DTD—319 words, and the 10% mark

I rolled over 25,000 words tonight. 25,006, to be exact. Which means I’m ten percent of the way done with my estimated minimum of my first draft. (How’s that for vague?)

Was going to quit a bit earlier because I have a nasty headache, but the temptation to hit that round number got the better of me.

So. Tonight I simply filled in details from last night’s scene. It felt rushed as I was working it, and when I read it tonight, I discovered I was right.

So poor Aleksa has not yet begun to understand why she has been taken prisoner, or who her captor really is. I’ll start into that tomorrow night…but that whole thing is going to take a while, and have to be split over several scenes, as the full scope of the mess into which she’s embroiled herself begins to take shape.

I’m going to go straight to sleep tonight—well, after hunting down a couple aspirin.

I’ll check in tomorrow to see how you’re doing with your book.

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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.

128 comments… add one
  • Anambika Jul 14, 2009 @ 21:30

    zero words today, for I’m planning and plotting! — Oh! it’s everything to do with my writing, nothing else.

  • Don Jul 14, 2009 @ 20:51

    Wrote 999 words working to the 20,000 mark will be there before the end of the month.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 14, 2009 @ 23:50

      I would have had to get that one word more. The 999 is a very cool number… but the zeroes would have compelled me.

      Nice words, btw.

  • Steve Jul 14, 2009 @ 20:21

    800 words today. And a fair bit of fun.

    A new scene I wrote last week inspired this addition to an already-existing scene. Originally, MC and his damsel-in-distress girlfriend had a fight, then they made up. Big whoop.

    In the enhanced version, the fight has a knock-on effect. Because of it, MC’s sleeping in the garage. Because of that, the villain (a very special type of vampire) can now confront him and force him to make a decision: either he lets her into the garage to do her thing with him, or she goes to the girlfriend, who, because she doesn’t know the truth about Villain, will almost certainly let her into the house. And Our Hero will be unable to intervene: the garage is too far away for him to warn her.

    What’s going to happen next? Beats the heck out of me!

  • Red_dot Jul 14, 2009 @ 19:26

    900 words today or more I lost my place will revising right where I spliced. Total count 12,080. Research is getting more indepth but easier to retain. I am now starting to see a picture in my head of what some of my characters do that I had no real knowledge of. I moved hand written notes from crappy notepad to nice notebook. Added more researched items. 12,000 words, for me it’s like lokking down a high climb, how did I get so far up? Trying this endeavour of writing a book has giving me a heightened state of looking at books that I already love. I was always a people watcher, but now I crave watching for interaction between people to see how others talk to on another to be able to write conversations in my book, funny though I think I watch almost to the level of stalker. πŸ™‚

    • Holly Lisle Jul 14, 2009 @ 23:49

      Do try to be surreptitious about the watching, then. “I was eavesdropping on her conversation because I’m developing characters for my book,” is probably not the sort of thing that’ll get you a lot of sympathy from a cop. πŸ˜‰

  • Debora Jul 14, 2009 @ 19:14

    663 words today. My MC, who is also my Muse — can that be possible? — for when I think of her, I fall into a questioning and listening mode. I feel that I am transcribing more than I am writing, taking down in shorthand everything she has to say. She has a face, which is a real face, as in she actually existed during the time period of my book, and she is also the face of my MC.

    She talks to me.

    I listen.

    Holly, I hope your headache is better!

    • Holly Lisle Jul 14, 2009 @ 23:47

      Cheering. This is an interesting approach to writing a character. I’ve never been in this spot, but I’d love to try it.

      • Debora Jul 15, 2009 @ 8:13

        Here’s a link to her photograph, if anyone’s interested. Her name was Tillie Pierce:


        I’d planned to write a book from multiple points of view, but one day when I was stuck, I pasted her image into my word processor and said: Talk to me, Tillie.

        She did! Sometimes I feel a little weird about the whole thing, as if I’d hijacked her likeness but given her a whole new persona. There’s really no “as if” about it, actually. That’s exactly what I’ve done.

        There’s a look of pain in her eyes, a haunted look, that speaks to me.

        I kept the characters but discarded all other points of view. Now I write only from the POV of the young woman in the photograph, who seems to be playing a dual role as my narrator and muse.

        • Nancy Jul 15, 2009 @ 13:59

          Very cool photo. Yes, she does look haunted – definitely a woman with a story. Great inspiration… from beyond?? πŸ™‚

          • Debora Jul 15, 2009 @ 19:15

            Maybe pushed to the brink?

