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Progress Report 2023 Week 43

I’m in the gap between writing novels — how’s that going? How’d I do against my goals for this week? And have I finally settled on the genre for The Sword of Series? Let’s look at the week’s progress, then get into those questions!

Progress Report 2023 Week 43 By the Numbers

The “Read Aloud” phase for Evolution’s Hand Book 5: Split Infinities is well underway! If only I had a more talented voice, I could narrate my own audio books!

It takes about ten or fifteen minutes for me to read a chapter out-loud and make any needed adjustments. So far, I haven’t had to make any major changes. I think that tells me reading aloud as I write produces a more finished manuscript. Once I finish reading Split Infinities aloud to myself, I’ll send it to a beta reader.

Progress on The Sword of Sirius Book 1: Firebreak

I’m doing some more research on genre tropes. The goal is to choose the right genre so I can kind of write to market and advertise with more precision. I’ve ruled out Space Opera. Firebreak is not epic enough, there’re no alien races, and there’s no massive and catastrophic confrontation. At least, not in the first book. I think I’ve settled on Military Science Fiction, though with trepidation. I’m mindful of Lynn’s comment back in week 29. But trope-wise, it’s a better match than Space Opera.

I have chosen my three POV characters: Ira Malhotra, Luisa Brunner, and Owen Payne. I have their Resolutions and Hooks plotted. I have solid ideas about where I want Malhotra’s arc to go; general ideas of Brunner’s; and I spent most of last week fleshing out Payne’s arc.

I was having a hard time with Payne. So I did what has inspired me in almost every book I’ve plotted so far: I enriched his environment. I built out what his job would entail. For example, I mapped the asteroid mining process from target selection to extraction to returning the material to the TransStell Sirius Mining Facility-4 (TSMF-4), where Payne works. I didn’t stop there! I also mapped the downstream process so I knew his responsibilities in context of TransStell Ship Construction Facility (TSCF)-4. After I had that framework in place, the story started to flow.

I had a lot of fun building the planet. Too much fun, actually!

I did something similar for Malhotra. Her opening scenes place her at TransStell’s fourth colony, which is in the 61 Ursae Majoris system. I got into building that planet so much that I had to pull back — it’s not a major setting for Firebreak, so I don’t want to spend a lot of time on it now. But it was so much fun! I’m going to make a point of revisiting the world at some point.

Progress against Last Week’s Goals

Here’s my progress according to last week’s goals:

  1. Begin the ProWritingAid/Read Aloud pass for Evolution’s Hand Book 5: Split Infinities: Done!
  2. Receive the new proof read for Evolution’s Hand Book 1: Executive Action: Done!
  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: Not Done! I spent too much time plotting Firebreak.
  4. Continue working on the plot for The Sword of Sirius Book 1: Firebreak: Done!

Goals for the Week in Progress Report 2023 Week 43

Here’s what I plan to accomplish this week:

  1. Prepare a new ebook and paperback edition of Executive Action, including updated back matter material to point to my website’s book listing page
  2. Continue working on the plot for The Sword of Sirius Book 1: Firebreak
  3. Evaluate the results of a Book Barbarian promotion
  4. Read at least 20 more chapters aloud for Executive Action Book 5: Split Infinities

What Do You Think?

Is there some part of the writing process that you like more than others — like world building? How do you know when you have enough? Put another way — how do you know when it’s time to work on another thing? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!

2 thoughts on “Progress Report 2023 Week 43

  1. I love the world building process and can easily see why people get caught up in it for ages instead of writing the books. One thing, I’m curious about is how you get your characters names. I love how varied they are. Just wondered if you had a process?

    1. Thanks! I wanted my names to reflect the varied nationalities of my characters, so I several databases of popular names in a given country. For example, if I wanted Bolivian names, I’d check for surnames. I might search Google in general for common gender-specific first names.

      It’s not random. I try to chose names that “sound” right. But the key is that I try to be as authentic as possible by using statistical sources.

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