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Accountability Post 2021 Week 38

Introduction to the Accountability Post 2021 Week 38

Now that the novel is moving from midpoint to pinch 2, I’ve discovered something that I probably knew at one time. It’s something that makes perfect sense in retrospect, and it should probably become standard practice for me. At least, I think it should become standard practice as long as I can’t write full time! I’ll get into what that insight is after we talk about the key performance indicator for the week.

Accountability Post 2021 Week 38 By the Numbers

During week 37, I wrote 9,482 words to push the total to 95,976. Here’s how I did this week:

This week, I wrote 8,238 words, and the total word count for Book 2: Epsilon Eridani now stands at 104,241. I know it sounds unprofessional, but I have to admit that I get a kick out of hitting 100,000 words. It’s completely arbitrary. But it’s fun!

For the summer 2021 anime season (I write reviews on Crow’s World of Anime), I tried to pick shows whose release schedule would let me write most of the reviews on weekend afternoons. That left weekend mornings and weekday evenings mostly free to work on the novels. That helped a lot. I hope to do the same thing now that the Fall 2021 season is starting.

Book 1: 61 Cygni goes in for its developmental edit on October 11, 2021. I know this is overly dramatic, but I almost feel like my entire future rides on what I learn on October 15, when the developmental editor is finished. Though, if I think about it, my skill and experience have already determined my chances. The developmental editor will just give me an unvarnished opinion on that topic.

In other words, the milk’s done been spilled. Might as well keep writing!

The Value of Rereading Chapters

I’m juggling six distinct arcs that tie together at key points. What that means is I might go a week or two between writing Atticus Porter’s pinch 1 and his midpoint. I discovered this week that there was the value of going back to the most recent chapters in a character’s arc to pick up the minor plot threads I left dangling before starting on the next scenes.

I find I write on two completely different levels. There’s the plot braiding level, where I hit the pinch points, etc. The plot braiding worksheet keeps things aligned at this level. But then there’s the level of minutiae. A character might have a pendant Holo-D or a bracelet Holo-D. In the world I’m writing now, that makes a difference. Or one character might be trying to make another try a drink like Yerba Mate, whereas the other doesn’t really want to try it. I’m finding that making sure there’s continuity at this level can make a scene or a character feel more alive.

Yeah, I know. If you’re an experienced writer, you’re probably wondering why I’m mentioning something os obvious. Maybe you’re wondering why I don’t just champion the wonders of breathing air. But to keep myself motivated, I want to keep celebrating what I remember and what I learn new. Also, writing this stuff down helps me remember it.

Plus, I do think it’s cool that Atticus Porter’s head of household keeps trying to get him to sample South American drinks. It’s fun and it’s thematic!

Scorecard: Goals for Accountability Post 2021 Week 38

Previous Week’s Goals

  • Finish Atticus Porter’s Midpoint: Done!
  • Finish Stein’s Midpoint: Done!
  • Start Porter’s Pinch 2: Done! (meaning started!)

When I set these goals, I really wasn’t sure how I was going to approach Stein’s midpoint. Fortunately, her Vice President of Mergers and Acquisitions, Jadwiga Janczak, has come alive in my mind, and she gave the scenes enough of a push that a number of previously random ideas came together. Helmine Stein has also come together better than I anticipated, which also helped. She’s making me work on my ability to portray a villain who absolutely sees themself as the hero.

And as far as Porter’s pinch 2 goes, I’m pleased with how it’s turning out. I think. It’s one of those things that I won’t know if I really like it until the readers weigh in, though.

Next Week’s Goals

Here are the goals I hope to achieve this week:

  • Finish Porter’s Pinch 2
  • Finish Martin’s Pinch 2
  • Start Malhotra’s Pinch 2

Dan Wells, in his YouTube video series Dan Wells on Story Structure, called pinch 2 the “jaws of defeat.” So stuff’s getting dark for my cast of characters. I feel badly for them! But not badly enough to cut them any slack, of course!

What Do You Think?

Do you have any tricks to maintaining continuity, even down to a detailed prop level, when a week or two sometimes separates your writing sessions? I’d love to hear about your techniques! Please feel free to drop them in the comments!

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