Does Finishing a Novel’s Beats Qualify for a Celebration?

By terranceacrow | Novel Pre-Production

Mar 11

Remember back in January when I said I hoped to have the beats for Divinity Ascending finished soon?

Guess what?

As of 6:30PM on Sunday, March 11, 2018, the beats for Divinity Ascending are done!

Does finishing the beats/outline quality for a celebration? I don’t know for sure, so maybe I’ll only have a Bud Light instead of a higher quality brew…

Yes, it’s true! The beats for Divinity Ascending are done. And you know what that means! Time to write the beats for the next book!

73 chapters. From Columbiana, visible from the wreckage of what used to be Columbus, Ohio to the gilded vaults of Manhattan. From the ruins of Old Cleveland to the launch ports near the coast in Opelousas, Louisiana. From the TransStell manufacturing facilities in the L2 Earth/Moon orbit to the bases constructed in the Newton crater on the moon. The beats for Divinity Ascending are done!

I mentioned earlier that I want to finish the beats for the first three or four novels before actually writing them. I’ve been studying Sterling & Stone, whose Fiction Unboxed is well worth the price, as well as Nick Stephenson’s Your First 10,000 readers, which seems to be  a great resource for setting up your own marketing infrastructure that is independent of, but takes advantage of, the e-publishers like Amazon. The consensus seems to be that you need three or four books in the chute to begin building your audience, and I guess that makes sense. So, that’s my plan.

Problem is, Mel and the Ghast weren’t content with dramatically changing the plot of Divinity Ascending. I thought I had the initial trilogy planned. But Mel, the Ghast, and others (don’t even get me started on Matsushita Sachi and her family) have decided that no, Olympia Dreaming isn’t the next book. In fact, it’s not even in the first trilogy!

In all honesty, I’m hugely relieved that the characters are interacting with me like this. The stories are about them, and if I’m serious about viewing my writing as an act of sub-creation (albeit in a derivative sense), then I’m going to need their help.

Now that I have a system down, I hope I can crank out the beats for the next two books (whatever they’re called!) in less time. According to my instance of Jira,* I spent 48 hours and 31 minutes of effort hours to write the first beats. That seems excessive to me. I’ll see if I can do the next book even faster, with more coherency!

I hope you’re excited to see forward motion! I’ll try to have some interesting material for you as we get closer to launch.

Hope to have more good news soon!

* Yeah, I use Jira, a software development tool, to track progress on my books. Old habits die hard!

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