Progress Report 2022 Week 51

Last week, I talked about how Pinch 2 (the “jaws of defeat”) threw me off. This week, it was the Resolution arc’s turn. What was the problem? Why did it make me consider — again — making Evolution’s Hand a trilogy? Let’s talk about that after we talk about the numbers.

Progress Report 2022 Week 51 By the Numbers

Any week with over 10,000 words is a success. But this week really felt like a struggle!

Maybe I’m already seeing the writing process for the last three books through rose-colored glasses. That includes Evolution’s Hand Book 3: Primary Target. But I don’t remember pushing through his level of difficulty with those three books. I’ll talk about that more in a moment. The bottom line is that I’m still on track to finish the first draft of Evolution’s Hand Book 4: Blind Exodus by the end of December. That’s good news. I think.

Is This Exciting Enough?

I’m trying something a little different in Blind Exodus. A couple of the plot arcs don’t use the threat of imminent violence to propel the resolution. Maybe that’s okay. Actually, that’s presumptuous of me. Of course it’s okay. I’ve read lots of books that do this. But in my case, it’s making me really anxious.

So much so that I considered, again, stopping Evolution’s Hand at Dying Breath.

Are these arcs dramatic enough to keep the readers interested? Will they care enough about the characters to feel anything as they struggle to overcome what’s facing them? I’m used to threatening characters with imminent death if they fail. How will readers respond to a non-lethal challenge?

I might be overthinking this. But I’m going to use that doubt to force myself to carefully examine the story’s pacing. ButI’ll tell you what: those of you who make pacing and plot this look easy? You have my respect.

It still makes me laugh to see “Sirius System, TEF Resolution” side by side with “Wooster, Ohio.”

Progress Last Week

I had two main objectives for last week:

Start the Resolution Chapters for the Ross 128/Sirius Arc

This is well underway. In the resolution for James Butler’s resolution chapter, a side character, Professional WORP Pilot Sophia Turner, went in a completely different direction than I expected. I like it a lot better than my original vision. So much so that I wish I had consciously thought of it! But I’ll take it as a good sign that the characters are guiding the writing process.

Start the Resolution Chapters for the Earth Arcs

This is also underway. Henry Duncan’s arc is more traditional, in that it relies on threat-of-death to provide suspense. I’m more confident in how these chapters have turned out. The last one I wrote also had some minor characters move in their own direction, also to the plot’s benefit. So I’ll take that as a good sign, too.

Goals for the Week in Progress Report 2022 Week 51

Here are my goals for the coming week:

  1. Finish the Resolution chapters for the Ross 128/Sirius arc
  2. Finish the Resolution chapters for the Earth arcs
  3. Begin the spin-down chapters

What Do You Think?

How do you measure your pacing? Do you use your gut feel? Do you have some kind of metrics? I’d love to know what you think — please feel free to share in the comments!