Excellent Monday! And how often does anyone get to say that?

I rolled into work this morning (a few hours ago) with my Conflict Sentence in the right corner of Scrivener. 

That’s Protagonist Versus Antagonist in Setting with Twist in 30 words or less. Today’s chapter sentence was twenty-nine words, and was the aftermath of her going out for a run to see if she could get herself hurt. 


There was surgery. Projectile vomiting. More surgery. Pain, confusion, fear, and danger… and some wry and kind of snarky commentary from the subject of all this awfulness, my main character — it was funny as hell, fun to write, and I went over my daily word limit again.

I love this book.

I love this world.

And I’m in the final third, hitting deadlines and even getting a bit ahead on them, with three more books to write after this one. And I can’t wait.

Well, I can. I have to. But today is what, if you’re a writer, you wish all days were like.

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Friday… got the words but no more time.

So I started with 1128, finished with 61,864 words, and got my minimum word count to stay on deadline — 62,992.

It’s Friday, and I still have a list of stuff to finish, so I’ll just say, I LOVE where yesterday’s scene ended up.

Awesome stuff to come back to next Monday.

Hope you have a great weekend.

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You think you know who your main character is by the time you get her more than halfway through Book 2.

More than that, you KNOW she knows who she is.

So today, my MC discovered that an event in her life that she thought had gone down one way did not. And she discovered something about herself, who she was as a kid, and what she did as a kid, that shocked the crap out of her — and me.

It was a beautiful writing day, I LOVE the words I got, and what happened today fits in perfectly with her rocky past, and events that happened in the first book — stuff I didn’t even realize I was setting up until all of a sudden it was on the page.

There are times when you go in a direction like this, trusting your gut, and it doesn’t work out, and you hate every piece of what you write that day.

This … Not one of those times.



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Rough morning… some of it just with the content of this particular scene, which was a pretty dark event from my main character’s childhood.

I like what I got, and I got 1,577 words doing it, which continues to move me closer to finishing the first draft of this book early.

I suspect, though, that I might have to soften a bit of what I got during revision.

Not tomorrow. I have to get the FIRST DRAFT words done.

But I’ll need to keep in mind during the writing of tomorrow’s scene the fact that I might have to build in a bit of flexibility regarding what I got today.

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So here’s where I started this morning.Screen Shot 2021 01 12 at 9 08 03 AM

I began with a negative word count because when I read through what I wrote yesterday, some stuff had to go.

Some days the destruction is a LOT worse than this, but I did want to show that when I start in, my negative word counts do show up, I can see them, and I am aware of the price that cutting what I’ve written can have on hitting my deadlines. Some days the visible negative counts are in the thousands… and the next time I have one of those, I’ll try to remember to get a picture.

Just hoping that won’t happen again in this book.

And the positive word count does NOT include in my final tally the words I deleted. If it did that, it  would give me a false positive — would allow me to think I was closer to my target that I truly am.

But anyway, NAILED the scene today, and came up with a word count well above my objective of 1250. The 1786 net words I got today were fun, and the way the scene ended wasn’t something I’d planned.

By the time I hit the end of the scene, however, my wicked Muse had figured out something cool, and it whispered, “How about this?”

It was a true and final solution to the problem of that scene… though I have no doubt the solution is going to send some wicked repercussions through my story would.

However, it was… perfect.

And I was so happy with its little surprise that I damn near squeaked.

GOOOOOD writing day today.

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First, the headache, because it was the biggest obstacle I faced this morning.

Over the holidays, we did an intentional, planned drift away from keto so that we could have some fun foods. Pies, you know, and cookies, and stuff like baked potatoes and stuffing. We hadn’t done this before, but we hadn’t dealt with last year, before, either, which sucked… and just for the holidays, we agreed to be a little flexible where food was concerned.

We all three had fun eating. We all three also gained a little weight. Not a lot — we were still doing intermittent fasting — which for us is generally one meal a day, or, if you’re figuring in ratios, 1:23. One hour in which we eat, twenty-three in which we don’t.

We also widened our ratios, to about 6:18, which is still about as wide as we care to go.

Back to the headache. When you return to keto, you get a headache. I’m going to be able to count on this one for a good week before my body readjusts and it goes away.

Was it worth it?

Dunno. Ask me in a week, by which time the headache should wear off.

But throbbing, banging head pain aside, I did get 1278 words today that I really like, while cleaning up and adding to the scene I started last Friday.

I’ve met some new bad guys. My main character finds the smaller one adorable and truly compelling, and is not having the easiest time in the world seeing him as a “not someone I should love”. There are reasons for this beyond the fact that that my delightful villain is someone most human beings would want to take home and be friends with forever.

The bigger bad guy is NOT anything like the little one. But might have some good surprises for me as I keep writing.

Writing the conflict in the scene today, and figuring out what was truly going on as I wrote it, was a blast.

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So… this morning I got my favorite line so far in the Ohio #2 novel.

It’s subject to change during revision, of course, or outright deletion if I come up with something better, but right now it’s this.

If you can catch them, you can eat them.

Can’t throw in the context, except to note that an attempt at nasty negotiations by the bad guys did not work out as well as they’d hoped.

And I got a full start-to-finish scene I love, words I’m very happy with, I went over my stay-on-deadline wordcount of 1191 words by 479 words — and I still have time left over to get the rest of today’s work done.

It has so far been pretty much the perfect Friday.

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I’d written a small chunk of an earlier version of this first draft that mostly didn’t work, so I bailed on it partway though and started again, moving from Apple Pages back to Scrivener at the same time.

Today, I hit the point where I was able to reuse a good piece of what I’d written that first time through — the scene, in fact, that made me realize I’d missed the best conflict in the book in that first start.

So today, with some heavy editing, I managed to save the scene that gave me that “best conflict” realization.

And came out ahead on my words, with 2563 for the day, and a manuscript count of 52,963.

Happy with that, I’m now catching up with other work.

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Was at work by nine (I slept in a little) and just finished my words. Goal is always 1250, and I got 1412 — so I came out a little ahead.

If you look at my screen shot of the word counter, you can see that I could have quit at 1242 and still stayed on deadline today.

I didn’t because today’s words, while the took pretty much the whole three hours allotted, weren’t hard to find.

If I have a number of days like that, my required words to hit my deadline could end up going under a thousand.


I’ll still work to hit 1250 words or better every day because…

You always have THOSE days, where you end up ripping out more than you write, where you can’t think, where you can’t make the story come together.

If I don’t have any days like that, I’ll finish Ohio #2 early (before my scheduled Feb.18), and start outlining the first draft of Ohio #3.

If I do have some of THOSE days, however, I’ll stand a much better chance of not falling behind.

As for what I got today…

This woman I met in the story yesterday who was winding up to be a real “spoke in the wheel, monkey-wrench in the works” about her involvement it my main character’s job in this small town calmed down a tiny bit today. I don’t yet know whether my MC has managed to win her over or not. MRS. X might still walk and take other folks my MC needs with her.

But she isn’t going to succeed in destroying the whole wonderful thing my MC is involved in. So for me, that felt like a pretty big win.

* * *

And today I remembered to reset my Ko-Fi account for January, 2021, and put up my new notice. If you’re interested, you can can see what I’m doing with Ko-Fi… and why… below.

Ko-Fi pays me to write fiction for 3 hours per day, 5 days a week: https://ko-fi.com/hollylisle

Sometimes I work longer than that. But that’s on me.

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