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Progress Report 2022 Week 44

I think I’ve detected a pattern. For each novel up to and including Book 4: Blind Exodus, around Pinch 1 for one or more of the arcs, I’ve run into almost the same thing! And despite how much is slowed me down, in the long run, I think it’s a good thing! I’ll talk about why after you take a look at the week’s numbers.

Progress Report 2022 Week 44 By the Numbers

Despite only hitting 1,249 words on Sunday (my target is 2,000 words a session), I still broke 10,000 words for the week — so I can to declare success!

I said “17 chapters drafted,” but I really got through the first half of chapter 17. That’s when the action for Henry Duncan’s arc really heats up. That’s the chapter I started on Sunday, and I’ll talk about why I only wrote 1,249 words in a moment.

I have to give credit to my writing corner. Between having a dedicated space and having set times every day to write, it’s made a huge different to my productivity. I also have a special playlist for writing, based around Hiroyuki Sawano’s work. I always starts with Warcry. When I’m sitting in my writer’s corner, at the appointed time in the day, just hearing the opening chords gets my fingers moving on the keyboard!

Realism is Hard — But Essential

Around Pinch 1 for each of the four novels I’ve written recently, I’ve run into the need to take a step back and do some serious planning. Not plotting, but planning. That’s because one or more of the Point of View (POV) characters had something complex they were trying to accomplish. Back in Evolution’s Hand Book 1: Executive Action, for example, I had to come up with the detailed mission objectives for the journey to 61 Cygni. Otherwise, I felt like Linda Southfield issued random orders that were independent of the story. I wanted her scenes to feel authentic, and to do that, I had to know what the crew was supposed to do and in what order.

I might have gotten farther if I’d prepared better! And looking at the image, I’m going to need to rename chapter 17. “Heading North” is exactly what they’re not doing!

In Evolution’s Hand Book 4: Blind Exodus, Henry Duncan needed a plan. TransStell gave him and Pari Sundaram the mission to extract someone from Wooster Ohio, so most of his chapters will flow from that plan. Or the enemy’s obstructions of that plan! On Sunday, I began to kick off their mission from Port Stanley in Ontario, Canada at be beginning of chapter 17. And I realized something dreadful: I didn’t know what they planned to do!

In my imagination, my characters were kind of annoyed with me.

So I took half of my allocated writing time to map out the detailed plan, complete with the materials they’d need to obtain from local help/contacts. Back when I’d put the plot braiding worksheet together, I had a general idea of a rescue and extraction. But I’d neglected the details. When I plot Evolution’s Hand Book 5: Darkness Falls, I’m going to add a cycle at the step to create the plot braiding worksheet: I’m going to identify those arcs that need planning and tackle them early on. That’ll give them longer to percolate in my subconscious, and it’ll be less disruptive during the writing phase.

Progress against Last Week’s Goals

Well, you know I hit one goal, which was to continue writing Evolution’s Hand Book 4: Blind Exodus. That leaves the other goal, which was:

  • Upload the ebook and paperback copies to Amazon and order the paperback proof copies

How’d that go? First, I uploaded the Kindle Create version to Amazon, so the ebook is ready to go for Amazon. I’ll upload the Draft2Digital copies in late November.

And the proof copy? Take a look at the graphic and see what you think:

Yep — that’s the proof copy!

Can I say again how much I like the cover that Jesh Art Studio delivered? It’s awesome.

But looking over the proof copy, I found a huge problem: I haven’t found any typographical errors! That’s a little terrifying — it means they’re lurking where I can’t see them! Because if there’s one universal truth, it’s that there’s an embarrassing typo hiding in there somewhere!

Back in my youth, when I used a lot of similes, I actually started a book with the phrase “serious as a herd attack.”

Though come to think of it, a herd of steers attacking might actually be quite serious.

Joking aside, it was great opening the Amazon package containing the proof copy. The December 1, 2022 launch date feels more real than ever!

Goals for the Week in Progress Report 2022 Week 44

  1. Continue writing Evolution’s Hand Book 4: Blind Exodus
  2. Begin executing the pre-launch marketing plan

Of course, the second goal implies creating said marketing plan! But more on that next week!

What Do You Think?

What’s the most embarrassing or notable typo that got through your editing processes? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!