Scott Marlowe, fantasy author

Scott Marlowe

Author of the Alchemancer and Assassin Without a Name fantasy series

Weekly Writing Progress & Other Business #17

I'm writing the next book in The Alchemancer series. It's called The Nullification Engine and should be out soon. As a way to keep readers updated on my progress and also so I can gauge the same, each week I take a look at my current writing progress and report it here. Also, I discuss some other areas revolving around the business side of things.

Maps

Maps are done. All five of them. Here are the reveals I've done so far:

The remaining two go along with the new book (progress below), so I'll keep those under wraps until the book launch.

New Editor

I had started a dialog with a potential new editor for my work and I'm happy to say we've entered into an agreement. I'm having him do a proofreading of The Hall of the Wood to start as I feel that title needs a bit more polish. Based on the edits he made to the sample I provided I think the book is going to come out of the process a whole lot stronger. Unfortunately, this particular person's services are in fairly high demand, so I won't get the final changes back for a couple of months. More waiting…

New Cover Designer

Since The Hall of the Wood is getting a new round of editing, I think it also needs a new cover. I got two potential proofs back from my new book cover designer this past week, showcased them over on kboards to get some feedback, and got some changes back to the designer. Now, more waiting as he makes those changes and gets them back to me.

Blogging

This past week I blogged about:

Writing Progress

Now, for the important stuff. Here's where I'm at:

Date Current Word
Count
Words Written Words/Day Words
Remaining
% Complete
12/1/2012 0 0 0 156,000 0.00%
12/8/2012 20,019 20,019 3,337 135,981 12.83%
12/15/2012 24,425 4,406 734 131,575 15.66%
12/22/2012 30,027 5,602 934 125,973 19.25%
12/29/2012 32,059 2,032 339 123,941 20.55%
1/5/2013 34,757 2,698 450 121,243 22.28%
1/12/2013 38,923 4,166 694 117,077 24.95%
1/19/2013 44,503 5,580 930 111,497 28.53%
1/26/2013 49,628 5,125 854 106,372 31.81%
2/2/2013 52,073 2,445 408 103,927 33.38%
2/9/2013 56,503 4,430 738 99,497 36.22%
2/16/2013 62,161 5,658 943 93,839 39.85%
2/23/2013 68,213 6,052 1,009 87,787 43.73%
3/2/2013 74,552 6,339 1,057 81,448 47.79%
3/9/2013 77,757 3,205 534 78,243 49.84%
3/16/2013 84,859 7,102 1,184 71,141 54.40%
3/23/2013 88,321 3,462 577 67,679 56.62%
3/30/2013 94,936 6,615 1,103 61,064 60.86%
4/6/2013 100,371 5,435 906 55,629 64.34%

Any week I exceed 5,000 words is a win in my book, so I'm happy with my progress, especially given that I continue to deal with other things like maps, covers, and editors. Such is the life of an independent author.

Here's the charts and I need to go mow the lawn (and then do some writing).

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Weekly Writing Progress & Other Business #16

I'm writing the next book in The Alchemancer series. It's called The Nullification Engine and should be out soon. As a way to keep readers updated on my progress and also so I can gauge the same, each week I take a look at my current writing progress and report it here. Also, I discuss some other areas revolving around the business side of things.

Good progress this week, plus a reset on progress in terms of percent as I realized my 5,000 words per chapter estimate was on the low side. More on that below.

Maps

I'm closing in on what should be my last few map updates. I hope so, anyway. At this point I have 4 of 5 maps in hand and complete. The ones I've revealed so far include the map to go along with The Hall of the Wood, the map for The Five Elements, and the world map. Map number 4 goes along with The Nullification Engine and will be revealed as part of the book launch in a few months. The last and final map, also to go along with The Nullification Engine, is a city map. The sketch for that one is now in the hands of my capable illustrator, so I'm in a holding pattern waiting to get the first draft back. Hopefully I'll have some more news next week on this.

