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Progress Report 2022 Week 06

Introduction to Progress Report 2022 Week 06

I spent several unexpected hours on YouTube this week, and surprisingly, I think I know where book four is going now. I even have a title! Not only that, but I made progress on most of my goals. Okay, I made zero progress one one of the goals, and I bet you know which one in was. I’ll give you a hint: It’s the same one I’ve been stalled all year! Before I share the details, let’s look at my progress for the week.

Progress Report 2022 Week 06 By the Numbers

I always enjoy crossing the 10,000 word threshold. It feels like it makes the effort official!

I had intended to spend as much time writing Book 3: Primary Target as I could this week. Specifically, I had hoped to finish the hooks for Matsushita Sachi, Atticus Porter, and Jack Booth. I did that, and I also finished Ira Malhotra’s hook, too. That means is I’ve finished writing the chapters that make up the novel’s hook, as well as the hooks for the individual arcs.

We’ve talked before about how, if I’m struggling to write a given chapter, it means I’ve missed something. Or worse, I’ve added something wrong. Maybe I missed foreshadowing an event; maybe I mischaracterized a response. My reaction used to be frustration because the plot would not obey me. I’ve since learned to take a step back and consider where I stepped off the muse’s path.

It’s opposite seems to be true, too. If the words flow and time screams by, I know I’m on track. That happened on most of the chapters I wrote this week. Jack Booth’s conversation with his friend Lucas Knight flew by. It mined the frustration that had been building in Booth since the beginning of Book 2: Dying Breath. Ira Malhotra’s chapters started slowly, because I had to build out more details of the Epsilon Eridani star system, particularly the gas giant Epsilon Eridani III and its moons. With that foundation in place, the chapter took off.

Gotta say: I’d hate to be a character in my books. Things are not looking good for some of them!

Other Progress This Week

I decided I wanted to compare proof reading services, so I went to Fiverr and found a proofreader whose resume looked solid. They finished proofreading Code Blue, the lead magnet, and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. I’ll compare that work to my other proofreader, and assuming the results are close to the same, I’ll have no more excuses to delay launching my e-mail campaign.

Here are the first seven chapter of Book 3. Wanted you to have proof things are underway!

Well, maybe one excuse. I need to choose an e-mail list manager. I’ve used MailChimp in the past, but towards the end of that engagement, they changed their pricing. I decided to ask my wife what she uses, because she is, among other things, a social media expert who manages her own business and mailing list. She’s convinced me to go with ActiveCampaign because of its superior automation at a lower price. For some reason, she thinks there’s a chance that my e-mail list might get big at some point.

We’ll see.

So you read that I made good progress on the opening chapters for Evolution’s Hand Book 3: Primary Target. If you read last week’s progress report, then you might remember I also, once again, failed to research options for audio narration. That failure streak continues! With the full proofread edit of Evolution’s Hand Book 1: Executive Action due in a couple of weeks, I need to move on that. Maybe this coming week!

YouTube’s Gift: Book 4’s Title and Plot

I listen to music as I write. I have a playlist especially for writing Evolution’s Hand. The bulk of the songs are from Hiroyuki Sawano’s soundtracks for Re:CREATORS, Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, and Guilty Crown.

When I try to work on plotting, though, I change playlists. The idea is to shake things up. I want to give my imagination fresh stimulation, and to do that, I rely on music from Two Steps from Hell. As you can see from their Wikipedia article, they write a lot of soundtracks and music that sounds like it should be on a soundtrack.

I recently bought their album Dragon, which is as amazing as almost everything they’ve done. One song in particular worked its way into my imagination and wouldn’t let go. So, I wondered if they had made a music video for it.

They hadn’t, but kiko10061980reloaded had. That video for the song Emerald Princess blew me away. Check it out if you have time:

The symbolism, the two (or three?) plots, the stunning cinematography, and the graceful and captivating choreography untethered my imagination. By the time I’d finished watching it, the plot for Evolution’s Hand Book 4: Darkness Falls was in my brain.

Or maybe it will be book 5. But it’s only the agenda now!

This reminded me of something else I’d forgotten. I need to periodically stop working and enjoy music. I’ve assembled almost all of my best ideas this way. The raw ideas are always there. I can’t stop the images of starship battles, faltering advances, or breaking wills. It’s just hard to get them into a form where they have meaning to anyone outside of my skull. YouTube, and its video by kiko10061980reloaded based on Two Steps From Hell’s Emerald Princess, reminded me of that.

That, and sometimes it’s good to stop and experience beauty.

Goals for the Week in Progress Report 2022 Week 06

For the coming week, here’s what I hope to work on:

  1. Continue writing Primary Target: Write Plot Turn 1 chapters for Melchizedek “Dek” Conrad, Jack Booth, and Matsushita Sachi.
  2. Research standards for audio recording to better inform my decision about narrating my own audio book (this time for sure!).
  3. Subscribe to ActiveCampaign and setup the mechanics for a landing page on this site.

What Do You Think?

Have you ever recorded an audio book? Do you have experience setting up e-mail campaigns? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!

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