        • Brent B. Jul 15, 2009 @ 22:10

          I’ve heard of a picture being worth a thousand words, but one that actually narrates a whole book for you? I officially have goosebumps.

        • The Pencil Neck Jul 16, 2009 @ 4:26

          That is really cool. Great find and congratulations to recognizing it.

  • Laura B. Jul 14, 2009 @ 16:56

    I estimate maybe 150 words since Saturday–they’re handwritten and uncounted. Mostly rethinking characters and shifting structure–which has really helped define some of the characters. My previously limp MC is now initiating a lot of action–much to my surprise and joy–and making important decisions within the story.

  • Brent B. Jul 14, 2009 @ 16:08


    Went into isolation mode. This is the first time I looked at the posts here since a few days ago. Glad to see some etiquette laid down about giving advice. Should be helpful to all. And leads me into why I went into isolation mode.

    I could use some advice.
    My one sentence appears flawed and unable to guide me through my story:

    “A lonely witch, with a frightful face, risks everything to save the life of the only man to show her love, who just killed 13 Men of the Cloth.”

    *** I see the seeds of conflict in ‘save the life’, ‘killed’, ‘lonely’, etc.,***

    I’ve spent the weekend and then some looking for answers, a fair amount of it internal searching.

    and realized two things,

    1) *** ‘risks everything’ is vague ***

    What is my lonely witch risking? humiliation? worse loneliness? imprisonment? insanity? etc.?

    2) If the story is about humiliation, is that a journey I want to take. Is that something I really want to right about?

    Anyway, that’s what I’ve been perplexed about all weekend. Am I on the right track here? Or am I just losing my mind and turning into a wishy-washy fruitcake?

    I am worried about dropping another project in the trash bin and starting over (insert – oh boy, here we go again feeling). But I’d rather do that than write 100k words of dribble that doesn’t have a clear purpose.

    Is there a method for? a) figuring out how to construct a really killer one sentence b) finding what your passionate about as a writer (or is it just trial and error and lots of internalizing)

    Thanks for reading.
    Any help would be very much appreciated.

    • Laura B. Jul 14, 2009 @ 17:13

      Hi Brent,
      When I’m tackling these kinds of questions (which has happened more than once in my WIP), my own process has been to brainstorm around each of the questions– writing down all the thoughts that come to mind, no matter how far-fetched or unrelated they may seem (Holly’s “Sweet Spot” technique is great for this). Usually something helpful (or unexpected and exciting) will pop up–either directly about the story, or about what I want to express in a story, or both. But if it doesn’t, I move on for the time being. I may come back to it later and find that there’s been a shift and suddenly it begins to make sense.

      • Brent B. Jul 14, 2009 @ 18:36

        thinking out loud.
        /// could be . . . could be . . . Let’s see, my goal is to narrow my focus down to a clear direction for the book. To do that, I do the opposite of my natural inclination. Instead of narrowing, I need to expand. Brainstorm possibilities until I find the ‘sweet spot’ that I’m looking for. What the hell is a sweet spot? something that evokes a strong emotion from me; fear, hate, love, awe, . . no, something stronger, something that would personally move me to action. the stuff that makes me want to strangle someone just for catching me on a bad day, throw crap at my wife, start a riot, kill myself, write a book, share my darkest secrets, buy a puppy, quit my day job . . . if it’ll move me, it’ll move my MC ///
        If that’s what you meant, then Point taken. I guess it might be time to quit being wimpy and dig deep for that sweet spot. Thanks, Laura.

        • Brent B. Jul 14, 2009 @ 18:42

          Gotta run to school right now (crap, gonna be late). Really appreciate the feedback. Will get back here later and read the rest. Thanks again.

    • The Pencil Neck Jul 14, 2009 @ 17:56

      This is a lot of what the first few weeks of HtTS is about: how to find your “sweet spot” as a writer, how to develop your story sentence, etc.

      But I think you’re basically on the right track. If I had that sentence, I’d look at trying to clearly define the opposition as well as making the protagonist a driving force. To me, the “risks everything” needs to be expanded and defined into the antagonist and I’d make my main part of the sentence the “saves the life”. I think. Maybe. HTH.

      • Brent B. Jul 15, 2009 @ 1:13

        Sweet! Thanks Pencil Neck. Very helpful.
        “A witch finds out an avenging angel seeks to kill her new man, but she has to save him; he’s the only man she’s ever met who’s hasn’t run away.”

        I clearly see the conflict coming between the witch and the avenging angel.
        I’m gonna stew on this sentence for a little while; go back and look at my notes on how I envisioned the story ending and see what else comes to mind. and work on this sweet spot thing.

