October 2023 in writing

Progress Summary

The second draft is going slower than I want it to, but I’m making good progress. I now have a pretty good Act 1 for each of the three arcs, a beginning that will help propel each story into the second act.

I’m not certain if writing the scenes in chapter order was the best idea at this stage – the first two POVs have gone fairly smoothly, but the problematic third POV kept slowing me down. I’ve rewritten those chapters several times over now. I may have that mostly solved now. Time will tell.

Three quarters of the 1st act is now edited or redrafted. I’ve added descriptions where there were none, improved my prose, and given characters names where they were previously only known by monikers like “Outpost Commander”.

At this pace I will miss my soft end-of-year deadline; I may finish the second draft in late January or so. NaNoWriMo may help me pick up the pace.


I moved my first draft files out of the manuscript area to allow for an easier wordcount for NaNoWriMo. 21 scenes in 2nd draft status.

October’s stats:

Manuscript markdown files: 21
Manuscript words: 27707
Total markdown files: 426
Total words: 256297

If I extrapolate, I’m looking at a ~150k word book, about 500 pages. That’s 30k words and 100 pages over the traditional publishing limit for new fantasy writers. I don’t love the ballooned wordcount, but I think it’s a stronger book than before.

Plans for NaNoWriMo

I’m going to write and/or edit 1-2 scenes per day in November. With the smaller number I’ll make it past the midpoint; with the larger I may make it to the beginning of the final act.

I’ve been writing every day for a year now, with a handful of exceptions, but each of the last few months have presented their own challenges. I hope to come out of November with a) significant progress on my second draft, and b) a renewed writing habit and routine.