Justification Progress Post

Progress Report 2023 Week 42

Did I drag the first draft of Evolution’s Hand Book 6: Unnatural Crypsis across the finish line? Did the Fussy Librarian ad do well? Am I ready to dive into The Sword of Sirius Book 1: Firebreak yet? Can I ask even more questions in the introductory paragraph? We’ll address these questions (well, except the last one, which I’ll leave as rhetorical) after the infographic!

Progress Report 2023 Week 42 By the Numbers

The bad news? I fell short of 10,000 words for the week. The good news? It’s because I finished the first draft!

I’ve finished the first draft of Evolution’s Hand Book 6: Unnatural Crypsis on Sunday! The brings Evolution’s Hand to an end, at least for now. That series established my primary fictional universe — its characters, institutions, and general physics. I’m proud of it as a solid foundation.

On December 21, 2020, I announced that watching a video from Dan Wells gave me the last piece of perspective I’d been missing. Before that, I had struggled to reignite my novel writing efforts — which had been on pause for about thirty years. On that day, I began writing Evolution’s Hand Book 1: Executive Action. Unless my memory deceives me, I have published a progress update post every week from that point forward! And you know what? I kinda proud of that.

Since then, I’ve written six novels:

  1. Evolution’s Hand Book 1: Executive Action: 156,980 words
  2. Evolution’s Hand Book 2: Dying Breath: 197,693 words
  3. Evolution’s Hand Book 3: Primary Target: 168,371 words
  4. Evolution’s Hand Book 4: Blind Exodus: 141,455 words
  5. Evolution’s Hand Book 5: Splint Infinities: 143,499 words (current draft)
  6. Evolution’s Hand Book 6: Unnatural Crypsis: 127,433 (first draft)

That’s a total of 935,431 words. Not bad for about three years of work (December 2020 to October 2023). Not great, but not bad. I had to remind myself I have a full-time career, family responsibilities, and an anime blog, too.

Now I just have to get the last two published!

Progress on The Sword of Sirius

I’m trying to use the concepts from Chris Fox’s book Write to Market to position my next series:

It’s a good book. It reinforces some of the material I’ve learned from The Writing Wives in terms of the use of tropes. I’m still fighting my instinct to say that writing to market means selling out and using tropes means cheating. I’m fighting that idea for a very, very simple reason: it’s wrong. Understanding the market is the same as saying “understanding what readers want to read.” Consciously using tropes is simply embracing the techniques every story-teller has used: using shared cultural touch-points to make stories immediate and relatable.

I’m working on the plot now. I have the main protagonist, the main antagonist, and the overall political situation mapped out. I want one more POV character, and I think I know who to use. If all goes well, I hope to be ready to begin writing during the first week of November. I waited to start plotting Unnatural Crypsis until I’d finished writing Split Infinities. I went too long without writing, and that was not cool. I’ve already laid a lot of the groundwork, so I hope I can move more quickly on this one!

Progress against Last Week’s Goals

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

  1. Finish Mariam Al Khatib’s Resolution: Done!
  2. Finish Matsushita Sachi’s Resolution: Done!
  3. Write a previous chapter in Melchizedek Conrad’s arc: Done!
  4. Write Melchizedek Conrad’s Resolution: Done!
  5. Evaluate the results of the Fussy Librarian ad scheduled for this week: Done! I was very happy with how it performed!
  6. (Stretch) Continue working on the plot for The Sword of Sirius Book 1: Firebreak: Done!

Goals for the Week in Progress Report 2023 Week 42

Here’re my goals for this coming week:

  1. Begin the ProWritingAid/Read Aloud pass for Evolution’s Hand Book 5: Split Infinities
  2. Receive the new proof read for Evolution’s Hand Book 1: Executive Action
  3. Prepare a new ebook and paperback edition of Executive Action, including updated back matter material to point to my website’s book listing page
  4. Continue working on the plot for The Sword of Sirius Book 1: Firebreak

What Do You Think?

How many books/projects can you work on at one time? Do you ever have trouble keeping them separate? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments!

2 thoughts on “Progress Report 2023 Week 42

  1. Six book is nothing to sniff at. You should be super proud of that achievement. Many fail to finish one. Only fourteen away from the goal!

    1. That’s a good point — both finishing even one, and being 14 away. It’s hard to take the long view sometimes, so thanks for the reminder!

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