News Progress Post

Progress Report 2024 Week 21

Two weeks ago, I had hoped to test my theory that adding an extra day to my weekly writing schedule would yield a higher word count. Unfortunately, last week, a Real Life Family Event (RLFE) attacked and blocked me (with an assist from a major technical failure). How’d things fare this week? If I got any writing done at all, did this week’s chapters show show the same propensity to multiply? Before we dive into those questions and more, let’s take a look at the infographic.

Last Week’s Progress By the Numbers

Turns out an extra day does support a higher word count!

This week was strangely free of RFLEs. The superstitious side of my brain is sounding alarm klaxons for the coming week. Things went too well! That’s irrational, isn’t it?

I’ve been thinking a lot about how one’s raised affects one’s outlook. I know — that’s nothing terribly deep. That said, whenever that superstitious side speaks up, I can trace it to several events. Maybe the earliest, and most clear, was when, as a little kid, we visited my grandma and grandpa’s farm. We all lived on farms, but my dad’s father’s farm was the hub.

Grandma always had cookies for us. I still remember the brown ceramic cookie jar with its black lid. I think the cookies were those big Archway things — and they were bigger in the 1970s. Or this might have been the late 1960s.

We had parked at the milk house. I ran to the main house. I remember looking forward to those soft, delicious cookies. Well, I got to the sidewalk and startled the two Dalmatians who lived on the farm. They weren’t kept tied. They were farm dogs, so that was normal. Did you know Dalmatians startle easily? And they’re kinda touchy about it? They chewed me up pretty good. I remember iodine and bandaids.

From that point forward, I’ve associated looking forward to something with painful disappointment. It’s weird. I never forgot what happened, but I never connected it to my adult attitudes. Now that I’ve made the connection, I have a rational leverage over the superstition it created. But it still takes effort.

I still love dogs, but I don’t own one now. I don’t think I ever will. Cats are cool, too. The worst thing my cat does is sit in front of my monitor if she thinks it’s time for me to feed her. I can deal with that.

Owen Payne and Ira Malhotra Very Vocal about Plot

The first two books in The Sword of Sirius, Red Flag Warning and Collapse Zone, both showed a tendency to have more chapters per plot point than their counterparts in Evolution’s Hand. They also have half the number of point of view (POV) characters. That trend continues in Firebreak.

I’m getting close to the end of Firebreak.

For example, Payne’s Midpoint stretched to two chapters. Malhotra’s Pinch 2 extended from two to three chapters. To me, this is a good thing. The characters are coming alive as I type, and they’re working with the plot to move things forward.

Also, Malhotra and Payne both let me know that I’d forgotten to foreshadow some key plot elements. Well, it’s not so much that I forgot as I didn’t have a clear enough idea exactly what had to happen. But on Sunday, I added an hour to my writing time to add verbiage in both Collapse Zone and Firebreak to setup the climax. I’m feeling pretty good about the plot, which is a relief: I’m getting very close to the end!

Progress against Last Week’s Goals

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

  1. Finish Owen Payne’s Pinch 1 Part V: Done! Or done-ish. It became Midpoint Part I.
  2. Finish Luisa Brunner’s Midpoint Part III: Done!
  3. Finish Owen Payne’s Midpoint: Done! It also expanded two two chapters.
  4. Finish Owen Payne’s Pinch 2: Done! It also became two chapters.
  5. Finish the Helper Plot’s “Ungrateful Receiver” (stretch objective): Not done! Payne’s expansions took that time.

Goals for the Week in Progress Report 2024 Week 21

Here’s what I hope to finish this week:

  1. Finish the Helper Plot’s “Ungrateful Receiver” chapter
  2. Finish Luisa Brunner’s Pinch 2
  3. Finish Ira Malhotra’s Pinch 2 Part III
  4. Finish Owen Payne’s Plot Turn 2
  5. Finish the Helper Plot’s “Consolation Prize” (stretch objective)

What Do You Think?

Does writing help you make connections to your past? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.