    • Jessica Jul 14, 2009 @ 18:27

      Oh man, have I been there before! I’m a consistent start-n-stop storyteller. Although I find I have more trouble coming up with the right kind of questions to steer me back to the story. Most often when I do decide to drop a story it’s because I realize that it’s not something I care deeply enough about – it’s either missing or has a weak theme. (It’s a very personal choice.)

      I took a break for a few months from writing, focussed on other things, and then made a decision to come at it from a completely different approach. I didn’t go with the first or second idea that bounced into my head, I thought about what would be an interesting theme and how that would come into conflict (pretty much the opposite of what I was doing before).

      I have never published anything, I am only 5k into my current WIP, and I have no idea if my Sentence is “killer”. But this is working better for me. And honestly, it has been a lot of trial and error just getting here. But for me, it’s worth it.

      • Brent B. Jul 15, 2009 @ 1:28

        Thanks for the honesty. I agree. It is worth it. And I do like what you said about not going with the first or second idea. I think a lot of my natural instincts about getting to where I eventually want to go, which is a finished novel, seem intent on finding the easiest way, but not necessarily the best way there, because then I skip the essential parts of learning.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 14, 2009 @ 23:46

      β€œA lonely witch, with a frightful face, risks everything to save the life of the only man to show her love, who just killed 13 Men of the Cloth.”

      Okay. The sentence is interesting. It’s missing an antagonist, though. You have your heroine, you have your conflict, and you have your twist… but until you figure out and put into the Sentence who or what is coming after her, you’re going to be left feeling hollow about this story.

      • Brent B. Jul 15, 2009 @ 1:55

        Sweet! Thanks, Holly. Your insight is right on. I got an avenging angel after my heroine’s butt now. And maybe now I can get some life pumped back into me too. I think I got a little turned around trying to see the forest through the trees. Thanks again for all the help, guys.

        • Holly Lisle Jul 15, 2009 @ 10:01

          There you go. Now you’ve got some cool conflict. πŸ˜€


    • Jim Mitchel Jul 15, 2009 @ 8:57

      Here’s some good articles called β€œWhat It Takes To Sell Your Pitch”

      It’s geared for writing screenplays, and comic books, but part 1 has excellent information on writing a one sentence pitch. Maybe you’ll find this helpful.

      Part 1

      Part 2

      Part 3


      • The Pencil Neck Jul 15, 2009 @ 16:12

        There’s a book called “The Writer’s Bootcamp” that also has a single sentence approach to defining/focusing the story. Like the sentence defined in the link provided, it’s structure is a little different than Holly’s: main character, opposition, genre, and macro setting.

        I prefer Holly’s ingredient list: protagonist, antagonist, setting, and twist.

      • Brent B. Jul 15, 2009 @ 21:51

        Thank you Jim. I copied his sentence structure and a few of his examples down and plan to try working out a few sentences of my own. I’ll try, as he suggests, to try it out on other people’s stories first to get a feel for it. I’m always willing to try different approaches.

        Wow. The name Marv Wolfman sure brings back a lot of comic book memories. I’m pretty sure the Craig Miller he refers to is the one I used to work with back when I was working for Lone Star Comics. He self-published a mag called wrapped in plastic and distributed it through Lone Star.

        • Brent B. Jul 15, 2009 @ 21:59

          Oops. Apologies. Hit the wrong reply.
          Thanks Pencil Neck. I’ll check it out. And yeah, Holly has a knack for whacking the nail dead on.

        • Jim Mitchel Jul 15, 2009 @ 23:59

          Cool to hear there’s another comic person working in this challenge. I’ve been writing comics for the last seven years or so.

          • The Pencil Neck Jul 16, 2009 @ 0:28

            I <3 comic books.

            And the reason I'm writing novels now is because a couple of years ago, a guy I worked with wanted comic stories to illustrate. He knew I love comics and asked if I could come up with ideas for a comic book. I came up with 7 or 8 ideas I though would be cool: a couple of fantasy things, a couple of super hero things, and a few sci-fi things. He picked the one he liked and I tried to write up about 20 pages worth of stuff for him. He drew maybe the first two pages or so… then he quit the company.

            And that was the end of that.

            But… I really liked the stories. And I'd always thought about writing a novel. So… I picked one of the stories and ran with it. Been trying to finish up those ideas ever since.

            Working on real comics seems like it's WAY too high stress with deadlines that are just WAY to insane.

          • Brent B. Jul 16, 2009 @ 3:58

            Yep. I worked with this one guy who had memorized every cover of the first 100 issues of Am. Spider-Man. Comic persons rule!

