Writing Update – 13th January

Writing has been going well so far this year. I’ve been reading through what I have of the story Marcellus: Great Barbarism. I had to delete 10,000 words because I accidentally pasted the same words in twice. D’oh! I’m actually at 42K, not 52K, yet I know the story isn’t complete yet. It’s missing a few concluding chapters, and many in between too.

Self-editing is a vital part of the construction of this story. It’s an attempt to organise a jumble. I’m one of those writers who writes it in a mess and has to sort it out later. Self-editing your story isn’t as fun as writing it either because it’s about tidying, organising, and making sense of what you’ve written at times when you want to be writing, not working.

Another interesting thing I’ve noticed is that what I’ve written doesn’t conform exactly to my planned outline. I expressed the writing in a different order, expanding some chapters and leaving out others. It felt natural, and the result is still pleasing. It does make one wonder why some writers, sometimes called pantsers, enjoy to just wing it when they actually write rather than to create a clear solid structure and adhere to that structure. Who writes their stories strictly according to a plan?

Writing Update – 3rd January

Marcellus: The Mantle by Alex James

Marcellus: The Mantle was published January 2015 and was written as an introduction to my planned Marcellus series.

After the gloomy December 2017 review of my writing year, things seem to have improved. Not only have I made changes to a 23,000 word Marcellus draft I wrote in 2012, updating it and seeing where it does and doesn’t fit into my other drafts, but I’ve extended my rewrite of Origins to 46,000 words, which is a good starting point. The story is by no means finished, but it covers some essential events and I’m happy with how I’ve written them, which is good.

I’m now having a break from writing Origins, and I’m spending time planning another, similar story in the Marcellus series in the hope I can expand my ideas.

I’ve written many stories since 2010 that haven’t been published. Some pose questions I cannot answer or dedicate the time to answering. This is the problem when you have too many undeveloped ideas, writing but not thinking or planning properly.


1. Who has written many stories and can’t decide which they should work on?

2. How many writers like to write past tense summaries of their stories before digging into the drafts? I do, I was just curious who else used this method?



Marcellus: The Mantle is available to purchase on:

Amazon UK / Amazon US / Apple / Barnes and Noble / Smashwords / Kobo / Scribd