Scott Marlowe, fantasy author

Scott Marlowe

Author of the Alchemancer and Assassin Without a Name fantasy series

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.

image

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

image

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:

image

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.

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:

image

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

image

51.42%, to be exact.

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

image

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.

image

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

image

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.

image

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.

image

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

image

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.