News Progress Post

Progress Report 2022 Week 38

This week, I juggled three books in various pre-publication stages. Am I still on track to publish Book 2: Dying Breath on December 1, 2022? Still ready to send Book 3: Primary Target to beta readers? And still working on pre-production planning for Book 4: Blind Exodus? Let’s take a look at the numbers first. Hint: The numbers answer the second question!

Progress Report 2022 Week 38 By the Numbers

I put some time into Primary Target’s second draft. That’s the one I’ll send to beta readers.

I’m almost half way through the second draft of Evolution’s Hand Book 3: Primary Target. When I finish my manual review, I’ll probably push it through ProWritingAid for a second opinion. I’d like the beta readers to experience relatively clean prose so they can focus on the story and characters. After another week or so, I should be able to wrap it up!

Last Week’s Progress

Ship Evolution’s Hand Book 2: Dying Breath to a Proofreader: Done!

If you remember my post from last week, you might recall that I had sent queries to Reedsy and Fiverr editors asking for bids to proofread Dying Breath. The way Reedsy’s request system is setup, it asks you to select up to five editors. I did. Two responded to say they were not taking on new work. Another tried to explain to me that I was a fool for asking for a proofread when the prose obviously sucked so bad. Two never responded at all.

For the record: I appreciate the two editors who promptly responded to say they could not take on new work.

Contrast that to the quote I sent to Fiverr. I sent only one quote, so the sample size is smaller. But the editor responded immediately and bid a competitive price. After I decided to hire her, she had to ask for a single day extension due to technical issues. Then she returned the marked-up manuscript on the newly stated date.

Oh, and she bypassed the lecture phase. If she thought I was a fool, she kept it to herself. That means that the proof read is done. I’ll incorporate the results into the manuscript after I finish Primary Target’s second draft.

Complete Set Design for Evolution’s Hand Book 4: Blind Exodus: Done!

What are your favorite things about writing? My top two are, in order:

  1. The act of writing itself
  2. World building

When I say I’m designing and building sets, I mean I’m creating bits and pieces of the world. I’m having a fantastic time preparing for Blind Exodus! Though the first three books gave us glimpses of the 61 Cygni and Epsilon Eridani star systems, they weren’t the focus of the plot. That changes in Book 4.

The Sirius star system plays a large role in Blind Exodus. I used real locations, in this case Delphi in Greece, to help me visualize the town.

I’ve had to lay out the Sirius star system, which is a binary. I had to research possible stable orbits for planets in such systems. I also had to research options for space-based habitats. At first, I thought I’d use a cylindrical, hollowed-out asteroid as my foundation. But the more I read, the less realistic that sounded. Then an idea hit me that is, in retrospect, ridiculously obvious.

In fact, if you read the book, I hope you don’t laugh too hard at just how obvious! But I’m happy with it now.

The bottom line is that I think I’ve finished the general design of the Sirius installations. They were the final pre-production set piece. Which is a fancy way of saying I’m ready to begin shaping the major plot arcs.

Begin Second Draft of Evolution’s Hand Book 3: Primary Target: Done!

It feels like I was busy last week, and now I know why. I worked on three books! Even as I tried to organize what I wanted to say about this post, I got confused a couple of times on what to say in which section. It’s all starting to blend!

As you saw in the infographic above, I’m about half way done with Primary Target’s second draft. When that’s done, I’ll run it through ProWritingAid before I send it to some beta readers. Based on my recent experiences with Reedsy, I think I’ll only ask some of my friends and a Fiverr editor or two to read the manuscript. My last couple of experiences with Reedsy have pushed me away from that platform.

I really should suspend work on this to incorporate the proofreader’s feedback into Dying Breath. But I think I built enough time into the schedule. I’m afraid if I interrupt the second draft, I might miss continuity errors. Given I’m trying to write a political thriller, letting any of those slip through would suck.

Goals for the Week in Progress Report 2022 Week 38

Here are my goals for the coming week:

  1. Continue working on the second draft of Evolution’s Hand Book 3: Primary Target
  2. Incorporate the proof-reader’s feedback into Evolution’s Hand Book 2: Dying Breath (Stretch Goal)

I really, really want to get to work on Evolution’s Hand Book 4: Blind Exodus! But I can’t rush either of the other two higher-priority tasks. So, I’ll try to exercise self-restraint and stay on task!

What Do You Think?

Do you often have multiple manuscripts in various stages of completion? How do you keep them straight? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to leave them in the comments!