DTD—286 words, and digging into the mystery

My heroine, convinced that her apparent allies are in fact allied with her enemies, questions her captor.

Fun session tonight. Got to explore one of my important secondary characters on my way to the bigger surprise I have planned between hero and heroine.

If you’re playing the “write a book with me” game, post your own progress for the day in response to this post. And have fun. 😀

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and indie-publish my new ones.

101 comments… add one
  • Nancy Sampson-Bach Jul 1, 2009 @ 14:49

    Finally stumbled onto (or rather was hit over the head by my grumpy Muse) my idea last night, so I started putting down words today. Managed 885 during my lunch break. Wow. It felt so good to be out of editor mode and back into creative mode. Feel like I’m standing in the lee of a dam break! Thanks!

  • Betty Jul 1, 2009 @ 14:46

    1k late last night; just enough time to set up the engagement party, and let my poor heroine make a cheese platter. :p

  • Julie Jul 1, 2009 @ 14:28

    This sounds like a fab idea! I have 2 novels I’m working on at the moment, one is the first book of a children’s series that’s planned and about 20k written and the other is a fantasy novel in the early stages of planning. I haven’t decided which I’ll work on for this one yet. I’ve been working on the planning for the fantasy novel recently, but would quite like to get the children’s one done as I’ve put all those words in already… decisions decisions!

    I usually write in my lunchtimes at work and today I created a new file and planned to write some of the plot ideas I know I definitely want to appear in my fantasy novel. I’ve been trying to collate all my random ideas and I hoped this would help me see where it was all heading. I managed 256 words. I’m not sure I managed to do what I intended to though because I got sidetracked and ended up writing more about the characters than the plot! I did get to find out more about a semi-antagonistic character though and she’s shaping up to be one of my favourites so it was good fun for me. 🙂

    I’ll hopefully fit in a little more this evening assuming no distractions. (A big assumption in my house!)

    Good luck to everyone else having a go at this. I hope you meet your targets and have fun doing it!

  • Todd Bush Jul 1, 2009 @ 14:24

    1029 words today.

  • Gerhi Janse van Vuuren Jul 1, 2009 @ 14:12

    267 words for today’s session. Enough

  • Lisa Jul 1, 2009 @ 13:28

    388 words today! So happy about this! This is way easier than NaNoWriMo. 🙂

  • Laura Jul 1, 2009 @ 13:21

    I’m just joining today–no word count for yesterday. Last week I wrote 3,193 words–so I will start with that word count (2 scenes that I was eager to write). That’s the most productive I’ve been in a long time, so I’m excited to have this opportunity–an additional push of encouragement and commitment.

  • Emily Jul 1, 2009 @ 13:10

    Yee-haw! Went for 286, and came out with 1,265! And I’m pumped! I may not be done for the day.

  • Helga Jul 1, 2009 @ 13:04

    I’ll play: 684 on June 30.
    It would have been more, if my five-year-old hadn’t decided to take a walk all by herself. We found her safe and sound; that’s the main thing.

  • Tori Jul 1, 2009 @ 12:29

    Hmmmm…my comments haven’t been showing up either:(

  • Anambika Jul 1, 2009 @ 12:01

    1138 words with mm, 10ml of tears? may be, in 3-1/2 hours. for an hour or so, I struggled … to get a start … my sixth chapter … an inspiration, from some program that I watched in the Discovery channel some five years ago. U C, I have a good memory power. FLASH !!! the words begin, not in a trickle, not in drops, but in torrents, you know how my muse treats me. like a laundry bundle pushed down a ____ duct. Then I read those words, and I cried, not in anguish, that my readers might do, for wasting their bucks on a ____ … OK come back, why? that’s all. I cried, for my thoughts had come out perfectly in words.

  • Karen Mahoney Jul 1, 2009 @ 11:56

    I am totally joining in, what a great idea. Thanks! 🙂 Got the link from Marjorie Liu.

    I wrote my last manuscript (rough draft) incredibly fast. It’s a 60k YA and needs serious revisions. But while I work on that and wait on submissions I have out with my agent, I really want to write an adult urban fantasy. 100k is perfect and life is so busy right now (day job, etc) that I want to do this one slowly. Not put myself under pressure. I will start on Sunday, hopefully.


  • Emily Jul 1, 2009 @ 11:52

    My comments aren’t showing up! (of course, this one will be posted. Just watch.)

