Progress is Progress

The last two weeks spent working on Shadow of the Black Tower have been ones of slow progress.

Weekend before last, I finished the ninth chapter of the draft and started writing the tenth. But the more I wrote ten and connected it to the events of nine, the more I disliked chapter nine. The voice and beats of the characters were off in it, and there was a storytelling opportunity I was cutting far too short for the sake of moving things forward.

So I un-finished the ninth chapter, tossed a bunch of it out, rewrote the remainder, and then started writing a new ending for the chapter that also makes it longer.

The good news is that I feel significantly better about where chapter nine is headed now. And the opening of chapter ten that I started should be able to remain as-is even though the events of nine are being considerably altered.

All and all, I added about 1,500 words in net total to the manuscript after cutting a lot of what I’d written earlier in the weekend. The draft then stood at a bit under 20,000 words in total.

It wasn’t as much progress as I wanted to make that weekend, but progress is progress, and you can only keep chugging forward. :-) Moreover, reworking that chapter did give me some good ideas on how to get the most out of the story’s climax, and add some intense action to it at the same time.

After getting that work done, I entered into last week knowing it was going to be my once-monthly author social-media setup. It’s a chore, and I would have rather spent my time working on Shadow, but it is an important task: Most of you seem to enjoy my blog posts that come of it, and the many benefits that come from keeping a robust presence are worth the investment of effort and time it requires.

And now that the job is done, I can reap the benefits of having the bones and muscles of my author apparatus on autopilot for the next three weeks.

I did, however, find some time for fiction writing on Friday night and Saturday morning, just not on Shadow.

Over on the Fantasywriters subreaddit I help to moderate, I was inspired by the current writing challenge of “Fantasy Wikipedia” — to write a piece of in-universe explanatory or expositional text — and polished up an excerpt from the sprawling in-universe document that serves as the “series bible” for my Exerverse stories to submit to it… as it fit the theme perfectly.

I had to edit and rewrite the excerpt quite a bit — it was written five years ago — and trim 500 words to get within the challenge’s wordcount limit. But folks seem to be enjoying The GARS Blog, and the little window it gives into my contemporary science-fantasy setting where a deadly affliction linked to mysterious transformations have left some humans blended with animals or changed in other ways.

It also feels good to submit something to a challenge again, as it’s been awhile. The quality of the other submissions puts me in good company, and I’ve enjoyed reading and commenting on the excellent pieces entered so far. If you have any interest, you should check out the contest with the link above.

Now that the weekend is approaching, my goal for it is to get right back to work on Shadow of the Black Tower by finishing the revamp of its ninth chapter. From there, I think I’ll have ample time left over to pick-up where I left off with the beginning of the tenth chapter and forge ahead.

Have a great week everyone, and keep writing!

~Jason H. Abbott.

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