Editing/Proofreading

I'm going to make an admission of guilt: The Hall of the Wood never went through the "proper" editing and proofreading process. It shows in some of the reviews, too. I've really no good reason why the book was never properly edited. I was new to the game, I thought I could edit it myself… None of which is excusable. When readers pay for something (or not, since HOTW has been downloaded tens of thousands of times for free), there should be some minimum guarantee of quality. HOTW is a book I want to remain on shelves for a long time. It has its flaws, but I think it's a good, enjoyable read. That being said, I've got a conversation going with a highly recommended editor who, if things work out, I also will hire to do the editing on this next book I'm working on now.

Book Covers

Since HOTW is getting a fresh round of (professional) editing, I thought I'd also see about getting a new cover done up. New cover, new edit, new edition, is what I'm thinking. I'm waiting to get the first proofs back from my book cover artist, so I might have something to show or talk about in next week's update.

Blogging

This past week I blogged about:

Writing Progress

So this is my 16th writing update since I started work on The Nullification Engine. That roughly means I've been working on the current, first draft for 16 weeks. I say 'roughly' because I actually put a lot of time into the outline prior to that. Four months in, and based on the revised numbers below, I'm just about 60% done. If you go back to last week's update, I was at 65%. The reason for the discrepancy is this: First, I made some tweaks to the outline, so I now have the expected number of chapters at 25 (down from 30 at one point). Also, I realized that my initial estimate of 5,000 words/chapter was low. Some quick calculations revealed I'm clocking in at about 6,500 words/chapter. This plays into the percentage complete estimation, so now with that new words/chapter figure I'm 58.42% done.

Here's the numbers:

Date Current Word
Count
Words Written Words/Day Words
Remaining
% Complete
12/1/2012 0 0 0 162,500 0.00%
12/8/2012 20,019 20,019 3,337 142,481 12.32%
12/15/2012 24,425 4,406 734 138,075 15.03%
12/22/2012 30,027 5,602 934 132,473 18.48%
12/29/2012 32,059 2,032 339 130,441 19.73%
1/5/2013 34,757 2,698 450 127,743 21.39%
1/12/2013 38,923 4,166 694 123,577 23.95%
1/19/2013 44,503 5,580 930 117,997 27.39%
1/26/2013 49,628 5,125 854 112,872 30.54%
2/2/2013 52,073 2,445 408 110,427 32.04%
2/9/2013 56,503 4,430 738 105,997 34.77%
2/16/2013 62,161 5,658 943 100,339 38.25%
2/23/2013 68,213 6,052 1,009 94,287 41.98%
3/2/2013 74,552 6,339 1,057 87,948 45.88%
3/9/2013 77,757 3,205 534 84,743 47.85%
3/16/2013 84,859 7,102 1,184 77,641 52.22%
3/23/2013 88,321 3,462 577 74,179 54.35%
3/30/2013 94,936 6,615 1,103 67,564 58.42%

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That's it from me. Kind of a long update. Now, back to writing.

Weekly Writing Progress & Other Business #15

I'm writing the next book in The Alchemancer series. It's called The Nullification Engine and should be out soon. As a way to keep readers updated on my progress and also so I can gauge the same, each week I take a look at my current writing progress and report it here. Also, I discuss some other areas revolving around the business side of things.

I had kind of a double-whammy on progress this past week. Last weekend I was out of town at one my wife’s mountain bike races (where I did some riding of my own) and then I had to actually commute into the office two days at the end of the week. Commuting into the office for me is about 2 hours round-trip, which doesn’t sound too terrible and isn’t since I did for many years, but the hours were just disruptive enough that it threw my writing schedule off a bit.

That being said, I still think I did ok. See below for the writing numbers. Meanwhile, I took care of some other business as well.

Maps

I did some work on what will be the fifth and last map I intend to have done. This last one is for the city of Brighton where most of the next book in The Alchemancer series takes place. Not much else to say about this other than that I hope to have the first draft of the sketch to my illustrator by next week.

