Paizo tapped me write a chapter in the upcoming Adventure Path after Strange Aeons. I can't say a lot about the AP itself until it's announced at PaizoCon, but I can say that I'm working with a new developer. She's developed (and written) several adventures, but this is her first opportunity to develop an entire AP line. I really want to impress her with my adventure--not only because I want her first AP to go well, but because this is my first work for her and I want to keep up my reputation as a detailed, inventive, and reliable freelance author with someone else. 

My milestone--that is, the point at which I have to show my developer that I've gotten through at least half of my 31,000 word assignment, is tomorrow. A week ago, I only had about 7,000 words, but I knew I had all week to get up to the 16,000+ necessary for my turnover. That seemed quite likely.

I may have mentioned that I'm an attorney by day. This last week I had two very large projects land, and a third I had to get deeply involved with in order to supervise effectively. So my writing time during the week all but evaporated. At the start of this weekend, I'd only added 1,000 words to my 7,000. So still quite a long way to go. I cleared my schedule for the weekend, dug in on Friday--and writer's block struck.

I don't often suffer from writer's block, but in this case it had a very specific source: my adventure is quite reliant on three key maps I hadn't yet sketched (except in my mind). I didn't have a sense of how the different areas related, how to describe them with precision, or how the denizens in the areas related to each other. So I just couldn't write any further. Before I could write any more, I had to map.

So I spent Saturday morning and afternoon mapping. I pulled together some good sketches, made solid notes, and worried that I'd added not a single word as the weekend was slipping away.

Fortunately, the maps were just the right things to finish. With those locked down, the words to describe them have really flowed out. I added 4,000 words yesterday, and another 4,000 words so far today (and it isn't even dark yet!). I'm now in a good position to be a bit choosy about what stays or goes in my manuscript, and I don't need to include whatever first came to mind just to hit the milestone word count.  I had gotten pretty stressed out on this by Friday night, but here on Sunday early evening, I'm in great shape. I'm pressing onward, as April 10th--my final turnover date for this adventure--is right around the corner!