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Progress Report 2023 Week 29

If you’ve read last week’s post, then you know it’s been an “interesting” time for my writing. Are things better? And if so, why? Did How many of last week’s goals did I hit? Let’s take a look at the high-level accomplishments before looking into those questions.

Progress Report 2023 Week 29 By the Numbers

Finally! I have a word count to report again!

I’ve finally started writing Evolution’s Hand Book 6: Unnatural Crypsis! It feels like it’s been forever since I wrote, but in actuality, I’ve only been plotting Unnatural Crypsis since June 11, 2023. I started writing on July 11, 2023, so there was only an elapsed 30 days. But those days were important — I’ll talk about that more in a minute.

I really want to reduce that amount of time spent just plotting, because on the first day, only managed 866 words. I felt so out of practice! It took me until the 3rd day of writing, July 13, before I remembered I wanted to read aloud the previous day’s work before writing the next chapter. As of Sunday, I think I’ve gotten back into the groove. I wrote 2,501 words that day, and that’s about where I was at my peak during the previous book.

Writing is More Important Than I Thought

I’ve always joked that I can’t not write. I’ve tried before, and I couldn’t keep away from it. Over the weekend, it occurred to me: the longer I focused on plotting to the exclusion of writing, the closer I edged to walking away from publishing. That’s not a coincidence.

Writing for a mere five sessions over seven days (my usual target, given my other workloads) restored my inner balance. Sure, I want to sell more. Absolutely, I admit I suck at marketing and probably always will. But as long as I can write, I can ignore all that and get lost in the act of creation.

It’s amazing the difference just writing makes. The colored squares are finished; the gray square is underway; the blanks are waiting to be started.

Here’s the thing: if I don’t write, in terms of publishing, nothing matters. I can’t publish what I don’t write. Whereas, if I write, I might get better at marketing, or I might partner with someone who is already good at it. I have options. That’s where I’m going to keep my focus.

What does this mean for plotting? I’m going to plot the next book on the agenda out-of-band while I keep writing the current book. I’m not going to intentionally skip writing for weeks at a time anymore. I’ll probably mix casting and set creation with writing, because those things feed off each other. But I’ll plot at other times.

The World After Evolution’s Hand

Speaking of plotting, I can see right now I’m going to have to ration myself. I already have three more series planned and named, and plotting is a lot of fun! And no, I feel no shame in admitting my wife helped me name at least one of the new series.

I’ve planned all along for something like this — Evolution’s Hand created room for at least three distinct series, and maybe more. But for the first time, I’m announcing the tentative titles and subjects:

  • Evolution’s End: This series chronicles the decline of humanity within the Sol System; this would lean into the science fiction and dystopian political/thriller genres
  • Volition’s Hand: This series follows the adventures in the perpendicular universes (and don’t worry if that makes no sense — the concept isn’t introduced until Evolution’s Hand Book 5: Split Infinitites); this would lean into the science fiction and action/adventure genres
  • Evolution’s War: This series documents the war between the Fourth Reich and basically the rest of humanity; this might evolve into a military science fiction work, which appeals to me

You meet the Fourth Reich in Split Infinities, too. It was a busy book. Interestingly, I didn’t plan to introduce it. It kind of showed up on its own. Once I saw it on the page, though, I figured, “Hey, it’s time to remind the world that the Nazis are bad guys.”

Humans have such a short memory sometimes…

Progress against Last Week’s Goals

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

  1. Begin writing Evolution’s Hand Book 6: Unnatural Crypsis: Done!
  2. Take delivery of the cover for Blind Exodus: Done! Expect a cover reveal soon!
  3. Come up with an itemized list of next steps for my marketing effort: Done! More on this in the coming weeks.
  4. Make a go/no-go decision regarding publication of books 5 and 6: Done! Unless something drastic happens, I intend to finish Evolution’s Hand with six books. It might grow later, but for now, I plan to publish all six books.

Goals for the Week in Progress Report 2023 Week 29

Here’re my goals for the coming week:

  1. Finish Mariam Al Khatib’s Plot Turn 1
  2. Finish Catalina Ojeda’s Hook
  3. Finish Magali Suarez’ Hook
  4. Start Noam Katz’ Hook (stretch objective)
  5. Evaluate the results of the Fussy Librarian ad on July 20th

What Do You Think?

What do you think of the three series I’ve proposed? Does any one in particular sound promising? I’d be happy to take your thoughts into consideration as I decide where to go next! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

5 thoughts on “Progress Report 2023 Week 29

  1. I love the idea of having separate stories within the same world that might appeal to different readers. You’re bound to get some crossover too. It also gives you more starter points that you can advertise.

    I’ve been thinking of keeping a couple of my stories in the same universe so that I can leave Easter Eggs everywhere for people to spot.

    1. I included mention of the three series in my newsletter today. I asked readers to let me know which series sounded most promising to them. Right now, I’m inclined to go with either Evolution’s War or Volition’s Hand.

      My worry with military sci-fi is that my world has a twist on the protagonist’s ships: they’re corporate, so they don’t have captains, XOs, lieutenants, or petty offices. They have Supervisors, Assistant Supervisors, Professionals, Staff, and Workers. I’m not sure if the audience would see that as a fun twist or a brutal betrayal.

      Though I could write it from the UN or EU’s perspective. They have active fleets and have traditional military ranking. But I don’t know that world as well!

      I guess I would write a free novella to test the waters…

      1. Yeah, military fiction fans will call you out on the ranks. Some may enjoy the twist, but from what I’ve seen they can be quite militant about stuff like that… lol!

        I like the sound of the multiple universe one as they gives you the opportunity to do anything. You can really have fun with that one.

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