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Progress Report 2022 Week 41

Have you ever juggled bowling balls? Surprisingly, I haven’t either! But with three manuscripts in various stages of production, I think I understand how keeping those bowling balls in the air feels. Is Evolution’s Hand Book 2: Dying Breath still on track of a December 1 release? Is Primary Target ready for the beta readers? And, is there any hope that I made any progress on Book 4: Blind Exodus? Let’s take a look at the infographic to get our first clues!

Progress Report 2022 Week 41 By the Numbers

It was a busy week!

I’ll talk more about Dying Breath below, but I managed to produce the Kindle version. I’ll say this for Amazon: they make good tools. I really like the Kindle Create to produce the Ebook version. I can use its built-in tools to review the copy, and for a final check, I can use Kindle Previewer 3.

The paperback, though? I’ll talk about that in a minute.

Primary Target is now in the hands of the first wave of beta readers. I’m excited and apprehensive to get their feedback. Dying Breath had a more traditional climax. Primary Target took a slightly different route, and I felt like it was effective. Notice I didn’t say think, because I’m too close to it to be confident.

And Blind Exodus? Well, you can see it’s now underway! I’ll talk more about that below.

Primary Target and Word Templates

I’ve worked with computers since the late 1970s. I’ve worked with IBM DisplayWriters before there were PCs. The first word processor I used in in a professional context with IBM DisplayWrite III before I moved on to WordPerfect (version 4.2 was the epitome of DOS-based word processors, by the way). The first time I wrote a novel on a PC, I used PFS:Write. I used Microsoft Word before Windows even existed.

What I’m saying is that I have some small amount of experience with these things called word processors.

And every time I try to work with Word templates, they find a way to mess with me. Every. Single. Time.

This is almost, but not quite entirely, unlike what the template should look like. Seriously, Word, would it kill you to work with me? Just once?

I tried to use the same template as I did with Executive Action. It’s not working. I even asked politely! And while I’m sure there’s a perfectly rational explanation, I’m not seeing it.

No, I’m not asking for help. I suspect my deep-seated hatred of Word has sabotaged my usually reliable technical abilities. And I’ll get it to work. Eventually. But I’m glad I started working with it now instead of, say, late November.

I swear, Libre Office looks better every time I fire up Word…

Blind Exodus and the Overarching Plot

Blind Exodus deals more explicitly with the overarching story that, so far, Evolution’s Hand had only hinted at. I’m not claiming what I’m doing is original, because it’s a commonly-addressed concept. But I have my own spin on things, and I hope to convey them beginning in Book 4.

Blind Exodus will give the first concrete glimpses into that world. That means while I won’t disclose all of the details, I have to know them. Or at least enough of them that future revelations are self-consistent. So, I sat down and mapped out the concepts like Volitional Singularity and Continuum Array. I laid the first draft down in one day. To be honest, I was really happy with it.

The next day, I re-read it. I deleted all of it and started again. I managed to keep everything I had liked and fix some (belatedly) obvious problems with the original. Now, I’m left with the framework for the Evolution’s Hand series. The first three books introduced the main characters and one set of circumstances. Now, I’m about to unveil the second set.

I think it’s amusing that my Java programming skills came in handy in this context!

Later I’ll crash them together. But for now, I have the background that will help me keep events consistent. To be perfectly candid, I want to do this right. I don’t want to give my readers a flawed world. I want them to finish a book and feel like the experience was worth their time. So, fingers crossed I’ve done it right!

Goals for the Week in Progress Report 2022 Week 41

So, based on the above, you probably guessed that I hit my goals for last week! Well, mostly. Those damned Word templates…

Here’re my goals for this week:

  • Convince Word’s templates to obey me
  • Wait for feedback from one more Dying Breath pre-release reader; she often catches little details that make a big difference
  • Continue writing Blind Exodus

What Do You Think?

Do you hate using Word as much as I do? Or have you mastered the Zen of Word? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below!

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