Yes, I'm still here… and still writing

Rumors of my death are false. I'm still alive and kicking and trying to squeeze in some writing whenever and however I can. I'm relying more and more on Office Live Workspace for those days when I don't have my laptop with me. It's working out pretty well; I'd like to do another blog post on the topic as a follow-up. Stay tuned for that.

Now, however, I've slowed the blogging, including doing weekly writing updates because I've been finding it harder and harder of late to make any significant progress. I hate to just post that I didn't make any progress week in and week out—of course, here I am doing just that.

On writing… I did take a couple of weeks off. I needed the time to step away from my current project (the one I'd been posting weekly about). I like the characters. I like the story. But still, it was missing something. To that end, I've started over on the editing. Page 1. With a mind towards adding another layer to the story and, in particular, to one character. The end result is that I hopefully end up with a better story. Whether I accomplish that or not… we'll have to see.

So, it's back to writing for me. Blogging will likely be kept to a minimum while I concentrate on wrapping up this novel. But I'll be around and back on the blogging thing in time.

Writing Update #29

A weekly progress report as I work through the (second pass) editing of my current fantasy novel.

Decent writing progress to report. I hit page 272 out of 368, which is a net gain of 14 pages over last week. I added 2 additional pages of new material—really 3—but with some other edits the end result was that the novel's length went from 366 total pages to 368.

Weeks left: 5.4. That's awesome. That means in just over a month I should be finished with this edit. The operative word is should. We'll see how it goes.

Here's some graphical progress:

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Total word count remained steady:

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Percentage completion is now at 74%:

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That's it for this time. Hope I have some more good progress to report next week.

Writing Update #27

A weekly progress report as I work through the (second pass) editing of my current fantasy novel.

So-so progress this past week. I'm now on page 220 of 365. That's up from last week's 213 and 359, respectively. That leaves me with 145 pages to go. I only cranked out 1,636 words for the week, so from that perspective I didn't do so good. But, I did complete a scene that I had left a "to do" behind on during the first edit, and I'm mostly pleased with the way it turned out.

Total word count went from 105,246 to 106,882, which means I've been creeping back towards that magical 110,000 number. Here's the chart:

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Percentage complete has kind of flattened out of late:

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I figure about 8.6 weeks left at my current pace, which I think is up a bit from last week. However, now that I'm back into editing instead of writing new material I should be able to get that number moving down again.

That's it. Good writing to those who do that sort of thing.

Writing Update #26

A weekly progress report as I work through the (second pass) editing of my current fantasy novel.

A couple of weeks ago I posted that I was going to start doing these writing updates monthly instead of weekly. Sometime between then and now I changed my mind. It's back to weekly.

Soon after I settled into that new, monthly reporting schedule, I noticed a change. I'd already slipped a bit the previous week, but now all of a sudden I was suddenly free! Free of responsibility, free of deadlines, free of the accountability I'd imposed upon myself. Unfortunately, such freedom comes with a price: I started spending more time at work and working on my other blog. Nothing wrong with either of those endeavors (in fact, work always comes first because it pays the bills), but the unintentional side-effect was that my writing progress was suffering.

So, back to weekly reporting for me. I realize 99.9% of the people who happen across this blog probably don't give a hoot about how many pages I edited or where my word count is at, so consider this a purely selfish indulgence on my part.

Now that I've bored you all to tears, let me bore you just a little more with this past week's writing progress. Even though I didn't report numbers for last week, I still kept track of them. But I'll go back and do a comparison between where I'm at right now and where I was a couple of weeks ago when last I posted the numbers. The graphs reveal the time between.

Currently, I'm editing page 213 out of a total of 359. That's up from a current page of 181 and total pages of 352 which is where I was at 2 weeks ago.

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Percentage-wise here's where I'm at:

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First of all, you can see where I slipped a little, though not all of that was me sipping margaritas instead of writing. I actually spent considerable time on a section that got butchered during the first pass edit. The end result was a lot of chunks of text missing, so I had to stitch that scene back together.

Total word count went up for a change:

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That's because I started adding new material instead of taking it out. Word count is now at 105,246. I feel pretty confident it won't go down too much more from hereon out.

I'm happy with my progress thus far. Even with a little slacking by my figuring I should have this second edit completed in about 8 weeks. Two more months, then, and eight more updates, then on to the third edit and publishing glory.

Writing Update #25

A weekly monthly weekly progress report as I work through the (second pass) editing of my current fantasy novel.

This past week was not a writer's week. It was much more a software engineer's week, and a DIY'ers week around the house a bit, too. That's how it goes sometimes, though; as an author-in-progress I have to squeeze in time for writing whenever I can. Sometimes that time is ample, and I make good progress. Other times… not so much.

That being said, this past week was not a complete wash. I spent some time thinking through some plot points and especially coming up with some new material for the current chapter I'm working on. You see, the chapter has a lot of holes. Not plot holes. I mean, literally, holes, as in big chunks of the text were deleted during the previous edit. This is not as bad as it might sound because I'd been searching for a point in the story to layer in some character development. The story is rather fast-paced, so fitting in such material had been a challenge from day one. Now, though, I have the perfect place for it, and even a very nice segue from the previous chapter into this one.

One last thing before I conclude. I'm changing the frequency of this weekly update to monthly. I started this series as a way to track my progress and also to create a sort of accountability. I'm not relaxing either of those. But I've been finding lately that my blog is getting full of these updates and my weekly links series. In order to provide myself a bit more time to actually write and also to work on more meaningful posts, I'm relaxing the frequency of my writing updates.

The all-new monthly updates will come right around the 1st of each month. That means no (writing) update until February 1. See you back here then.