          • Jim Mitchel Jul 16, 2009 @ 22:19

            As a writer, the good and bad thing about working in comics is that it’s an extremely collaborative effort.

            When the collaboration goes well it’s an amazing experince to be part of team all working towards the same goal.

            When things go bad your project is dead in the water. As simple as that.

            At least in independent comics, anyways. When you work for the major publishers I’m sure the editor takes care of most potential headaches.

  • A. C. Ellis Jul 14, 2009 @ 15:39

    Quiting early for the day (July 14). 569 words, for total of 23,854. Not what I wanted to do, but I have too many other things to do today and into tonight.

  • Suzanne Jul 14, 2009 @ 15:25

    Just got 500 today but considering that I was in a big hurry, I was grateful for the motivation to get it done. I like what is going on right now — the first meeting for the two men who both like the MC, although she is happily oblivious — they have to be jealous of each other without it being too obvious to the reader at this point in the story, so it’s fun to write snarky dialogue with her trying to soothe the waters, as to her mind they should be getting along famously.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 14, 2009 @ 23:41

      It SOUNDS fun. Good romantic conflict is a blast to write.

  • Belle Jul 14, 2009 @ 14:10

    No words yesterday, another surprise busy day. I am doing research for my world and character building that will be a priority over writing for a while.

  • Lisa R Jul 14, 2009 @ 13:24

    303 words was it last night. I wanted to work on a stronger theme, but it just wasn’t working. So then I tried working on a fun scene, but it felt too much like pulling teeth. Hopefully tonight will go better.

  • Jessica Jul 14, 2009 @ 12:50

    208 but still going, and suddenly another very interesting character has popped up. Things are about to get tense (I hope) and then it’s a flip back to the first world.

  • Faith Jul 14, 2009 @ 12:10

    405 words, and I stopped in the middle of a sentence to hopefully make it easier to pick up tomorrow. Still haven’t managed to get the MC to discover the dead body on the costume rack… other characters keep interrupting!!!

    • Treelight Jul 14, 2009 @ 15:31

      I stopped in the middle of a sentence once, too … because I fell asleep while writing πŸ˜‰

  • A. C. Ellis Jul 14, 2009 @ 11:27

    I’m getting way behind on posting this stuff. This report is from Saturday night, 07/11
    1054 words, bringing me to 23,285
    MC driving to senator’s house in foothills outside of Denver, is forced off the road by senator’s henchmen and stalked in Lair O’ the Bear park. He kills two, and the third gets away.

    • Nancy Jul 14, 2009 @ 14:49

      Tell me you made up that park name! It’s fab. Nice wordage too!

      • A. C. Ellis Jul 14, 2009 @ 15:37

        No, I didn’t make it up. It’s a real park. Part of the Jefferson County open space network just west of Denver.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 14, 2009 @ 23:37

      Very cool.

      And don’t stress on the posting. I’ll bet you there are as many folks lurking and not posting anything (but still doing some writing) as are posting.

      Post when you can, and when it helps motivate you.

  • Ieva Jul 14, 2009 @ 11:11

    Zilch. I did, however, startle my husband at 2 AM with a sudden “I got it! *All* the mages will make a prison break!!!” yell.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 14, 2009 @ 23:36

      πŸ™‚ I do not envy the non-writing spouses of writers. We are some odd ducks, writers.

      Fortunately for me, Matt writes, too.

      It it sounds like you had a pretty cool moment there.

      • The Pencil Neck Jul 14, 2009 @ 23:38

        So Matt gets to guinea pig all your techniques and workshops? Cool.

        • Holly Lisle Jul 15, 2009 @ 22:30

          He reads and crits all my final drafts. (The only person who reads my first drafts is me.)

          And he did Think Sideways after I finished it. He’s awesome.

  • Deb Jul 14, 2009 @ 10:03

    I hit about 5,000 words yesterday. My King decided that my MC is going to be his heir (which causes several problems), then he nearly died, but I prevented it. Today should be interesting. My villains are just itching to show me what they can do by killing off the king, but I have to send my MC on a long journey first and get him back before the king can die. Plus the king has to actually *announce* that MC is going to be the next king (and did I mention MC wants nothing to do with the throne?). Today will be fun!

    • Nancy Jul 14, 2009 @ 14:48

      You must love complicating your MCs’ lives as much as I do! Sounds like you’re on a roll.

  • Beckie Jul 14, 2009 @ 8:50

    I’m back from Laramie and have 384 words on a new project, untitled at this point.