    I wasn’t planning on writing today, but I can do 286 words. It’ll be a breeze! Thanks for the motivation, Holly.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 1, 2009 @ 12:05

      I’ll check Akismet and see if you have run afoul of its arcane algorithms. 😀 But you get get through on this one. Congrats on the words.

  • Emily Jul 1, 2009 @ 11:50

    I wasn’t planning on writing today, but I can do 286 words! It’ll be a breeze. Thanks for the motivation.

  • Emily Jul 1, 2009 @ 11:47

    I wasn’t planning on writing today, but I can do 286. It’ll take no time! Thanks for this motivation!


  • Glynis Smy Jul 1, 2009 @ 11:42

    A call for help from a friend put me out today, but 1st July (18.40pm Cyprus), saw me lay my pen down at 320 words. A physical workout moving boxes and writing, a good day!

  • Cora Zane Jul 1, 2009 @ 11:37

    Hi all, I’m new to the WaBWM threads. This is a great idea, Holly. I need group motivation since I’m trying to finish my book by the end of summer.

    My June 30th word count for the day is 2k. (I’m a little over 57k into the wip upon joining all of you.) BTW, I do my writing at night once the kiddos are snoozing, so I’ll probably be a day behind on posting all my totals. Happy writing, everyone! :0)

  • Mike P. Jul 1, 2009 @ 11:25

    I’ve been working on my own little Noir piece for about a month. I’m at twenty pages and nearly 7,800 words. Which gives me an average of 260 words everyday. Averages are deceptive. I actually write around 700 – 900 and then take a few days off. Hopefully having the group push will help me work more consistently.

    Right now I have became hung up on describing how a car door reflects the surrounding area when opened in a hurry. It is always the little things that slow me down the most.

  • Elise Jul 1, 2009 @ 10:39

    Hmmm… this is going to be confusing. I guess the only rational way for me to participate is to post my word count for the date of Holly’s post. Since I got her email yesterday evening, I was going to start this morning. But I wrote 700-plus words yesterday on my own, so that’s what I’m posting here.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 1, 2009 @ 10:43

      Elise, that’s the right way to do it. Any day you decide to post, simply add your word count (and a sentence about what you wrote, if you want) to the most current “write a book with me” post.

  • Lila S. Jul 1, 2009 @ 10:38

    Well, I’ve finally decided what I want to work on. It’s not actually a novel, it’s a tabletop RPG setting, because that’s where my mind has been lately. If I get inspired, I may try to write some short stories that take place in this world.

    Holly, if you read this, thanks so much for the opportunity to follow along with you and be inspired by your and everyone’s progress. Also, I hope I’m not bending the rules too much by not working on an actual novel.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 1, 2009 @ 10:57

      I think that’s cool, Lila. Folk who want to do this to finish short stories, nonfiction books, novels, screenplays, RPGs, … whatever—I think it’s great. Glad you’re here.

  • Carol Jul 1, 2009 @ 10:28

    552 words so far. This is great! I was pretty pleased with myself when I finished planning my novel on pretty-coloured post-its, but then I started angsting about the actual novel writing part and I’ve been dead in the water ever since. Not anymore. This has been a brilliant kick in the pants. Thanks a million!

  • Eve Jul 1, 2009 @ 10:20

    964 interesting words, but I’m starting to have so many notes–go back, they say. Go back, we have to at least mention Aiden the Terrible in the scene where Simon goes off the deep end because he caught Avery practising magic. And while in the tavern wouldn’t Ursus question Hudo about his troubles with Magda? You can’t just have Master Donjer demonstrate the luminance spell and then not say how he does it.-Still, it’s all good.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 1, 2009 @ 10:56

      Eve—don’t go back. Write notes to yourself on what needs to be revised, pretend in writing your next pages that you already made those revisions…and keep moving forward.

  • Erin T Jul 1, 2009 @ 10:01

    About 500 words of character development on a new story last night. Aiming to make this as much a habit as brushing teeth before bed! 🙂

  • Carly Jul 1, 2009 @ 8:59

    Just heard about this today and think it is fantastic. Yet again Holly saves the day. I just recently hit 26,000 words and was so shocked by it that my motivation seems to have vanished and I haven’t written anything in a week now! This is exactly what I need and the word count is perfect. Got an essay for University to finish off today but first thing tomorrow (or at some point tomorrow) I’ll be joining in! Thank you yet again!

