It’s the holiday season — so Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Holidays, or < celebratory adjective > < your holiday here>! I bring that up because the holidays may or may not have had an impact on my writing. Did it? Did I finish the major Earth and Sirius arcs? How about the spin-down chapters? Let’s take a look at the numbers, and then we’ll talk!
Progress Report 2022 Week 52 By the Numbers
One of the benefits of not being terribly sociable is that I have time for writing over the holidays!
Purely viewed from the perspective of word count, I have to consider last week a success. The holidays gave me extra time to write, and I didn’t want to waste it! That leaves open the question of how far I got. It’s the last week of the year — will I finish Evolution’s Hand Book 4: Blind Exodus by the end of 2022?
Progress Last Week
I had three goals last week, and I’ll address them all at once:
- Finish the Resolution chapters for the Ross 128/Sirius arc
- Finish the Resolution chapters for the Earth arcs
- Begin the spin-down chapters
Here’s my status’s short version: the first draft of Blind Exodus is complete! But, before you celebrate, there’s a catch. And it comes down to a background note I made about the Wormhole Projection System (WORP drive — I just hope I don’t get sued). Here’s the quote about how much distance a ship equipped with the first generation of the WORP drive can travel:
“60 minutes to travel 10 light hours”
That’s during the initial charting run. Once the ship confirms the emergence point is free of gravitational sources, they can setup a station so subsequent trips are faster. After that’s done, my notes say a trip from Ross 248 to Sirius will take:
“A standard trip might take 10 hours”
That’s a distance of just over ten light years.
Before I wrote the first word in Blind Exodus, I laid out these rules and firmly committed them to memory. Well, maybe “firmly” is the wrong word!
These are my own words. I wrote them all by myself. And then I promptly forgot them. In James Butler and Ira Malhotra’s arcs, I wrote that trips from Sirius to Ross 128 (not a typo — it’s separate from Ross 248) occur instantly. Yes, I forgot a fundamental rule of my own world.
It’s not a catastrophe. I caught it before any readers did! Still, I need to pay more attention to my own background material!
Goals for the Week in Progress Report 2022 Week 52
Given the colossal mistake I made with my own physics, I think this goal will make sense:
- Retro-fit the appropriate physics into the Ira Malhotra and James Butler’s chapters. That’ll require a few other minor adjustments as well.
Like I said, I’m just glad I caught that before my readers did.
What Do You Think?
Do you ever get through a book and realize you broke your own rules? Do you have techniques to avoid that kind of thing? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!
2 thoughts on “Progress Report 2022 Week 52”
You are piling on the words right now. Good work.
And that’s what first drafts are for. Neil Gaiman once said “In a novel, you can always go back and make it look like you knew what you were doing all along before the thing goes out and gets published.”
Good job you caught it though. I hate annoying continuity stuff like that. I once dropped a book in the prologue because it took a character 30 minutes to fly from Nigeria to Egypt and then 12 hours to get to London. There’s no excuse for not knowing how long those flights are with Google. At least, you’re working with undiscovered tech.
That’s what I kept telling myself! I briefly considered not admitting my mistake, even here, but I’m trying to be honest. And who knows? Maybe another writer will take comfort from it!
You’re absolutely right about Google. I can’t count the number of times I’ve used it for stuff like that. I used it to design maglev train lines, so I could get the times right and chart a reasonable course. Just knowing what cities I had to go through gave me material for side plots and character details.
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