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
  • Mike P. Jul 2, 2009 @ 18:42

    475 words and counting today.

  • Patricia Guy Jul 2, 2009 @ 9:16

    Thanks for this blog…it certainly helps focus the mind. I finished the scene breakdown last night and started writing this morning: a tad over 2000 words.
    Thanks. I am unlikely to have started writing without the push that this website gave me.

  • Patricia Guy Jul 2, 2009 @ 9:15

    Thanks for this blog…it certainly helps focus the mind. I finished b scene breakdown last night and started writing this morning: a tad over 2000 words.
    Thanks. I am unlikely to have started writing without the push that this website gave me.

  • KQ Jul 2, 2009 @ 0:11

    1200 words for me. I have approximately 70,000 on my current novel.

  • Julia GD Jul 1, 2009 @ 22:29

    2400 for today (the exact count is 2487, but I think the last part is not that good and I might be erasing a 100 of so words on a second read). Most of it written during the early hours or, actually late at night. So probably will have more by the end of the day.
    I am taking a writing class at Stanford, it is terrifyingly motivating. I wish I had more time to write down everything I want. Sadly, about 2 in the morning my body gives up and falls asleep, so I’ve been hugging my laptop several nights by now. Reminds me of NaNoWriMo, just much less stress.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 1, 2009 @ 22:48

      As a rule, don’t delete anything or do any heavy edits in first draft; wait until the whole draft is completed, and edit in one go. Otherwise, you’ll end up endlessly polishing the same chapter and never get anything new.

      • Julia GD Jul 1, 2009 @ 23:00

        Yes, I learned this lesson the hard way. I wish I read your course before starting my novel. 🙂 I think I have my first three chapters re-written about two dozen times. Well, not anymore. Your great advice, NaNoWriMo and frustration for a year taught me that a badly written chapter is way better than nothing. Plus, I do feel a bit more confident about my English now, which helps to avoid the paranoia of “just checking if everything is spelled correctly”.

  • Dee Jul 1, 2009 @ 21:56

    Today I managed 413 words. Not too shabby, considering I’m at a point where my character is sitting there being bored stuck in a room about the size of a bathroom. Maybe I’ll get her out of there later today, but more likely it’ll be tomorrow. I hope.

    Any suggestions on how to gloss over a two week cruise where there is a LOT of fighting behind the scenes? (Not the main character, but a secondary and a bunch of walk-ons)

    • Julia GD Jul 1, 2009 @ 22:36

      Write a full summary of all events that passed these weeks, just as you see them happening. Do not worry about style and form, just put it down on paper. Then cut it down in several consecutive revisions, leaving only the important information and/or particularly good parts. And do not delete any of revised versions!
      Think of it as if you are trying to tell it to your friend who asked how it has been on that cruise. Good luck!

      • Dee Jul 1, 2009 @ 22:42

        Thank you. I have a fairly good idea of what’s going to happen, but she isn’t supposed to be aware of any of it until just before the get off ship. I think the hardest part is I know whats going on but don’t want HER to know!

        • Julia GD Jul 1, 2009 @ 22:45

          I see. Do you write the first person point of view? And is it in present or past tense?

          • Dee Jul 1, 2009 @ 22:54

            First person, present tense. I personally journal constantly and that’s how this is turning out. I tried third person first, but it just would NOT write at all, so I switched to what I’m most comfortable with. I actually would like to finish and publish someday, so …

    • Holly Lisle Jul 1, 2009 @ 22:46

      Personally, unless I was fascinated with some aspect of the squabbling, I’d skip the whole thing with a transitional sentence. Something like, “Two weeks later, they returned from the cruise—burnt, bitter, and feuding.”

      I’d hate writing any sort of detailed summary, and as a reader, would REALLY hate to read one; at most, I’d spend a few hundred words on a couple of the high points—food fight in the grand dining room between one pissed-off couple, someone pitching a wedding ring over the side… Anything less dramatic than that, I’d skip entirely.