    • Holly Lisle Jul 1, 2009 @ 10:55

      Hi, Carly! Good luck with the essay. See you tomorrow… (or today, depending). 😀

  • Teresa Jul 1, 2009 @ 7:23

    621 words for my new novella, which is an exercise in something I want to write, but not sure I really can. 🙂

  • John Jul 1, 2009 @ 6:28

    336 words this morning! I had fun writing today, I’ll probably write more this afternoon.

    This morning I found out that the character who I thought was my main character actually isn’t right for the part, so that changed the story quite a lot!

    • Holly Lisle Jul 1, 2009 @ 10:54

      Cool. It’s always fascinating to see who shows up for a main character casting call. Good luck.

  • Ruth Jul 1, 2009 @ 6:05

    Ooh, count me in! I think I might try a variation on the 250-word-a-day rule, though – 250 words a day or a new scene outlined or 500 words revised, I think. I’m in the revision stage of my WIP at the moment, although I have a few new scenes I’m adding – hopefully this will motivate me to do a little a day. 🙂

  • Ann Jul 1, 2009 @ 6:02

    250 words for the 30th – really hoping for more, but after 14 hours at the day job, I was pleased to be able to write at all. Hopefully a bit more today

    • Holly Lisle Jul 1, 2009 @ 10:53

      Ann—that’s just exactly the trick. It’s how I got work done when I had two toddlers. I learned to write small amounts in very short intervals, and to pick up where I’d left off by skimming (and line-editing) the previous few paragraphs of what I’d written. (A technique I learned from Lawrence Block.)

      The magic happens when you discover that you don’t have to write a lot to succeed. You just have to write a little bit even on days when you don’t really feel like doing it.

  • Patricia Guy Jul 1, 2009 @ 5:40

    Thank you so much for this opportunity to join your community. I have decided to write a novel…but this time…I will approach it in the same way as I do my non-fiction books: I will always think of the reader and I will know where I am going before I committ a word to paper. I found Holly’s advice about constructing scenes and her rule about aiming for “conflict on every page” invaluable. I hope to complete the scene by scene breakdown shortly and start writing July 5. Thanks again.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 1, 2009 @ 10:51

      Welcome. I’ll look forward to seeing you here when you’re ready. 😀

  • Rachelle Jul 1, 2009 @ 4:06


  • Minze Jul 1, 2009 @ 4:02

    434 words on the 30th.

  • Lindy Jul 1, 2009 @ 3:57

    I just found out about this and it sounds ideal! I recently started a plan where I write on paper on the way home from work (one of the few benefits of not owning a car) so every weekday I get a few more lines done to get that gradual build up. Then I type it all up on weekends, so I don’t usually get my wordcounts until then. Very excited to be taking part 🙂

  • Sal Jul 1, 2009 @ 3:55

    448 words last night, and the first scene done.

    One slightly battered hero, one other character for him to meet later, scene set, equally battered horse named after Margaret Tudor, and they are creeping away from Flodden as fast as they can limp.

    Happy July!

  • Jessica Jul 1, 2009 @ 3:46

    Starting out with 1400 words behind me, only got 100 done today, but they are good words and I had a lot of distractions with family issues. And tomorrow being Canada Day, I don’t know how much time I’ll have to commit to writing. BTW, happy Canada Day and (early) Independence Day everyone!

  • Julia GD Jul 1, 2009 @ 3:17

    about 2000 words today. Too many distractions. Too many things to do,
    Well and whatever I will write not already would count to july 1st technically.

  • The Pencil Neck Jul 1, 2009 @ 2:41

    1123 words tonight.

    In this scene, my protagonist asked his brother’s girlfriend if she was his brother’s killer. It got ugly. And then he found out she’s an undercover policewoman. And the relationship to his brother was a ruse, and his brother was a snitch helping infiltrate her into the gang. And he’s now pretty much convinced she’s innocent… and that he’s going back to jail (he’s on a type of probation.) It was a fun scene to write but I’m worrying about some of the more brutal sections.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 1, 2009 @ 10:50

      I sometimes scare myself with scenes I write. It’s part of the gig if you’re putting something that matters on your page. Let it stand as written. You can always change it in revision if you later decide it’s too rough.

  • Ann J Jul 1, 2009 @ 2:26

    417 words, and tentatively approaching 20K. This is the ideal motivation for me to work on my story over summer vacation!