  • Khena Jul 14, 2009 @ 8:18

    I had another good day of writing, despite a horrible time getting started. I wrote two sentances or so in between my kids and housework, but they gave me a good platform when I started after bedtime. I wrote 1403, finished a scene, and hit 12.2k on my manuscript.

    • A. C. Ellis Jul 14, 2009 @ 12:46

      Wow! Fantastic.
      That’s right around what I want to do every day, but can’t seem to get it together.

  • Sari Jul 14, 2009 @ 6:30

    Just rolling in to say only 250 words today. And rolling out rather quicky as am super tired and ready for sleep (and in no time at all will be hitting that snooz button over and over).

    Catch ya’s tomorrow πŸ™‚

    • Treelight Jul 14, 2009 @ 15:29

      I’m glad that there are at least some people here who have a word-count similar to mine. That is closer to the minimum, and certainly not around 3000.

      • Noel Lynne Figart Jul 14, 2009 @ 15:42

        Okay, I actually write for a living. (Not fiction. And by a “real” writer’s standard I’m probably a bottom feeder, but it pays the bills) Anything more than a 2,500 word day and I’m brain fried unless I really know the material well and have a bee in my bonnet about it. I’ve ACCEPTED that much work before from being stupid and greedy and it always bites me and burns me out. My ideal is to roll along at about 1K a day for paying work. My business tends to be feast or famine so I don’t GET this, of course, but it’s what I LIKE.

        250 words a day is actually a nice, solid clip when you think about it. It’s not flamboyant or exciting, but it’s steady and habit forming. We’ve all had moments where the muse grabs us by the throat and it’s GREAT, but for me, the steady stuff is what gets the material written. I’d starve if I counted on the muse!

        • Sarah Collins Jul 14, 2009 @ 20:34

          Same here – I write non-fiction for a living. I’m very much a part time writer (thanks to hubby’s income, five young kids, and homeschooling) but my fiction refreshes me. I adore it! My daily fiction word count was dismal before this challenge, but I always noticed how much better I felt when I was able to work on it.

          I tend to over schedule my paying work, too. =c) I always end up with more projects than I expect, so all of the sudden I’m juggling like crazy when all I wanted was another project to do when I finished the current one! And then on top of THAT, clients start finding ME and there’s no way I could have planned for that and NO way I’m turning it down! I’m sure you know the story, LOL.

          Fiction is my reward for meeting my daily (usually self-imposed) milestones. It’s working, too – I work like crazy to earn the privilege! One day I’ll live off the fiction royalties… (Easy to say since I technically don’t need a job, LOL).

        • Holly Lisle Jul 14, 2009 @ 23:33

          And there you go. You can basically find 250 words in a day without being inspired. It helps if you know where your story is headed, but even that you can fudge for a while.

          And at that pace, you can finish a normal-length book in a year, year in, year out. You can build a career on 250 words a day.

          So don’t get stressed about the high word counts.

          • Sari Jul 15, 2009 @ 2:49

            I’m happy with 250 words a day, so long as my muse comes to the party every now and then and I get a 2ker in to boost my enthusiasm πŸ™‚

  • Laura Jul 14, 2009 @ 6:27

    2121 words and I killed my main villain. The end is nearer than I thought, just the final race left, and I feel kind of sad. No matter how much trouble the characters have given me, I still love them. If everything goes according to the plan and I have enough time at the creative writing camp, I’ll have the first draft finished by the end of this week.

    Happy writing everyone!

  • Dena Jul 14, 2009 @ 6:16

    Monday was an awesome writing day for me. I wrote some on the bus on the way in, wrote on my lunch at work, and wrote some more when I got home from work. I got 3626 words over the course of the day. It was one of those writing days where all the planet are aligned,the internal editor is off drinking cocktails and flirting on the beach and the words just flow. It wasn’t my intention to actually do that much. I typed in everything I’d written away from home into Scrivener and then I thought I’d write for just a little while longer. Next thing I knew I looked up, over an hour and a half has passed and I had a whopping word count. I think it helped a lot that the day job has been pretty low stress lately.

    Anyway today is another day. Good luck with the writing everyone.

    • A. C. Ellis Jul 14, 2009 @ 12:50

      Don’t you just love that kind of day? But they don’t come often enough.

    • Nancy Jul 14, 2009 @ 14:46

      Wiow! Banner day for you! Way to go!

      I seem to be struggling today. Think my Muse (instead of my Editor) is the one sipping Rum Swizzles on the beach in Bermuda!

    • Anambika Jul 14, 2009 @ 21:40

      3626 words?! mmm! Can I borrow your muse for a week or so?