Send to Kindle – Implemented!

Similar to the social buttons you often see for Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and others, Amazon now has a Send to Kindle button web developers can place on their sites so readers can automatically send content to their Kindles for later reading. The whole ‘send to kindle’ thing isn’t new, but the ease at which it works via the new button makes a big difference. It’s just too easy.

Here you can see where I placed the button at the top of each post.

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Click the button and you get something like this:

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Click "Send" and away the content goes to your Kindle eReader, cloud app, phone, etc. based on what settings you choose the first time you run through the process. It's really quite handy for 'reading later'.

Blogging

This past week I blogged about:

Writing Progress

The sooner I report this, the sooner I can begin the next cycle and keep on writing. So, here we go.

Date Current Word
Count
Words Written Words/Day Words
Remaining
% Complete
12/1/2012 0 0 0 135,000 0.00%
12/8/2012 20,019 20,019 3,337 114,981 14.83%
12/15/2012 24,425 4,406 734 110,575 18.09%
12/22/2012 30,027 5,602 934 104,973 22.24%
12/29/2012 32,059 2,032 339 102,941 23.75%
1/5/2013 34,757 2,698 450 100,243 25.75%
1/12/2013 38,923 4,166 694 96,077 28.83%
1/19/2013 44,503 5,580 930 90,497 32.97%
1/26/2013 49,628 5,125 854 85,372 36.76%
2/2/2013 52,073 2,445 408 82,927 38.57%
2/9/2013 56,503 4,430 738 78,497 41.85%
2/16/2013 62,161 5,658 943 72,839 46.05%
2/23/2013 68,213 6,052 1,009 66,787 50.53%
3/2/2013 74,552 6,339 1,057 60,448 55.22%
3/9/2013 77,757 3,205 534 57,243 57.60%
3/16/2013 84,859 7,102 1,184 50,141 62.86%
3/23/2013 88,321 3,462 577 46,679 65.42%

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It's back to writing for me.

Weekly Writing Progress & Other Business #14

I'm writing the next book in The Alchemancer series. It's called The Nullification Engine and should be out soon. As a way to keep readers updated on my progress and also so I can gauge the same, each week I take a look at my current writing progress and report it here. Also, I discuss some other areas revolving around the business side of things.

I'm posting this a day early because I actually don't plan on being anywhere near a computer this weekend. Well, I will have my phone… and the iPad… but you get the idea. Knowing this, I tried to get as much writing in earlier in the week and last weekend as I could and I think it paid off as I wound up having my best week since I started these updates.

Let's not waste any more time. Let's get to it.

Maps

In case you missed it, the World of Uhl map has been revealed! I think it came out pretty good.

Other than that, I have only one more map left for Jared Blando to work up for me. That last map is of the city of Brighton, where most of our story takes place in this next book. I'm still working on the sketch for that one, but it's not really a rush since I won't reveal that map or the one of the Earldom of Kettering until The Nullification Engine is released. I'm probably 3-4 months away on that, I think.

Blogging

This past week I blogged about:

Writing Progress

I'll get right to the numbers. I'm over 60% complete with the first draft of The Nullification Engine, having written 7,102 words this past week. That's a new high for me so far and I clocked a nice 1,184 average words/day. Still a ways to go, but I'm getting there.