      • Julia GD Jul 1, 2009 @ 22:55

        I agree with Holly entirely. The summary for the sake of a summary is a waste of time. However, if there are events you feel really compelled to mention, sometimes if is easier to spill them out on a paper in a sort of “stream of consciousness” style and edit them out into a much more concise and interesting paragraph (or even single sentence) later.
        If you write from a first person POV, you can I guess say something like “While I was enjoying my quiet trip and peaceful meals, the bloody battle for survival was raging in the kitchens between the Chef and his assistant…” or something 🙂

      • Dee Jul 1, 2009 @ 22:55

        What I was thinking of doing was having her confront the person she’s with just before they arrive at their destination and demand to know if he’s been involved in any of the “whatever they were” that caused the damage to the upper decks of the ship.

        (Hey, good battles cause damage)

        • Julia GD Jul 1, 2009 @ 23:08

          Sounds like a good idea. Since you are writing from a first person POV, reveal only what she sees/hears. If you want to, write down what you KNOW happens somewhere separately or as a comment. Your narrator may make assumptions and may be wrong – and that would be fine. I think it is actually better than disclosing all the information outright, it leaves the reader guessing and doubting together with your character. You can also tell what theories she has about the events and why she thinks her companion is (or may be) involved. And I agree with you. Battles do cause damage. especially to furniture. It takes a lot to damage a ship’s deck itself nowadays, but it surely can be done!

  • Talina Jul 1, 2009 @ 20:39

    First, a huge thank you to you, Holly, for thinking of this great idea and sharing it. I feel like I belong to a real writing group. Since I live abroad in Mexico, that sense of belonging somewhere, however long it lasts, with fellow writers is important to me. Eight months ago I started my entire writing career right here with you Holly, and it feels right to be continuing along with you.

    My progress in writing is going great. I have been plotting for the past few days, my first novel. I have had several set backs due to outside problems, but I have come to the conclution that I cannot have every little thing upset the future that I am trying to build for myself. Today is the first day for me here on the WABWM so I will be back tomorrow to post my word count.
    HAPPY WRITING
    TALINA

    • Holly Lisle Jul 1, 2009 @ 22:49

      I’m glad you’re here, Talina. Good luck with the words. 😀

  • pam Jul 1, 2009 @ 20:16

    hmmm…new ground for me! can anyone think what might be in a girls head as she goes on vacation with her parents?15 mind you…

    • Dee Jul 1, 2009 @ 21:54

      According to my daughter, the main thought is going to be exactly how boring she expects it to be. No matter where you’re going, its going to be boring because she is being ‘forced’ to go. Plus, of course, the parents are probably going to ruin ANY fun she manages to find.

    • Julia GD Jul 1, 2009 @ 22:39

      Depends where and how old are the parents. And if there will be any other siblings going with her. And who will be there apart from parents. And what she is leaving behind (good friends, expected parties or maybe a boyfriend?)

  • Debora Jul 1, 2009 @ 18:55

    Reporting in for today. I finished the first draft of the first scene of my novel. Word count for today: 629.

    Now I’ve got to do some brainstorming about the next scene before I start writing it, but that shouldn’t take too long.

    Thanks, Holly!

  • Patricia Babbitt Jul 1, 2009 @ 17:58

    Okay, the word count goes here. Umm..750 words today and still have ideas churning and am continuing to write. But I can say I met my goal for today. This really helps. Thanks, Holly!

  • Cessena Jul 1, 2009 @ 17:48

    Wee, I started yesterday and wrote about 3000, and I’m already up to 4000 today! (not that I should be too enthusiastic, starting has always been the easiest part for me.)