    • Holly Lisle Jul 14, 2009 @ 23:30


      Congrats. And doesn’t Scrivener kick ASS?

      • Dena Jul 15, 2009 @ 6:40

        I got Scrivener for Christmas last year, shortly after I got my Mac. I absolutely love it. It rocks!

  • Noel Lynne Figart Jul 14, 2009 @ 4:44

    Took out my old notecards and pinned ’em storyboard style on the wall. It became immediately obvious what belonged and what didn’t. I had to erase two characters and a subplot that didn’t fit, then add about six scenes.

    • Ieva Jul 14, 2009 @ 19:53

      wow, that’s actually a brilliant idea. I haven’t had a chance to get a corkboard (I’m afraid the blasted thing will drop on somebody’s head like everything else in my room does), but ruining a wall by pinning a novel to it sounds exactly like my thing πŸ™‚

      • Holly Lisle Jul 14, 2009 @ 23:29

        “but ruining a wall by pinning a novel to it sounds exactly like my thing :)”

        ROFL! Fascinating bit of character development on yourself, there.
        Something you may want to incorporate into one of your characters. That was a lovely line.

  • Minze Jul 14, 2009 @ 4:44

    432 words. My heroine was supposed to take a dislike to Madame Santinelli. Instead, they’re bonding over an anecdote about an old Russian nanny. Not the first time I’ve written something different than the thing I planned and realized afterwards that it works better.

  • The Pencil Neck Jul 14, 2009 @ 3:39

    Wow. Is something going around? I’ve felt bad all day. I’ve got to get my schedule shifted to nights for the next couple of weeks, too.

    353 words. All storyboarding.

    After talking to someone about how cool Kim Stanley Robinson’s Red Mars is, I had an idea that could solve my multiple main character dilemma.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 14, 2009 @ 23:27

      Hope you’re feeling better. And good luck making the switch to night shift. That always killed me.

      12-hour nights in an ER can be cool. In an ICU, it’ll just drive you bonkers.

      • The Pencil Neck Jul 14, 2009 @ 23:36

        This is going to be 2 weeks of night shift talking to guys from India all night about the design and construction of their software. It’s not going to be pretty.

        When I was a musician, I lived these hours for years. I’m still a night owl so I’m hoping it’s not going to be too bad of an adjustment.

        I think my “sick” feeling might have been a reaction to the hep A shot I got because I thought I was going to India (before screwing up my visa paperwork.) I’m feeling better today.

  • Mikaela Jul 14, 2009 @ 3:33

    I got back from my holiday, late sunday. I managed to write 600 words yesterday. I can see the end of the draft, and I am probably done tomorrow.

  • Gerhi Janse van Vuuren Jul 14, 2009 @ 3:20

    5% of the 100 000 word goal. Wrote 631 words this morning. Next I need to develop two characters so that they can start giving the main character some major headaches.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 14, 2009 @ 23:26

      Have fun. Creating those problem characters can be delightful.

  • Drake_tesla Jul 14, 2009 @ 1:59

    378 words. Nice words, too. My protagonist is getting chewed out by her roommate.
    I hope you feel better soon.

  • megan Jul 14, 2009 @ 1:30

    10% mark aounds cool Holly!
    For me I wrote 700ish, and fleshed out the character, she ws so hum hum , resentful outisder and now I know she is in Love with her ‘cousin’ who hates her cause of someting that happened at their year 6 farewell dance (6yrs ago)

    • Holly Lisle Jul 14, 2009 @ 23:25

      Nice. It’s fun to watch your characters rounding out and becoming more real.

  • Jamie D. Jul 14, 2009 @ 1:20

    371 words tonight…and I’m only stopping because I have to sleep before work tomorrow. Total of 5,545 words so far, and my heroine’s best friend has just ordered the hero/chef & his best friend/producer to clean up the mess they made of her kitchen.

    I hope your head feels better after some sleep…

  • Clare K. R. Miller Jul 14, 2009 @ 1:09

    465 words today. My MC has just discovered that someone she thought gave her good advice actually lied to her about at least one thing, and for no discernible reason.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 14, 2009 @ 23:25

      Have the funny feeling discovering that reason is going to open a whole can of worms.


      • Clare K. R. Miller Jul 14, 2009 @ 23:36

        Heh, it would, if she could discover it… but I can’t think of any way for her to find out anytime soon (he’s certainly not going to tell her). Who knows–it may well come out as I’m writing. That tends to happen.

  • Anthony Jul 14, 2009 @ 1:01

    3,260 words over this weekend, and finished that big block off today. I didn’t write those words on a computer, however–I used plain copy paper and a Waterman fountain pen and wrote them with my own hand. Nothing beats the feeling!

