Scott Marlowe, fantasy author

Scott Marlowe

Author of the Alchemancer and Assassin Without a Name fantasy series

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.

Comments (5) -

  • Adrian Swift

    8/6/2008 5:54:08 AM | Reply

    Scott, glad you're posting again about your writing progress.  Believe it or not, that's actually interesting to other writers because we share in that experience and like to see how you pace yourself and solve writing issues as they arise.  Life always throws us impediments, as you mentioned, but still we get up, dust ourselves off, and carry on.  It may be a little boring in some sense, but it is the core of what we do:  we write.  How we write, how we manage our writing, is actually quite fascinating when we look into it in depth.

    Good luck with your story, and it sounds like you have a good system for your first-pass edit!

  • scottmarlowe

    8/6/2008 8:33:58 AM | Reply

    Thanks for the encouragement, Adrian.

    This may be of some interest: I ran across Robin Hobb's latest post where she presents two versions of a section of her writing. The first is an early draft and the second, for comparison, is the latest incarnation. It's interesting to see the process of a writer of her caliber and how one draft might change into another.

    Here's the link:

  • Adrian Swift

    8/7/2008 5:44:48 AM | Reply

    Thanks for the tip about Robin Hobb's site.  I had never visited it before.  For some reason, your link did not work, but I did a Google search and found it readily.  The first page I cam to was her rant against ... uh ... blogging!

    Glad I've been spending more time writing than blogging after reading that, but notice that she also maintains a web site in spite of her rant.  A little socializing can't be all that bad, even for writers.  In fact, it's likely downright healthy, especially for writers!

  • scottmarlowe

    8/7/2008 11:03:10 AM | Reply

    Oops. Here's a shortened version:

    Hobb very seldom posts on her blog. Even when she does her postings tend to be short. She's a firm believer in writing, not blogging, but then her income depends on it.

  • Adrian Swift

    8/10/2008 12:15:21 AM | Reply

    Thanks for reposting the link.  I tried to find it but couldn't, and then your new link worked.  This will be fun to read!