Progress Report

31st March 2013
Mark is a very diligent student of writing <LOL>

None of the FB meters I looked at really work to display writing progress in a useful way. This is partly because it’s not a simple process, and just counting the words written only addresses an element of the whole. I promised a report, and here it is in longhand.

How I arrive at these estimates

This is purely the way I work, for the books I’m writing. I divide the process of writing a book up into four main sections, listed here with the approximate percentage of effort:

25          Construction
25          Plotting
40          Writing
10          Editing

Construction comprises all the preparatory work: design the world, outline the story, outline the characters and locations. This element always gives me a good feeling, because all the subsequent books in the series after Sleight of Hand benefit from the construction work done there. Obviously, new elements require additional work, but lots gets carried over.

Plotting takes an outline of a story and fleshes it out to the point it is possible to write. For example, I know from the outline that Miss Scarlet must find Colonel Mustard in the library, polishing the candlestick. Plotting tells me how to get the characters there at the right time, the colonel’s motivations for polishing the candlestick, and the high points of their conversation.

Writing is self-explanatory.

Editing is everything that takes it from a draft on my laptop to the finished ebook on yours, and includes production work like formatting, arranging ISBNs and creation of the covers.

These are ideal numbers. Sleight of Hand took lots more construction. Hidden Trump took lots more editing.

The estimates for all current projects in expected order of completion:

Raw Deal, prequel to Sleight of Hand. Approximately 40,000 words. 70% complete, expected to be published in May 2013. Amber in the Denver police force.

Wild Card, book 3 of Bite Back series. Approximately 130,000 words. 47% complete, expected to be published in August 2013. Amber deals with the aftermath of the Assembly in Hidden Trump, and is tasked with tracking down the rogue Were. This is the longest and most complex of the current writing, and that means that my confidence in this estimate is only moderate.

Saigon, book 1 of Bian’s Tale series. Approximately 90,000 words. 50% complete, expected to be published in December 2013.

<TBA>, book 4 of Bite Back series. Approximately 120,000 words. 39% complete, expected 2014.

Hacha del Diablo, pre-prequel to Sleight of Hand, Approximately 40,000 words. 40% complete, expected 2014.


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About Mark Henwick

I was born in Africa and left out in the sun too often. An early interest in philosophy and psychology was adequately exorcised by tending bars. And while trying to enroll in a class to read Science Fiction full time, I ended up taking an engineering degree which splendidly qualified me to move into marketing. That in turn spawned a late onset career in creative writing. When not working, I get high by the slightly less conventional means of a small light aircraft. My first book, 'Sleight of Hand' is available on Amazon at

8 responses to “Progress Report”

  1. Clinton Lewis says :

    Wow that is some fantastic news on the dates for the prequel and the number 3. The prequal sounds great as I liked the police characters in the story and your overall kind of groove with them as to who they are and there motivations felt real to me. And of course number 3 sounds like it will be fantastic I hope she smack her sister or better yet takes her over her knee. Better yet have Skyler or the India guy buy the firm she is working for and give it to her. 🙂 Anyway thank you for the updates I for one look for them and anticipate them.

  2. Kathi says :

    I just finished bite back 1&2 and am anxiously awaiting book 3! I love the series and can hardly wait to see what you write next,! So….get writing! ;-D August feels very far away! Great stuff btw! Thank you for the pleasure of your writing.

  3. Mark Henwick says :

    Thank you Kathi!

  4. Kim says :

    Like everyone else that has posted, I just finished your first 2 books. I loved them both and am looking forward to more. And yes they also kept me up reading into the wee hours of the morning!

    • Mark Henwick says :

      Thanks Kim.
      I really, really should be upset at all the late nights I’ve caused. Mwa-ha-ha-ha!
      Raw Deal (free prequel) soon and I’m back working on Wild Card. Updates on the FB page.

  5. Charles says :

    Just finished Raw deal, very much enjoyed it. Rereading SoH at the moment.

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