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Progress Report 2024 Week 25

All three books of The Sword of Sirius are now in post-production. That’s a fancy way of saying I’ve finished my drafts and they’re heading into the next pre-publishing stages. How far along are they? Did I find a cover for The Sword of Sirius Book 2: Collapse Zone? Did I force myself to write drafts of the Amazon blurbs — or did I turn my focus elsewhere? First, let’s take a look at the key indicators for Dreams of Deucalion Book 1: Stellar Entanglements.

Last Week’s Progress By the Numbers

I still haven’t started writing — but that’s to be expected at this stage!

No words written yet, but my goals for last week included two steps that are pre-cursors to writing the first words:

  • Finish casting for Dreams of Deucalion
  • Sketch sets for Dreams of Deucalion

In my post from last week, I mentioned that I’d picked Atticus Porter as the main protagonist and Jadwiga Janczak as the main antagonist for Dreams of Deucalion. Their relationship represents the core conflict that’ll drive the series. But there’s one more protagonist I needed. As those two corporate giants fight, I needed a thematic protagonist. I knew what I wanted, but I couldn’t articulate it. The only thing I could say for sure is that every character I proposed to myself wasn’t who I was looking for.

Decades ago, the primitive ideas I had that eventually bloomed into Evolution’s Hand included several characters in the Conrad family. One of them was Trent Conrad, who was a very reluctant recruit to the family business. I decided to combine him with a new concept. There’s a question that’s been lurking in plain sight, and it’s this: if TransStell is a family-run business, where are the other Conrads?

The character that complete the triad for Stellar Entanglements is Trent Raven. He’s the leader of a special operations team that’s trapped in the radioactive wasteland that is North Korea. And he’s going to be key to the rest of the series. If I explain why, it’ll wreck the suspense, so I’ll just say that I intend Dreams of Deucalion to seriously upset the status quo in my universe.

I finished the first pass of Porter’s and Janczak’s arcs. I’ll add Raven’s, then sequence them. After that, it’ll be time to start writing!

I’m not sure how long the series will be. It might be another trilogy like The Sword of Sirius. I’ll likely be in the middle of writing Stellar Entanglements when I publish The Sword of Sirius, and if readers really like the format, I might use that for a while. The structure actually helps me focus.

Progress against Last Week’s Goals

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

  1. Finish the ProWritingAid pass for The Sword of Sirius: Firebreak: Done!
  2. Finish casting for Dreams of Deucalion: Done! At least, I’ve finished the main cast. I’ll have to cast many more secondary cast, of course!
  3. Sketch sets for Dreams of Deucalion: Started! There’s a huge set that’ll encompass the radioactive ruins of Pyongyang, North Korea.
  4. Begin to evaluate results of the cover search for The Sword of Sirius Book 2: Collapse Zone: Done! I picked miblart again, and they already delivered a draft of the cover.
  5. Begin to write Amazon blurbs for all three books in The Sword of Sirius: Not started! I got too involved with plotting Stellar Entanglements. I regret nothing!

Goals for the Week in Progress Report 2024 Week 25

Here’s what I hope to accomplish this week:

  1. Begin to write Amazon blurbs for all three books in The Sword of Sirius
  2. Finish Trent Raven’s arc
  3. Harmonize and sequence the arcs into a coherent plot
  4. Begin writing Stellar Entanglements (stretch objective)

What Do You Think?

If you started as a plotter, did you stay a plotter throughout your career? Or did you find your approach change over time? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!

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