Scott Marlowe | Writing Update #8
Scott Marlowe, fantasy author

Scott Marlowe

Author of the Alchemancer and Assassin Without a Name fantasy series

Writing Update #8

A funny thing happened yesterday. I had begun editing chapter 22, which just so happens to be the second to last chapter in my book. Because of some scene shuffling, re-ordering, and previous edits, I had to change the way in which the chapter starts. I was really hoping for a big writing day. What I got was borderline writer's block for much of my writing time, to the point where I was sitting at my desk, staring at the computer screen, and nothing was happening.

Now, I don't believe in writer's block. In my case, it wasn't even so much that I wasn't coming up with anything. It was that I wasn't coming up with what I wanted. In other words, starting the chapter wasn't the problem. The problem was that I couldn't figure out how to start it the way it needed to be started. It screamed for a very particular type of start, and I just wasn't coming up with it.

So, in order to combat this, I closed my laptop and did some other things around the house: played with the dogs, treated some ant hills that had popped up after last week's rain, had some lunch. Finally, I returned to my editing, but instead of hitting the computer again I took a pen and a notepad and went outside. The weather has been beautiful out here in Texas lately, so why not? I tried different openings, free-handing it until I finally came up with what I thought was "it". I went back inside, typed it in, and started to move on, only to realize it wasn't "it". But, somewhere in that process of getting away from the computer, it finally hit me. I had it! Amazingly, the beginning of the chapter flowed from my fingers across the keyboard and onto the screen like water gushing from a spigot. It was both a defining and satisfying experience all at once.

So, given that, where does that leave me in terms of progress? Unfortunately, even with yesterday's success, my progress was not great. Here it is:

I increased my current page editing from 332 to 343 while dropping the total page count from 385 to 381. Here's the graph:

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Total percentage completion broke 90% (barely):

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Total word count is now 111,995, down a lot from last week (114,564). That's probably the best news of all because it gets me more inline with what might be considered a saleable range. This is tempered a bit by the fact that I know I need to go back and add some more detail to one character in particular, possibly even giving him an additional scene or two of his own.

More progress next week, and I think a post discussing writer's block in more detail might be forthcoming.