    • A. C. Ellis Jul 14, 2009 @ 12:54

      Outstanding, Anthony!
      I just can’t bring myself to write longhand, knowing I’ll have to keyboard it in eventually, and that’s basically doing the work twice.

    • Treelight Jul 14, 2009 @ 15:25

      How do you count the words when you write them in the old-fashioned way? At last I guess you hadn’t the time yet to type them up and let the computer do the counting.

    • Jessica Jul 14, 2009 @ 15:41

      I write by hand too. My muse just prefers to work that way, I think maybe it’s because I’m too tempted to erase and edit while I type.
      Of course, my daily words have been way less than Anthony’s but I just stop now and then to count ’em up. I don’t mind re-typing it all after because it refreshes my mind on all the little plot bunnies I may have missed or forgotten while I was writing.

    • Deb Jul 14, 2009 @ 17:49

      I go back and forth between writing by hand and typing. I type a LOT faster, but when I write by hand, it is a great feeling. Then when I type it later, it’s like putting it through the editing process and making changes! πŸ™‚

    • Holly Lisle Jul 14, 2009 @ 23:24

      I use longhand for coming up with ideas and developing projects. By the time I get to the actual writing, I switch to the keyboard.

      Both modes are incredibly useful for me, but they aren’t particularly interchangeable.

  • Julia GD Jul 14, 2009 @ 0:36

    I hope you will feel better tomorrow. I have horrid migraines ever since I was a kid, so I know how you feel. Unfortunately, aspirin does not work for me. I have to take stronger stuff to be able to sleep with my headaches.
    You deserve a medal (or at the very least, a big cookie!) for writing in such condition.
    Well, I pulled my comforting 1200 words today. Most of it pretty dry. πŸ™ I do not count extra 1500 words scene that will never be in the book, but was a great fun to write. I was playing with my main character, putting him into different uncomfortable situations to see how he will react. It was most illuminating. And inspiring.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 14, 2009 @ 23:22

      I have migraines too, from time to time. This wasn’t one of those. For those, I can’t work. This was just a garden-variety headache. I slept, it went away. I felt great today. πŸ˜€

      And big cheers on your progress. Your character experiment sounds interesting, too.

  • KQ Jul 14, 2009 @ 0:33

    1598 for today. Things are starting to pick up from the middle, heading into the final part.

    • Sarah Collins Jul 14, 2009 @ 12:26

      I suspect I’m in the same place! Things finally settled down from the first half of my book and it looks like it’ll be smooth sailing, but that wouldn’t be any fun at all, now, would it?

      Good luck!

  • Nicola Jul 14, 2009 @ 0:29

    Today’s word count: 545 words.
    It’s not easy finding a balance between the real world and the writing world. On the one hand I’ve found using my lunch break at work to do (at least some of) my day’s writing quite an economical use of my time. But on the other hand the scene I wrote today was an emotional one. My MC had a major emotional outburst and the upshot was that I found it really hard to settle back into work in the afternoon.

    I’m very happy that the words are starting to flow again. I’ve put this wip on the backburner for over a year but I really want to finish it. As it’s a children’s book (maybe aimed at 9 and above age group), my goal is about 60,000 words. I just passed the 11,000-mark today.

  • Jim Mitchel Jul 14, 2009 @ 0:04

    Writing went well today despite the fact that I really did not feel up to the challenge today. But, once I started writing, I picked right up from where I left off on Friday.

    I’m happy that today I was able to include two very important bits of back-story. I knew the back-story had to be included somewhere but I was originally not sure what chapter it would be best placed it.

    Word count for today: 630

  • Eve Jul 14, 2009 @ 0:03

    The words did not come for me today. I did a lot of thinking about my story and in the end moved a few scenes around to make for a better time-line, but the few words I got hung their heads and went away knowing full well they weren’t at the right place at the right time. I promised them they could come back tomorrow.

    • A. C. Ellis Jul 14, 2009 @ 12:56

      We all have those days. Trouble is, I seem to have more of them than the opposite kind.
      Hang in there.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 14, 2009 @ 23:21

      I hope tomorrow proves to be better.

  • Cora Zane Jul 13, 2009 @ 23:56

    I’ve missed a couple of posting days here – sorry about that! I haven’t forgotten, though. I’ve been writing daily, including weekends.

