Scott Marlowe, fantasy author

Scott Marlowe

Author of the Alchemancer and Assassin Without a Name fantasy series

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.

Writing Update #24

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

This past week was a good one. 30 pages edited total, bringing me up to page 181 out of a current total of 352. There's some significance there, not only in the 30 pages, which is the most I've edited in a week since starting this second edit, but also in the fact that my total page count did not change from the previous week to this one. Without fail the total page count has been going down, sometimes dramatically, so it's nice to see some stabilization.

Here's how pages edited/remaining is looking:

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That puts me at 171 pages remaining and, wow, I'm +50% now:

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51.42%, to be exact.

Total word count only went down by 34 words this time, ending at 103,363.

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Looking ahead, I'm about to enter a minefield where many of the mines have already gone off and left craters behind. That's because I took out some rather large chunks of the story during the first edit as I realized those sections were not entirely relevant to the overall storyline. What this now means that instead of editing I'll be patching disparate parts together and, in some cases, writing new material to bridge the gaps.

I'll see how it goes and report back next week. Till then, good writing.

Writing Update #23

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

I really thought I was going to have nothing good to report this time, but I wound up squeezing out 13 pages despite it being New Year's and a bunch of other things coming up. It was, however, a welcome if unscheduled break which hopefully has charged my batteries a bit.

So, 13 pages, bringing me to a current page of 151 (up from last week's 140). Total pages went down, again, this time from 354 to 352.

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% complete went from 39.55% to 42.90%. A small gain.

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Total word count: last week I had 104,006 words. This week, 103,397, a decrease of 609 words. Not much of a decrease, but a decrease nonetheless.

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That's it for this time. Back to writing for me.

Writing Update #22

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

Another good week. Before I jump into the numbers, some reflection: I find myself cutting a lot of "junk". By that I mean passages that are nothing more than info dumps or scenes where a character is thinking, introspectively, mayhap trying to rationalize something out, but I'm finding those paragraphs kind of tedious to read. I can only assume if I find them so, how's a reader going to feel? That's an excellent warning sign of something that probably needs to go. In fact, if you take nothing else from this post, take that. If you find yourself losing interest while reading your own writing, chances are your readers are going to feel the same way. No point in keeping such baggage around.

Now, on to the progress…

Like I started to say: it was a good week, especially considering half of it was spent at various xmas functions. Overall, I advanced my current page editing to 140, up from last week's 125. Total pages dropped (again) from 361 to 354. That gave me 22 pages for the week.

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Percent complete jumped to 39.5% from last week's 34.6%:

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Total word count proved interesting once more, decreasing by 1,864 to a total of 104,006. It's amazing how much that keeps going down as I cut and slash and tighten my prose. It will be interesting indeed to see where it lands when all is said and done.

That's it for now. Back to writing for me.

Writing Update #21

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

This was a good week. Much better than last, anyway. I managed to edit through 28 pages total, only 2 of which came from page reduction. That puts me at a current page of 125, up from last week's 99, out of 361 pages total, down from last week's 363.

Here's the first graph:

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Percentage complete, now at 34.63% (I'm 1/3rd of the way there!):

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Last, total word count, which now stands at 105,870 compared to last week's 106,591:

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So, I dropped about 700 words, which more or less continues my downward trend as shown directly above. Still, I only reduced the total page count by 2 this time; most of the progress came from pushing forward.

I've been shooting for roughly 20 pages/week. From a full-time writer's perspective that probably isn't very good, but I don't think that's a fair outlook on things. You have to look at it from the perspective of someone who does this in his spare time after going to work every day. Anyway, the moral of this story is to write, however and whenever you can.

Hope to have some good progress to report next week as well. I've got one more day at work, then I'm off the remainder of the year, so I sure hope I'm able to make good use of the time.