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Progress Report 2024 Week 26

I ran into an issue this week, and I think I’ve gotten it taken care of. But I’ll be curious to hear if any of you have run into the same thing! Also, I continue to prepare The Sword of Sirius for publication. Did I buckle down and tackle blurb writing this week? And how about Dreams of Deucalion? Have I managed to finally start writing? That ties into my first sentence! But before we discuss, let’s take a look at the week’s infographic.

Last Week’s Progress By the Numbers

Well, that answers one question: no, I didn’t start writing this week!

As you can see, I didn’t start writing this week. It was close, though. Last week, I mentioned that I’d chosen the third and final POV character: Trent Raven. Despite that selection, though, I struggled all week to figure out how I wanted to approach his arc. I thought I had a handle on it, but none of the beats I came up with worked.

So, I started world building. I built out the California Republic’s Delta Force Squadron C. The more I researched, the more story opportunities I occurred to me. This is where the issue I mentioned in the introduction raised its head: I didn’t want to stop building the world. It was too much fun! For example, Squadron C in real life has three Troops (2 assault/sabre and one recon). Each Troop has four teams with two leaders each. Each team also has about six members, according to the Wikipedia article.

I quickly realized casting each position would generate a lot names I’d never use — or would serve only to bury my reader in meaningless details. So I decided the story would only involve one Troop and two Teams. That decision needed a basis in the story. Coming up with that rationale, and the reasoning behind other developments, started to clarify the story in my mind. I could see the world building contributing to the plot, so I kept going.

Long story short, I wanted to keep building out the world because I had a blast doing it. But as soon as I realized I had enough for the plot, as well as a little extra depth to hint at a wider world, I stopped. I’ve gotten lost in world building before, and only my experience back then helped me get past what could have become an issue — a never-ending world building spree without writing stories in that world!

Dreams of Deucalion Book 1: Stellar Entanglements

I had one more thing to do before beginning to write Stellar Entanglements, and that was to flesh out what I’m calling the “helper plot.” In The Sword of Sirius, I relied on the character Matsushita Hotaru to carry that burden. This time, it’s mostly Henry Duncan, a character we haven’t seen since Evolution’s Hand Book 4: Blind Exodus. He was a recruiting professional back then. He’s a manager now.

On Sunday morning, I finished sketching the helper plot. Then I went back through all four arcs to set their beats/sequences. I added some details to knit the arcs together and found that by the end of Sunday morning, I had identified everything that the character have told me (so far) that they want to have happen.

that included two new characters. I thought I’d finished casting last week. Nope! I had to build out the California Republic’s Space Command, identify the level of officer that Atticus Porter needed to interact with, then cast two colonels. With that, I think the pre-work’s done! If I have time Monday night, I’ll start writing. I have a planned Real Life Family Event (RLFE), though, so it might be Tuesday (if all goes well).

Once I figured out what Trend Raven wanted to do, the arcs clicked together.

The Sword of Sirius Inches Towards Publication

Right now, I’m actively work on two of the thee books from this series. Red Flag Warning is in the proofreading stage. So far, my proofreader says she doesn’t hate it. That’s encouraging! Collapse Zone, the second book, came back from a Fiverr beta reader, Jonah H. I hate to admit it, but he had a couple of criticisms that, after reflection, I recognized were spot on. Based on his input, I touched up the draft and got ready to send it to another beta tester.

I really like the work that another Fiverr freelancer performed on Red Flag Warning. I tried to ask for a quote only to find that she’s not accepting business until April 2025. Since I don’t want to wait that long, I found another highly rated freelancer and asked for a bid.

Right now, I’m tentatively planning to take delivery of Red Flag Warning’s proofread in June. I hope to get the final beta reads back for Collapse Zone by the end of July. If I want to publish in September (and I do!), then I need to get Firebreak into beta reading soon. I can’t double up on my proofreader, so that means the fastest I could get Collapse Zone back is the end of August and Firebreak by the end of September.

Huh. Looks like October is the earliest I could publish. That’s assuming I take delivery of Collapse Zone’s cover this month and Firebreak’s next month.

And, oh, yeah! I still need to write the blurbs because when it comes to marketing copy, I can procrastinate like a pro!

This is where you’d hear me sigh if this were a video.

Progress against Last Week’s Goals

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

  1. Begin to write Amazon blurbs for all three books in The Sword of Sirius: Not started.
  2. Finish Trent Raven’s arc: Done!
  3. Harmonize and sequence the arcs into a coherent plot: Done!
  4. Begin writing Stellar Entanglements (stretch objective): Not started!

Goals for the Week in Progress Report 2024 Week 26

Here’s what I hope to accomplish this week:

  1. Begin to write Amazon blurbs for all three books in The Sword of Sirius (this time for sure — see 1:08!)
  2. Write Trent Raven’s Hook
  3. Write Atticus Porter’s Hook
  4. Write Jadwiga Janczak’s Hook
  5. Take delivery of the cover for The Sword of Sirius Book 2: Collapse Zone
  6. Consider bidding for the last beta reading of The Sword of Sirius Book 2: Collapse Zone (stretch objective)
  7. Consider bidding on the first alpha/beta read for The Sword of Sirius Book 3: Firebreak (stretch objective)

What Do You Think?

Do you enjoy world building? Have you ever had to rein in your desire to keep going so you could start writing? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!

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