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Accountability Post 2021 Week 43

Introduction to the Accountability Post 2021 Week 43

Last week, I received the results of the Reedsy developmental edit. That edit represented a huge step forward. It not only validated that the novel’s premise and framework held together. It also pointed out where I needed to fix two of the six plot arcs. That work, plus the line edits that developmental editor included, will take me about a month, maybe two. So now I have to decide: Where do I spend my writing time? How do I divide the work on these two manuscripts, when those two are about to become three? I’ll talk about that after we get some housekeeping out of the way.

Accountability Post 2021 Week 43 By the Numbers

Last week, for some very good reasons that I discussed in the week 42 post, I only produced 5,445 to take the total to 138,480. How’d I do this week?

Not bad, considering I could not write on the 21st.

Last week, I wrote 9,645 words to push the total to 148,125 words. That’s not too bad, especially considering that I had family matters I had to attend to on the 21st. These were some tough chapters to write, too. Melchizedek Conrad’s chapter gave me the toughest intellectual challenge. Liam Martin’s gave me the hardest emotional challenge. But I’m pretty comfortable with how they came together. For a first draft, anyway!

What’s Next? Book 1 or Book 2 — Or Book 3?

I have the developmental edits for Evolution’s Hand Book 1: 61 Cygni. I’m into plot turn 2 for all six arcs in Book 2: Epsilon Eridani. I also have broad-stroke ideas for Book 3: Sirius. So, which effort to I prioritize?

As I write Book 2, I find myself retrofitting several details into Book 1. I made quick notes in the To Do document I have in Book 1. Also, I have ideas to form ties into Book 3. That said, I don’t want to get into a never-ending revision cycle. No matter how long I take to write the book, I’ll find ways to change it. In other words, I think striking a balance is the right approach.

My plan, then, is to:

  1. Finish Book 2: Epsilon Eridani
  2. Revise Book 1: 61 Cygni
  3. Look for covers for books 1, 2, and 3
  4. Figure out what to do about editing Book 2 (can I afford another developmental edit; can I afford not to pursue another developmental edit?)
  5. Begin writing Book 3: Sirius
  6. Once I’m about half way in and am relatively confident I know when I’ll finish it, I’ll publish the first book
  7. Finish the third book and obtain whatever edits I can afford
  8. Revised the second book
  9. Publish the second book
  10. Revise the third book
  11. Publish the third book after the appropriate amount of time

If I write a near-time prequel, or just push forward in this timeline, I can leverage the investment I’ve made in world-building.

Around the seventh step, I’ll need to decide what to write next. I have several ideas, including building on the prequel whose beats I have already written. Or, I could plow forward in this timeline and world. Both of those options appeal to me, because I can continue to use the world and characters I’ve already built.

A third option is to jump far into the future, where the stories might transition more to space opera. I guess I’ll see how well sales go for the first books. I’m going to categorize them as something like hard science fiction/political thriller. I’ll either prove that the riches are in the niches, or I’ll find a small audience. I guess I could find that the audience is huge but just isn’t that into my books, but I’m trying to think positive!

Scorecard: Goals for Accountability Post 2021 Week 43

Previous Week’s Goals

Here’re the goals I set for last week:

  • Finish Ira Malhotra’s Plot Turn 2: Done!
  • Finish Liam Martin’s Plot Turn 2: Done!
  • Start Dek Conrad’s Plot Turn 2: Done! And bonus — I finished it!

So, shockingly, I finished all three goals and even started Jack Booth’s Plot Turn 2. For that scene, I ran into the contradictions between the action in spy movies and how things would really play out. Since I’m trying for hard science fiction, I can’t have someone just run into a building and start shooting! There were terrorists and security personnel already on site. To try to get it right, I studied police and military urban breach techniques.

I learned one thing that I took to heart: I do not want to be on the receiving end of one of those operations! Wow, they are efficient and effective! I hope my readers appreciate the realism. Because Jack Booth didn’t. He wanted to rush in and start shooting.

Next Week’s Goals

Here are my next goals:

  • Finish Jack Booth’s Plot Turn 2
  • Finish Atticus Porter’s Plot Turn 2
  • Start Liam Martin’s Resolution

Hard to believe I’m almost to the Resolution phase! I might be able to wrap up the first draft by the end of November.

What Do You Think?

How do you decide which project to do next? If you write a series of books, how do you know when you’re done with one and ready to move on? I’d love to hear your perspective in the comments!

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