News Progress Post

Accountability Post 2022 Week 01

Introduction to the Accountability Post 2022 Week 01

In this post, I’ll talk about progress on the proof-reading front. I’ll also talk about the progress I made on covers (if you read the word progress with air quotes) and on the lead magnet. But first, let’s look at the overall status.

Accountability Post 2022 Week 01 By the Numbers

After the terrible last couple of weeks in December, it looks like I actually made a lot of progress! That was a relief.

I remembered something this week, and I’m writing it down here so I don’t forget it. It’s one of those things that’s obvious in the moment. Unfortunately, it’s also easy to forget. It has to do with sets, characters, and organizational charts. And mostly with org charts.

This week, I finished sketching the primary locations for the short story lead magnet. I used to call it All that Sparkles. The title was a riff on the name of the Corporation that features in the story (Sparkle Bright Humane Diamonds), but no one cares about questionable cleverness in titles. So, I retitled it to something that I hope is immediately dramatic. It’s now Code Blue.

I finished sketching the set for the medical wing. So now I can visualize the environment where the characters will interact. But without characters, it’s just a boring set. So I’ve finished casting the main character, Doctor Dikeledi Mogapi, based on the actor Warona Setshwaelo. Picking an actor helps me see the character in my brain. I mention her character in Dying Breath, and she’ll have more of a role in Primary Target.

So now I have the main character and I can visualize where she works. Needing characters and sets is so obvious that even I can’t forget it! The part I forget is the role an organizational chart plays. After researching the typical human resources layout of a mining company, I made adjustments to fit into my world and began identifying the positions. Then, I cast other key characters. One such character, Supervisor Loris Sutter (based on the actor Lionel Clerc), is going to play the part of antagonist. After fleshing out his character and his rivals, I now know his motivations.

This is about three times the number of characters I thought I’d need. But just having them defined helped me visualize the plot.

And suddenly, the story started to come together. So much so that I got to start writing on Sunday. I’d forgotten just how helpful an org chart can be, at least for the kind of stories I’m writing now. So now I have no excuses not to write!

Proofreading and Covers Take II

I bid the proofreading job for Executive Action last week. The sources were both Fiverr and Reedsy. I guessed that I’d find less expensive bids on Fiverr, but after processing the responses, I was surprised. It’s evenly mixed. For my 160,000 word manuscript, bids ranged from a low of $500US to a high of $3,200US. I found it surprising that the high bid was from Fiverr.

Right now, I’m strongly learning towards Reedsy, based on my previous experience. I even bid the job to the same editor who performed my developmental edit, but he’s booked until summer. I want to move faster than that.

For the covers, I’ve talked before about where I’m looking for covers. I’ve added another option at my wife’s suggestion. There are places that offer reasonably priced series covers for genre fiction. Such covers for science fiction are rare, but they exist. But, based on the package, I might have to provide typography. I’ve done that for so long I think I’m competent — a sure sign I should stay away from it lest I embarrass myself!

Short version: I’ll likely select a proofreader this week. The search for covers continues.

Goals for the Week in Accountability Post 2022 Week 01

It’s the same list from last week, just with some progress made on the first and third goals.

  1. Decide what course to take for proofreading. I’m waiting for one last bid.
  2. Decide what course to take for covers. I may start the bidding process this week or next.
  3. Continue work on the lead-magnet for the mailing list. I have no excuses now that the sets and cast are done!

What Do You Think?

Any experience working with cover artists? Any tips on how to convey the essence of the book to them — or in finding artists who care about that sort of thing? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!

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