Scott Marlowe, fantasy author

Scott Marlowe

Author of the Alchemancer and Assassin Without a Name fantasy series

Writing Update #5

This Monday's writing progress is coming in a little late because (1) today is Labor Day and thus a holiday and (2) my wife and I have been out all day biking and then celebrating my dad's birthday.

However, I do have some progress to report, so let's jump into it.

Let me throw up the latest graph:

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I'm currently editing page 329, an improvement of 16 pages over last week's status. That puts me at a completion percentage of 79.47%. Last week I was at 75.24%.

As you can see, my completion percentage over time is very linear:

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A few more stats: Total pages dropped by 2 to 414, word count dropped also from 123,508 to 122,866.

That's about it for this time. I'm still chugging away on editing, and I think based on some information I found and posted about regarding total word count I have a tough decision to make. I'm going to have to cut something fairly big in order to reduce the total word count down to where it needs to be. I have something in mind, but I need to finish the first pass, then take a look at the big picture before I make any rash decisions.

Till next time.

Writing Update #4

I almost had to write this report with not much progress to go over. Fortunately, my measly progress during the week last week was aided by some more serious progress over the weekend.

Here's my updated progress:

Writing Progress

You can see some definite trending upward on the dark blue (lower) portion of the bar. That's my editing progress. Of course, the lighter blue (upper) portion of the bar is gradually diminishing in size, which of course means there are fewer pages remaining to edit. It's all so scientific.

Week-to-week, total page count decreased by 1 page from 417 to 416. Current page edited went from 297 to 313, an increase of 16 pages. Not great, but not bad. That leaves 103 pages left to edit on this first pass.

Let me pop up another graph, this one of my progress in percentage terms:

% Complete

I'm currently 75.24% complete with this first pass edit.

I was really hoping to have at least 20 pages edited by this report; now I have a goal for next week.

Until next time.

Writing Update #3

It's Monday, so time for a writing progress update. As I indicated in my first writing progress update, I'm putting these out each week to hold myself accountable for editing progress on my current novel-in-progress.

Here's the chart of where I've been since I started these updates as well as where I'm at currently:

Current total page count dropped 2 pages from last week to 417 pages. I've edited 297 pages, up from 279 the previous week. That gets me to a completion percentage of 71.22% compared with last week's 66.59%. Can you tell I'm an engineer yet?

Bottom line is I think I'm making good progress. Not as well as I would like, but it's a constant battle against distraction, how much time to spend on blog posts, and actually having a little down-time every once in a while.

I think I see light at the end of the tunnel, at least on this first pass edit. More progress next week.

Writing Update #2

As promised, I'm going to report my writing progress each and every Monday.

Last week, my current novel-in-progress stood at 421 pages or 125,037 words. Also, I was editing page 261.

As of today, I'm at 419 pages and 124,227 words. Currently I'm editing page 279. Here's that in graphical format: 

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I'm currently mired in a first pass, which means I'm paying attention to flow, grammatical mistakes, and general sentence revisions. Basically anything that's out of place or inconsistent gets whacked or fixed. I'm leaving behind "markers" in places where I know I need to go back and add more or new content. I do that simply so I can focus on getting to the end of this first pass. Subsequent passes are inevitable, but I want to be able to look at the "big picture" and not waste time refining details just yet. Who knows if this or that detail will actually make the final cut; I don't want to spend time working something that's just going to get tossed. So, just like pushing onward with trying to complete the novel is important, so is pushing forward with the completion of each revision.

Now, as far as progress goes, I'm 18 pages closer to the end (279 – 261 = 18 pages). I suspect the total page count will continue to decline; my goal is to get it down under 120,000 words. It's tough determining what stays and what goes, but it has to be done. Total word count is an important factor for new writers. It's a topic I've been meaning to address with a separate blog post.

That's it for this past week's progress. Next report in a week.

Writing Update #1

1020206_fastest_writer_on_the_world A lot of writers blog about their writing progress. I used to do this on my previous blog; going back over those posts I can't but feel a little bored. Yeah, bored. I can only wonder how others felt. Many times I spoke in the abstract, not wanting or really being able to reveal meaningful details about specific characters or certain plot points.

However, with regard to regular writing progress updates, I'm going to (re-)start doing just that each Monday, starting today.

I'll tell you why:

  1. Because it allows me to gauge my own progress from week-to-week.
  2. More importantly, it provides me a sort of accountability.

The first I could just as easily do in a spreadsheet that I keep to myself, so it's really #2 which makes this exercise meaningful. If I edit through several chapters or write new material to the tune of a few thousand words, then I'm going to report it and probably feel good about it. On the other hand, if I get lazy, stuck, or otherwise derailed by one of life's curve balls or some other commitment, then I'm also going to report my lack of progress and probably feel a little downtrodden. I'm hoping that, in the latter case, I get motivated to make a good report the following week. I'll report figures in both page and word count, because both are important.

So, without further ado, here's where I'm at right now:

I'm going through a first-pass edit on my fantasy novel, The Five Elements. It's a total of 421 pages or 125,037 words. I'm currently editing page 261. My initial goal with this first pass is to instill consistency and flow. I've left behind a couple of "markers"—places I know I need to flesh out a scene or add something new. Oftentimes as I'm writing new plot points hit me; sometimes I add them immediately, other times I throw in a marker. For now, I've gone with the latter approach so I can complete the first pass without interruption. After that, it's on to completing those markers and a second pass at editing.

I'll report next Monday on how far I've gotten.