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Progress Report 2023 Week 13

Don’t you hate it when the character for a plot arc rebels? Well, maybe “rebellion”rebel” is too strong a word. But one of my characters pulled me aside for a discussion. I think that’s good news… Plus, I went after a stretch goal this week. Let’s look at the numbers, then talk about this week’s progress.

Progress Report 2023 Week 13 By the Numbers

Total word count went north of 10,000 — so, it was a good week!

Atticus Porter let me know I didn’t have high enough stakes for his plot arc. I was doubtful, because I used Plottr to map the plot, and I thought I had been thorough. You might remember me mentioning that I was really excited about it! Well, I was — at the time. The way the chapters fleshed out my ideas cast a spotlight on what the character told me.

I had a little extra time today, so I used it to review the arc. Fortunately, most of the changes came later in the plot. I only had to add some foreshadowing to the first chapter to setup later conflicts. It’s actually all good news: I think the plot is stronger now, I didn’t have to trash any chapters wholesale, and I only had to make minor adjustments to what I’ve written so far.

Progress Notes

Here’s how I did against my goals from last week:

  1. Write Mariam Al Khatib’s Midpoint: Done!
  2. Write Melchizedek Conrad’s Pinch 1: Done!
  3. Write Jadwiga Janczak’s Pinch 1: Switched with another
  4. Start Leon Weber’s Pinch 1: Switched with another

I didn’t start Jadwiga Janczak’s Pinch 1 because I switched it with another Atticus Porter chapter . Also, I didn’t get to Leon Weber’s Pinch 1 because I needed a second chapter to complete Melchizedek Conrad’s Pinch 1.

I’m making minor adjustments to the chapters as I write. I think it’s a good sign that the characters and situations are that clear to me.

Two things jumped out at me this week:

  1. I really, really like Conrad’s arc. I hope I can do it justice! It’s my first attempt at a world based on steampunk, and I’m hopeful I can hit the key tropes. The best part about it is that it’s a hundred percent required by the concepts of my universe — only a steampunk society could do what this one did.
  2. Porter’s plot has me wondering if I’m actually writing two books here; I’m not sure the interaction between the two major plots is sufficient to warrant a single book.

I have some ideas to address number 2. My instincts are telling me that it’s a single story. Not sure if I fully trust those instincts, but they’ve gotten me this far!

Goals for the Week in Progress Report 2023 Week 13

Here are my goals for the coming week:

  1. Finish Leon Weber’s Pinch 1
  2. Finish Jadwiga Janczak’s Pinch 1
  3. Finish Porter’s Midpoint
  4. Start Jadwiga Janczak’s Midpoint

What Do You Think?

I’ve read a number of writers talk about how they decide the scope for their novels. But I’m interested in what you think. How do you tell which arcs to include and which not to? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!