News Progress Post

Accountability Post 2021 Week 28

Introduction to the Accountability Post 2021 Week 28

In last week’s post, I did something I haven’t done in a while. I was hopelessly optimistic! Where the heck did that come from? I’m kind spoiling the suspense around the question, “Did I push through Plot Turn 1 and hit Pinch Point 1?” Bu that’s okay. The fun isn’t in learning that the answer is “no.” The fun is learning why I didn’t make it. Well, it’s fun in retrospect, anyway! I also noticed what might be a trend, although with a total of 1 finished book under my belt (in modern times, anyway), it’s hard to say. I’ll be interested to see what you think.

But before I get into either of those topics, let’s take a look at the numbers.

Accountability Post 2021 Week 28 By the Numbers

I started the week with 15,625 words. Here’s how writing went:

The image gives you not only the word count, but an intriguing hint about how baseless optimism clouded my judgement!

As you can see, as of last night, the count for Book 2 – Epsilon Eridani was 23,664, for a weekly output of 8,039 words! That’s with the total count Sunday of a whopping 0 words! I was able to write on more weekday evenings by carefully choosing the anime to review for Crow’s World of Anime. If my weekend goes well, and there are no family emergencies, and I don’t get sick, and that damned creek don’t rise, I can finish writing my anime reviews by Sunday night. That means I only have one review to write during the week, and since it’s an older series, I’m not restricted to its air dates. In other words, I can be flexible.

That’s working so far. We’ll see how long I can keep it up. By Thursday, I felt myself dragging, which probably means I need to exercise more.

Baseless Optimism Strikes!

You know how I suggested that I might actually finish the Plot Turn 1 chapters and get to Pinch 1? Yeah, not even close. Three things prevented me from getting there. The first was a technical issue. As I hinted at by including the note “Lots of tech issues” in my word count graphic, OmniGraffle decided to hurl itself in front of my productivity. It did that back in Week 26, too. This time, it tried to affect the strategic balance of power in South America.

A major development happens because of how the United Nations divided its South America Command into North and South. I wanted to take a map of South America and draw a line on the borders that, taken together, represent the division. Despite Googling and experimenting, I, like others in OminGraffle’s support form, struggled to get something like free-hand working, at least with my rig. My iPad doesn’t support the Apple Pencil, and I don’t have drawing pad for my MacBook Pro. So, on my iMac, I fired up Adobe Illustrator (which I use for Crow’s World of Anime), and five minutes later, I finished.

I’m sure I was the problem with OmniGraffle. But I’ll say this: There’s a good reason Adobe is the industry leader. There’s nothing I could want to do with Illustrator that doesn’t have either an official Adobe training video or dozens of user-contributed tips.

The second was what something I should have expected, based on the whole single book I’ve finished in modern times. I had to do a lot of character and organization building for the next chapters. By “a lot,” I mean I had to flesh out the entire United Nations Defense Defense Protectorate’s Army of the Protectorate. I’m only interested in South America right now, but like N. K. Jemisin said in her Master Class (which I highly recommend!), I didn’t want to build only what readers would see, or even just a little more.

That means I need to understand the structures, because I’ve seen how that can drive the story in cool ways. So, I built out the world-wide structure, then focused on South America. I now know where the HQs are based, and I know what the buildings look like. Also, I know which have below-ground structures and which don’t. This is also the trend that I mentioned in the intro.

And did you know that my world banned most military and civil air travel? I didn’t, either! Turns out that partly in a failed attempt to cut back on green house gases, and mostly to protect the space elevators, by international treaty, only high-ranking government officials (and corporate Executives, of course!) can fly. And then using using helicopters. I never would have known that if I had not gone through this exercise. So, after two hours of construction, I’m now ready to write the next chapter.

The third thing that “slowed” me down was that the characters are really getting into this. Conrad visited a local bar, much to Matsushita’s consternation. It turned into an important plot point, and I hadn’t planned on that at all, except at a high-level. The same thing happened with Samuel Beauregard in Arequipa, where he’s working in the shadow of the Misti volcano (well, he’s in the shadow in the morning, because the volcano is to the east of the city). The characters and world are more focused now, and they’re interacting more freely.

Accountability Post 2021 Week 28: What’s On Deck for Next Week?

Lesson learned, so I’m not going to make any sweeping statements! Instead, I’m going to look at what’s right in front of me. This coming week, I intend to:

  1. Wrap up Liam Martin’s Plot Turn 1
  2. Dive into Atticus Porter’s Plot Turn 1
  3. Maybe get to Helmine Stein’s Plot Turn 1, but that’s probably a stretch objective

How do you handle technology obstacles? Do you have main and backup tools for a given domain like graphics? I’d love to hear about your approach in the comments!