Scott Marlowe, fantasy author

Scott Marlowe

Author of the Alchemancer and Assassin Without a Name fantasy series

Writing Update #15

Last week I reported that I had finished the first edit of my WIP and that I was now moving on to the second edit.

Briefly, I continue editing on the computer until I feel all the pieces are in place, that the obvious snafus have been fixed, sentences all makes sense, and scenes play out as I had envisioned them. While editing my previous book, I did this as many times as it took to get all of these things right—about 3-4 times, as I recall. After that, I go to paper, printing out each chapter in order where I basically start the editing process over again. Of course, it all gets easier and easier as all the pieces fall into place, or at least that's the idea.

Enough about the future; let's take a look at my current progress.

I reset everything, so I'm back on page 1. Or, I was, until I put some work in this past week, editing 16 pages out of a current total of 380. Here's a bar chart:

image

Not much to look at right now.

Percentage complete is a bit more interesting:

image

OK. Still not really that interesting. I'm 4.21% complete with the second edit. Still a long ways to go.

Last, I like to look at my ongoing total word count:

image

It's come down a bit; it's going to continue to fluctuate at least through this edit as I still need to fill some holes in here and there and add or remove pieces as needed to get everything to flow. Some of that flow was disrupted, for example, when, across the board, I removed one of the characters from the story.

Going into winter, with the days shorter and there being less light for outdoor activities, I intend to have more time to write. But, of course, we've got Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, both of which have a whole host of obligations to go along with them. Such is life, though, right?

Till next time.

Writing Update #14

First edit of the rough draft of my fantasy adventure novel: done.

I actually finished about mid-week last week, at which time I took a few days off to concentrate on my reading of Bujold's Sharing Knife series (of which I committed to reviewing for EOS Books). I've finished books one and two, by the way. But this blog entry isn't about my reading progress, it's about my writing progress, so…

Here's what 100% done looks like:

image

and,

image

Here's how total word count wound up finishing:

image

That's it. First edit done. It's a step towards completion.

Total word count stands at 112,737. Page count at 382.

Now, I reset the graphs and start over. My second edit will still be done exclusively on the computer. I don't waste paper until I feel I've done most of the editing, or at least until I have something wholly coherent that flows from start to finish. I'm not there yet.

I expect to continue these updates each Monday (this one is coming a day early b/c I won't have my laptop with me tomorrow), if not for your benefit, than certainly for mine. I've found they've been a useful tool for accountability as well just a way for me to gauge my progress.

Until next time.

Writing Update #13

I'm almost done with the first edit of my fantasy novel, The Five Elements.

I'm on page 381 of 385, which gives me a completion percentage of 98.96%.

A bit of explaining: Last week I'd related how I had to essentially axed the last chapter, so instead of editing I've really been engaged in new writing. At that time I also came up with a guesstimate on the total page count, pegging it at 388. Now that I'm a little closer, I dropped that down to the magic number of 385. Bottom line: 4 more pages to go.

I probably would have had that last bit done if I hadn't been without my laptop all weekend. In any case, there's a definite end to this road in sight.

Weekly progress is this: up to page 381 from page 372, pages remaining dropped from 16 to 4, and total word count (see graph at bottom) rose from 110,885 to 112,386.

Here's the graphs:

image

Percentage complete (almost 100%!):

image

Last, I've got a new one that shows Total Word Count. It's kind of interesting to see the beginning total of about 125,000 shrink as I edited along, chopping out unneeded words and, in some cases, entire sections. All part of the editing process.

image

Writing Update #11

image Just a quick writing update this time in which I dispense with the graphs at least for this one time.

All told, this past week was not a good one for writing. I started strong, finishing off a crucial, second-to-last-chapter section, but then I got sick and everything came to a screeching halt. It was one of those "your brain now belongs to us" sort of colds that I only just got over yesterday.

So, I got a little break, whether I wanted one or not. It did give me a little time to reflect on how I truly want to wrap the main storyline up. Most of it is already there, but I had made some mid-novel changes that, like a row of dominos, had ramifications all the way unto the finishing line. Those loose ends have almost been wrapped up at this point. Once that's done, I can get back to the actual writing where I will soon have this thing wrapped up.

Writing Update #10

I'm closing in on the finish line. Current total pages stands at 375, down 1 page from last week. Currently editing page 362, up from last week's 348. That gives me a 15 page increase for the week, gets the pages remaining down to 13, and puts me at a bottom-line completion percentage of 96.53%.

I'm happy with my progress, though I have to admit in terms of pages edited that progress seems kind of dismal. It's enough to make a less-determined person give it up. Fortunately, I think I've been doing this long enough (few years now) that I know how small the steps in writing a novel can be at times. Also, this is a first-pass edit which, for me, is really the most work (besides writing the novel itself).

I might be making slow progress, but it's steady progress. With only about 1 1/2 chapters left to edit, I'm about there.

Another thing I like is the total word count, which stands at 110,599, down just a little from last week, but on target for the limit I had previously investigated.

Here's the pages edited/remaining chart:

image

And the percentage outlook (with a smaller range on the Y-axis to better demonstrate progress):

image

More writing progress next week when I hope to announce the completion of this first-pass edit.