Date Current Word
Count
Words Written Words/Day Words
Remaining
% Complete
12/1/2012 0 0 0 140,000 0.00%
12/8/2012 20,019 20,019 3,337 119,981 14.30%
12/15/2012 24,425 4,406 734 115,575 17.45%
12/22/2012 30,027 5,602 934 109,973 21.45%
12/29/2012 32,059 2,032 339 107,941 22.90%
1/5/2013 34,757 2,698 450 105,243 24.83%
1/12/2013 38,923 4,166 694 101,077 27.80%
1/19/2013 44,503 5,580 930 95,497 31.79%
1/26/2013 49,628 5,125 854 90,372 35.45%
2/2/2013 52,073 2,445 408 87,927 37.20%
2/9/2013 56,503 4,430 738 83,497 40.36%
2/16/2013 62,161 5,658 943 77,839 44.40%
2/23/2013 68,213 6,052 1,009 71,787 48.72%
3/2/2013 74,552 6,339 1,057 65,448 53.25%
3/9/2013 77,757 3,205 534 62,243 55.54%
3/16/2013 84,859 7,102 1,184 55,141 60.61%

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I especially like the way this one trends upwards. :-)

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Weekly Writing Progress & Other Business #13

I'm writing the next book in The Alchemancer series. It's called The Nullification Engine and should be out soon. As a way to keep readers updated on my progress and also so I can gauge the same, each week I take a look at my current writing progress and report it here. Also, I discuss some other areas revolving around the business side of things.

Maps

Last week I was a little concerned that my mapmaker might have died or otherwise expired (undead, anyone?) because I hadn't gotten any responses from him in some weeks. Turns out his primary email was having some issues. All is well and he took care of the latest round of corrections on the world map of Uhl and the regional map for The Nullification Engine.

The world map is exactly what it sounds like and therefore "spans" all short stories and novels. The regional map actually encompasses a small part of the map from The Five Elements but expands to the north as that's the direction our heroes will be taking in this next installment.

I'll reveal the world map soon. The regional map for The Nullification Engine I'll have to hold onto until the novel is done. It's nice having it in hand now, though, because it makes it so much easier to refer to something in the text and know that it's set in concrete now.

Blogging

Writing Progress

The beginning of this past week started real good. I had a 2,000+ word day on Saturday followed by a 1,000+ word day on Sunday. I did ok from there as well, but then had to travel for work (day job) in the middle of the week. I'm setup to pretty much write from anywhere on either of my laptops (work and personal) since everything is sync'ed via Dropbox, but with it only being 2 days in a hotel and with other after-hours activities going on I didn't get much done in terms of actual 'words on the page' writing while I was away.

However, I did get some work done on the outline, which needed a little fine-tuning. it isn't unusual for me to tweak things as I go along even though the majority of the plot is planned out before I ever start writing. As long as the tweaks are minor then the train stays on the rails and, in fact, I wind up saving a lot of time on rewriting or even having to throw away words because I never write anything that isn't going to work or is extraneous. As part of these tweaks I also did some consolidation, so the chapter count is down to 28 from 30 now. That brings my estimated total word count for the whole novel to 140,000.

As for where I'm currently at, let's take a look.

Date Current Word
Count
Words Written Words/Day Words
Remaining
% Complete
12/1/2012 0 0 0 140,000 0.00%
12/8/2012 20,019 20,019 3,337 119,981 14.30%
12/15/2012 24,425 4,406 734 115,575 17.45%
12/22/2012 30,027 5,602 934 109,973 21.45%
12/29/2012 32,059 2,032 339 107,941 22.90%
1/5/2013 34,757 2,698 450 105,243 24.83%
1/12/2013 38,923 4,166 694 101,077 27.80%
1/19/2013 44,503 5,580 930 95,497 31.79%
1/26/2013 49,628 5,125 854 90,372 35.45%
2/2/2013 52,073 2,445 408 87,927 37.20%
2/9/2013 56,503 4,430 738 83,497 40.36%
2/16/2013 62,161 5,658 943 77,839 44.40%
2/23/2013 68,213 6,052 1,009 71,787 48.72%
3/2/2013 74,552 6,339 1,057 65,448 53.25%
3/9/2013 77,757 3,205 534 62,243 55.54%

I'm more than halfway done now with about 62,000 words to go. At 5,000 words per week, that's (unfortunately) another 3 months of writing.

Here's the graphs and I better get back to it.

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