  • Mikaela Jul 1, 2009 @ 2:09

    I actually managed to get 1000 new words, in a very ambling way.
    I am very pleased with them. Now I just need to keep Aida in check so that she don’t take over the story.

  • gin Jul 1, 2009 @ 2:03

    Does writing a synopsis count? Finished my novel (thanks in part to your, that is, Holly’s, blog for motivating me) two days ago and I have to get that critter out the door and onto desks now.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 1, 2009 @ 10:48

      Writing words counts. 😀 If you’re developing an outline, interviewing your character, creating background… yeah, it all counts.

      It won’t count into your page count, but in most cases, writing a novel is a lot more than just writing the words the reader reads. And since all of those words lead eventually to completing the book, you get credit for all of them.

  • Natisha Jul 1, 2009 @ 1:55

    372 words. Sequel to my MG sci-fi novel.

  • Melissa PLC Jul 1, 2009 @ 1:54

    About 1000 words today (the thing I’m using right now doesn’t have a word count thing, sadly. I’m switching soon, but until then, I have to guesstimate.).

    Since I’m a first time author like some of the others, this is really the kick in the pants I needed. I have a horrible time actually finishing things…because my mind is always popping with ideas.

    Can’t wait to see how everyone else is doing!

  • tamlyn Jul 1, 2009 @ 1:47

    866 words 🙂 very pleased. Am in chapter 11 of the planned 12. Kicked out one scene because it made no sense whatsoever to keep it in. Guess I am learning more than I think from HttS 🙂

  • Jamie D. Jul 1, 2009 @ 1:34

    265 words tonight…which is major progress given 3 hrs of sleep last night. But it’s odd that I still feel the need to “justify” my low word count, when the minimum is 250. Gotta get over that guilt thing, and be glad I wrote just a little bit tonight.

    Off to bed now.

  • Ieva Jul 1, 2009 @ 1:25

    Hmmm. If “today” is June 30th, then it’s 900+ words. (The timezone differences boggle my mind.)

    • Gerhi Janse van Vuuren Jul 1, 2009 @ 2:36

      I get a kick out of it that the USA is behind the rest of the world.

      But to be able to match Holly’s word count I will have to accept that I write a day after – or I have to keep a ridiculous schedule

      • Ieva Jul 1, 2009 @ 6:01

        Well, since I’m on so-called “advanced” schedule I’ll just do what I do at my pace and then measure up. Otherwise, I’ll go nuts, I have two spreadsheets already.

  • rachelle jensen Jul 1, 2009 @ 1:03

    what does DTD mean? i know its something really simple…

    • meela Jul 1, 2009 @ 1:22

      Dreaming the Dead! Holly’s tentative title.

      • rachelle jensen Jul 1, 2009 @ 2:36

        Oh thanks! I thought it meant something super cryptic like: Daily Thread Delineation… aka, word count. haha

  • Leah Jul 1, 2009 @ 0:21

    @ Emily – I saw one of your entries with this word count under the previous post, “DTD-Night off with the AFK,” could that be it? Just trying to help. I know it really makes me wonder when my posts go missing. So I normally just blame the gremlins and re-write the post 🙂

  • Clare K. R. Miller Jul 1, 2009 @ 0:20

    593 words today. I’m pretty pleased with that.

  • Emily Schafer Jul 1, 2009 @ 0:11

    Hmm…wonder what happened to my comment…:(

    575 words before midnight.

    5,704 total for “Lacrymosa” Part 1

    • Holly Lisle Jul 1, 2009 @ 10:41

      Your initial post ended up in my “moderate this post” filter. Never quite sure why some of them hang up there.

      I go through every day and fish out the posts Akismet held that aren’t spam. I get a fair amount of spam, too, but I don’t let it auto-delete. I’d lose some good stuff that way.

  • Emily Schafer Jul 1, 2009 @ 0:08

    Oops, posted in yesterday’s post. >_<

    I'll repeat: 575 words before midnight, which takes me to 5,704 for the story in total. I'll fill in some gaps between the first part and the snippet I wrote a few days ago. This should be fun…

  • Dana Jul 1, 2009 @ 0:04

    I got 831 words today. I’m behind where I wanted to be, but not badly so.

    I’m doing 2YN. I started to do it on the site but got the books and I’m flying much better solo.

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