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January 2013 Spellbreaker Progress Report

Dearly Beloved You Guys:

I hope that 2013 is treating you gently you so far. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to be a better blogger in the coming year, which promises to be full of changes. Now that all the traveling and interviewing for residency positions has been completed, I find myself with few medical responsibilities other than fussing over my Rank List in preparation for Match Day. More about the strange, painful, and personal calculus that goes into that list in a later post.

Meanwhile, I have found myself once again a full time author. This will be the last time this happens for a very long time. Possibly ever. Not that I don’t have plans to write during residency, not that I don’t think my best books are still ahead of me, but never again will I be so focused.

To that end, I’m happy to report that (so far) things have been going very well with Spellbreaker. It’s shaping up to be a darker book than the previous two and perhaps a longer one, though not by too much. I hit the halfway point the other day and am genially excited to see how one of the first big conflict/reveal scenes turns out.

When imagining the setting for my novels, I often comb through yon interschnitzel for inspiring pictures. If you’re curious about the seeing the pictures that are inspiring my vision of the kingdom of Ixos and the city of Chandralu, you should click through to my Official Facebook Page, where I am posting them. (Do us a favor and hit the “like” button while you’re there, won’t you luv?)

For this book, I am also trying to be more quantitative about my progress. I have begun keeping a spreadsheet of my word count and graphing it out. It’s a bit nerdy/medical of me, but I find it’s good motivation and helps me think about the process of writing. So, here are the data:

Word count for January: 37,281
Average daily word count: 1,202
Present total word count: 61,657
Expected total word count: 140,000
Estimated date of 1st draft completion: 10 April 2013
Estimated number of things that might go wrong and prevent me from making this deadline: ∞

The “zero days” are the roughest for me. They are mostly caused by family or professional responsibilities. Though you may notice that February 3rd was a Zero Day, which corresponds to the 49ers heartbreaking loss in Super Bowl XLVII. Sigh.

But so it goes. So it goes. Please keep all possible appendages crossed for me that the writing continues apace. Meanwhile, I’ll try to knock off another blog post in the next few days about the strangeness of putting in a Residency Rank List. Please check back as I’ll be curious for your input.


21 Responses to “January 2013 Spellbreaker Progress Report”

  • Can’t wait. Will it arrive before 2014?

  • i’ll certainly turn it in before then. after that it’s up to the publishing houses 😉

  • john tippett

    5:38 am Mar-20-2013


    can’t wait for Spellbreaker i’m 63yrs. old this is the best i’ve ever read!!!! thank you.

    • Hi John, thanks so much for stopping by and for the kind words! I just passed 110 words on Spellbreaker and really hope to wrap it up in the coming month. Hope it words for you as well! 🙂

  • Amazing, love them, seriously looking forward too the next installment.

    • Thank you kindly for saying so! I just passed 116,00 words and am liking where it’s going. But am a bit worried it’s going to go over 140,000. Maybe I should write another one of these update blogs…

  • Ah, now your making me jealous!.
    why are you worried?, is there supposed to be a limit?

    • no limit and compared to many i write pretty slim epic fantasies. it’s just that the shorter something is the easier it is to edit and publish quickly. the hard deadline of intern year seems to be nearly upon me…

  • I noticed that there is some one that is 63, well I am 74, pushibg 75 and your concept to have words formed by the body quite wonderful. What a perfect way to manifest your gift. Good luck in your residency. Much hard work ahead.

    • Hi Pat! Thanks for these kind words. There is a whole lot of work ahead for intern year. The plus side of that being that I have a _whole_ lot of motivation to get this book done before then 😉

  • Hi I picked up your books purely by chance when exhausting my Anna McCarthy collection. I was intreaged being dyslexic myself. I fell in love with your portrayal of this problem and the feeling of being deprived part of yourself is very much a part of me. I could not stop and dived straight into the second book. It so happens that my husband is deaf and when Fran became so I felt for her as I do for my husband. I never realised that I have held, in at leased part, the same as Cyrus about this and after 20 years of marriage feel disappointed with myself. I have enjoyed your books tremendously and they have helped me develope a better understanding of myself and my family. I will look forward to seeing how the unfolds in the last part and especially with the immanent new arrival.

    • Hi Anne,

      Thank you kindly for stopping by and my apologies for the delay in replying. I’m so so glad that you enjoyed the books and that you felt the depiction of dyslexia and deafness was respectful and interesting. Learning that the books helped you and your family is simply the best review I have ever gotten. Thank you so much for sharing. I’m working away at the third book, and if you pick it up, I hope it works as well for you!

  • Hi Blake,

    I am an avid reader, as of two weeks ago, and finished Spellwright about twenty minutes ago. Your books are so relatable and so very unique. I want to thank you for working hard for your readers despite your impending residency 🙂 though I am a bit late to the game. I imagine you have already begun! At 24, I still escape into fantasy novels, to avoid the monotony of everyday life. But your ability to write and continue to pursue medicine inspires me to finally grow a pair and head for graduate school.

    I sincerely thank you for these beautiful books. When I forget to see the magic in everyday life, fantasy books help me do that.


    • Hi Megan! So so sorry I’m so delinquent in replying to you. Intern year has not provided time for anything outside the hospital other than eating and sleeping…often not enough of that. But reading comments like yours is truly a privilege. It’s notes like this that help me keep on writing despite the exhaustion. SPELLBREAKER is finished and sitting on my editor’s desk. We’ll see what he thinks of the draft 😉

  • Hello Blake,

    While I’m not as old as some of the other commenters, I am an avid reader of your trilogy and find your devised magic system endlessly fascinating. However, there’s a couple of language-related things that I’ve wondered for the longest time:
    1. What is the Pyromantic language(s), and how are they stored?
    2. In Spellbound, you went into detail about Lycan society. However, besides implying that they have deadly curses, you didn’t go into their language that much. What is it and how does it work?
    3. You once mentioned Shamans in passing, as well as the fact that they have THE most complicated alphabet. How do their spells work?

    Sorry to be ‘talking’ your ear off, but these sorts of things have just been gnawing at me for years. Anyway, can’t wait to finally read Spellbreaker when you finally finish it. Thanks!

    • Hi Noah! Thanks so much for taking such keen interest in my books and the magic system I had so much fun imagining. I hate to disappoint you, but I’m afraid I can’t answer any of your questions without spoiling some aspects of SPELLBREAKER. It’s being revised, so I’m not sure if all of your questions will be answered in that book. If not, I’ll be sure to answer them after it’s publication…maybe with an explanation of the magic system a la Brandon Sanderson 😉 How’s that sound?

  • Elliot Cortade

    1:29 pm Nov-25-2013


    Great book. I loved it immensely and cannot wait for the third book. In the meanwhile I need a book to read. Any ideas?

    • I have so many ideas it hurts 😉 Are we friends on Goodreads? I mark all my favs there. If that’s not your style, I’d say that if you like my stuff, you’ll love any book written by Daniel Abraham.

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