the actual with the world.

Well, back to rule #2 in Robert A. Heinlein’s 5 Rules For Writers!

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!

3 thoughts on “Accountability Post 2021 Week 18

  1. I find my plot is a moving target. As soon as I get close to a point, something changes and I’ll do a quick change to the outline before moving on.

    That way if something happened that needs more attention I can do that. I prefer to think of it as a roadmap. I need to get from A to B and have a bunch of stops planned for the trip. Then, if something else catches my eye I can deviate, as long as I come back to the main route.

    1. That’s what I’m seeing, too.

      Having the overall outline, along with the major points for each subplot, helps keep me on track. But those little excursions to the side seem to add character or world depth without getting off topic.

      I’m also finding I’m generating ideas for the next books, too. Sometimes I have to intentionally decide to leave something out of this book, or maybe on hint at it, so I can develop it in a future book.

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