News Progress Post

Progress Report 2023 Week 47

How much does Real Life Work Events (RLWEs) affect my writing? More than I realized, it seems! I almost included a serious blunder in my latest chapter of The Sword of Sirius Book 1: Firebreak. Did I catch the problem before I wrote the chapter? Do I have new marketing plans for Evolution’s Hand Book 1: Executive Action? Let’s look at those questions after the infographic.

Progress Report 2023 Week 47 By the Numbers

Still less than 10,000 words for the week. And yet again, I have a good excuse!

I only managed 6,663 words this week. But it wasn’t because of the RLWE — I’ll talk about it in a moment. No, my low word count was because I am still in the first third of the book, and I’m writing scenes where I need more casting, or I need more ships names. In terms of the latter, I had a ship class named after mythical Norse mountains. That sounded cool to me! And then I could find three. So I had to work around that limitation (I need a lot more than three ships!).

So while my word count is lower than I’d like, I’m still making progress. The world feels real, the settings and political situations are coming together, and the characters are interacting. I hope that this coming week, I can increase the word count and really kick this thing into gear!

RLWEs and Plotting

Luisa Brunner’s arc includes some fleet war games in the early chapters. Álfheimr upgraded their latest batch of ships, and the Chancellery wants to compare them to the old. Fine, I thought. I have two fleets: the Blue Fleet and the Yellow Fleet. I can use those!

But wait! I only had a vague sketch of the Yellow fleet. So I dutifully built it out with the correct number of Dáinsleif-class, Midgardsfjella-class, Franz von Mercy-class, and Aachen-class ships. The general who commanded the Yellow Fleet had been promoted to the Justice Minister, so I had to cast that role. Brunner had been the generalmajor of the Blue Fleet, but she was promoted to Generalleutnant of the Álfheimr Defense Fleet. So I had to fill in her old role. That left a few miscellaneous positions to cast, like the Hauptmann (captain) of the Blue Fleet’s flagship, the Dáinsleif. I thought I was good to go!

I had spent most of my Sunday two hour writing window already, so I could only write a few paragraphs. But I really wanted to keep the momentum up. Then I recorded my word count, saved my work, backed it up, and called it a day.

I’d forgotten that Generalmajor Kieffer’s Yellow Fleet was otherwise occupied.

That night, sitting on the couch with my wife and watching football, I sat straight up. I startled my wife as much as I startled my cat. I’d screwed up! The Yellow Fleet would have remained on patrol. Not only that, but the entire point of the exercise was to test the new ships — which were in as-yet-unnamed fleet! The Yellow consisted entirely of older ships.

That’s how much an RLWE effected me. Ordinarily, I’m all over something like that. But this time, I got distracted.

What’s the RLWE? I’m changing jobs. I haven’t done that for over a decade. I’d forgotten how much of a disruption it could be! I’m relieved I caught this before I’d written a two thousand word chapter. As it was, I had to build out the new Silver Fleet and make a few corrections to the partial chapter.

Don’t get me wrong! I’m looking forward to the new job. Quite a lot, actually. I just wasn’t ready for the impact to my routine. But now I’m on my guard! I hope.

Progress against Last Week’s Goals

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

  1. Finish Luisa Brunner’s Plot Turn 1: Done!
  2. Finish Owen Payne’s Plot Turn 1: Half done! I got into it and realized it needed to be multiple chapters. That’s starting to be trend — with Evolution’s Hand, I had more POVs, and each major arc point seemed to average about 1 to 1.5 chapters per POV. Here, though, it’s looking closer to 2 or 3. I’m interested in seeing how that develops!
  3. Finish Luisa Brunner’s Pinch 1: Started! This is the effort I just talked about — the effort that resulted in the creation of the Silver Fleet.
  4. Start Owen Payne’s Pinch 1: Not Started!
  5. Review potential new/old marketing routes for Evolution’s Hand Book 1: Executive Action: I’ve scheduled a BargainBooksy ad for November 28th and a Fussy Librarian ad for November 30th.

Goals for the Week in Progress Report 2023 Week 47

Here’s what I hope to accomplish this week:

  1. Finish Luisa Brunner’s Pitch 1
  2. Finish Owen Payne’s Plot Turn 1
  3. Finish Owen Payne’s Pinch 1 Part 1
  4. Start Owen Payne’s Pinch 1 Part 2
  5. Evaluate Executive Action Book 5: Split Infinities’ beta feedback

What Do You Think?

How do you keep your primary career from interfering with your mental bandwidth for writing — while still dedicating yourself to your primary career? Or have you worked hard enough to have made writing your primary career? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!