  • Mathew Jul 1, 2009 @ 17:34

    Hey There 😀

    I’ve only just decided to join up and I’ve been writing for a while now… i’m currently on 6,216 words and I’ll hopefully be posting up every day! 🙂 Though Sadly I’m away next week and i cant take my writing with me so I won’t be posting next week 🙁

    I’m currently writing about my two main characters having a duel 🙂 I’ve only got 92 words today 🙁 but im watching superman so i spose thats okay 🙂 xx

  • Michael Jul 1, 2009 @ 16:40

    422 words for yesterday. That’s more than I’ve written for a while. It’s new project, too. Thanks for this, Holly. I think this might help with the motivation!

  • Karen van Wyk Jul 1, 2009 @ 16:28

    Well, I had a bit better day today than I had yesterday. I managed 635 words which is not too bad considering I was out most of the day plus I had a couple of non-fiction deadlines to meet.

    Tomorrow promises to be a good day as I’m getting to an exciting part off the plot. The paw paw is about to hit that fan and somehow those scenes just seem to flow like magic.

  • Rebecca H Jul 1, 2009 @ 16:28

    Yesterday, which was the day of this post, I wrote almost four thousand words, pushing my current project to 38000. It was hard, but a very rewarding kind of hard. The only problem I’ve encountered is that it’s taking a lot more words to advance the plot then I had planned. I don’t think I’m a third of the through the story yet!

  • tjwriter Jul 1, 2009 @ 16:15

    I’ll join in, though I don’t have a specific word count because I am writing longhand, but I can give approximate pages per day.

    For 06/30/09, I wrote about a third of a page.

  • Julie Jul 1, 2009 @ 15:39

    Quick update. I went back to my plot file and ended up writing a possible backstory/possible early scene for the fantasy novel. I wrote 1,029 words which includes some planning of the scene, which takes todays total to 1,285.

    A very rough draft but I ignored my internal editor and I’ve got the spirit of the scene down, which is what matters to me. Tomorrow lunchtime I’ll think about what comes next, maybe an early scene for the love interest.

    Also… I just want to say thank you Holly. I was getting a bit disheartened with my writing and this is exactly what I needed. 🙂

  • Vivien Weaver Jul 1, 2009 @ 15:32

    250 words is definitely something I can do. I’ve promised myself that I’ll at least make substantial progress on putting a manuscript together for a long-standing project by the time school starts again in late August and I go back to teaching/being a student. So, here I am. Wish me luck this evening. 🙂

  • Colleen Jul 1, 2009 @ 15:17

    Since you write at night and I write during the day, our “days” are a bit off. So, I’ll always be trailing one day behind.

    Today, I christened a new piece of paper (well, several new pixels) with the very first 473 words of my project titled-for-now “Dawning Sun.” I had been sitting on the plotting, waiting to get my plot cards right, my scenese right … I’m definitely not a pantser. But I was starting to drift away and lose interest as all the plotting drained the life out of my novel…

    It was a breath of fresh air to actually put words of fiction on the screen. Real words, true words, and I’m off – even if I don’t quite know where I’m going yet.

    • Nancy Sampson-Bach Jul 1, 2009 @ 15:22

      Way to go, Colleen! I’m usually a terrible over-planner, but this time, I only have a vague outline in my head. I’m sure int he coming days, I”ll knuckle down and get to my cards — but at the moment, I’m sort of enjoying the freedom of being able to go anywhere with this.

      I’m also on virgin ground for me — I’ve never written anything light and Pratchett-esque — I’m usually all big sweeping space opera or high fantasy. But this thing seems to be heading in that direction.

      It remains to be seen if I can pull it off –but I’m sure having fun trying!

      • james mc donald Jul 2, 2009 @ 13:49

        This is the diary of seamus sia bhoin (prononced shean bon if you.re a sasanach) ,the heir of cu culain the greatest warrior that ever lived in the fair isles and i am also the (reluctant) master and commander of the Dia Anles (fairy type people), who have been keeping the forces of evil at bay known as the avlochs who also have a child of prophecy which has treathened to unleash the hordes of chaos into the mortal realm,s.

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