    Today I wrote just shy of 3k words, and around 1 o’clock this afternoon I wrapped up my story. It ended up a little over 90k. *thumbs up*

    Regretfully, I won’t be around much while revising – it’s off to the writing cave for me. Still, I wanted to say thanks for all the support and motivation. Every nugget counts. Thanks so much for hosting these sessions, Holly. They helped push me over the finish line.

    Happy writing, everyone. Best wishes to you all!

    • Clare K. R. Miller Jul 14, 2009 @ 1:11

      Congratulations on finishing your first draft!

    • The Pencil Neck Jul 14, 2009 @ 2:27

      Rock on!

    • Sari Jul 14, 2009 @ 3:20

      w00t! A finished draft! I’m so jealous πŸ™‚

    • Khena Jul 14, 2009 @ 7:46


      • Jessica Jul 14, 2009 @ 8:09

        Good luck with the revision!

    • Nancy Jul 14, 2009 @ 9:48

      Wow! Congrats! Happy Editing.

    • Ieva Jul 14, 2009 @ 11:15


    • Brent B. Jul 14, 2009 @ 17:31

      That’s intense! Awesome job!

    • Debora Jul 14, 2009 @ 18:18

      “I wrapped up my story.”
      Wow, I want to be able to say that myself someday.

      Congratulations! And best of luck with your revision:-)

    • Holly Lisle Jul 14, 2009 @ 23:20

      Huge congrats on finishing. Come back when you’re done with your revision. I’ll still be here, plugging along. πŸ˜€

  • Lisa Jul 13, 2009 @ 23:49

    725 words, and now I’m excited about the next scene. YES! Finally! I’ve been really trying to take your advice, Holly, and only write the scenes I desperately want to write, and to figure out something more interesting to happen when things start to get boring. Anyway, now my MC has to go talk to the mysterious stranger who appeared out of nowhere last week…and I have no idea where the conversation will go, and I love it. πŸ™‚ All I know is that my MC has just lost the thing he cares most about in the world, and this stranger wants to talk to him. I don’t know if the stranger has anything to do with his loss, or what he’s going to tell him, but it’s going to be interesting for sure!

    • Holly Lisle Jul 14, 2009 @ 23:19

      That one little bit of practice (only writing the fun stuff) was a major key to me actually selling my work instead of making it all the way to my 200th rejection.

      I’m so glad it’s working for you.

  • Lacey Savage Jul 13, 2009 @ 23:21

    Nothing. πŸ™

    I was really sick today. I stuck it out at the office until the end of the workday, but when I got home, the only thing I could do was curl up in bed. I slept until nearly 8:00 PM, then got up, had a little bit to eat, and went back to bed. It’s now 11:20 PM. I thought I’d get up and do some work, but I’m still not feeling well, so I think I’ll call it a night and curl up with a book.

    Luckily, my goal is to write 6 days a week, so I can still make it! πŸ™‚ Hopefully by tomorrow I’ll feel well enough to work.

    • Nancy Jul 13, 2009 @ 23:31

      Lacey — hope you feel better too. Rest up!

    • Holly Lisle Jul 14, 2009 @ 23:18

      Also hoping you’re feeling better. Hugs.

    • Lacey Savage Jul 15, 2009 @ 9:16

      Thanks Nancy and Holly. The good vibes helped — I’m all better now. πŸ™‚

  • Nancy Jul 13, 2009 @ 23:19

    1849 today. I found a fun new character and managed to give my second tier villain a little more screen time — he’s not having any better a time than my MC (just as his actions make things complicated for my MC to reach her goals, her actions are also making things complicated for him to reach his), and he’s almost got me feeling sorry for him. Almost. Heh heh heh.

    I do so love my villains!

    • Nancy Jul 13, 2009 @ 23:29

      Holly — hope your headache vanishes!

  • Elise Jul 13, 2009 @ 23:15

    Sorry about the headache.
    I didn’t feel much like writing tonight, but I’m getting tired of making excuses, so I vowed to get 500 words done before I let myself quit. Managed to figure out what needed to happen next (it was a blank in my head) and wound up writing 718 words!
    I think I’m focused again on what the story is that I want to tell and hopefully things will go more smoothly from here.

  • Treelight Jul 13, 2009 @ 23:04

    I wrote 312 words today and my MCs are now finally out of the place where they’ve been far longer than I had expected. I liked it there, it was a great playground and I’ll return there someday, but now it’s time for a little road-movie.
    Besides, I had some fun because Cathrine and Jeremy got a little closer, and I love such moments.

  • Sarah Collins Jul 13, 2009 @ 23:03

    1,505 for me today and I’m having a BLAST!

    • Anambika Jul 14, 2009 @ 21:43

      It appears to be a real big blast. cheers!

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