DTD—320 words. A quiet moment

I’m not entirely sure I like the direction this particular scene has taken. My captive Aleksa is alone and taking steps to protect herself… but it feels a bit flat to me.

Since this is the last writing night of my week, I’ll have a couple of days to ponder her direction before I pick this back up on Sunday.

I hope you have a terrific weekend—either getting words if you’re writing, or just having a good time if you’re not.

I’ll see you on Sunday.

Both the Friday and Saturday threads will be here for you to mark your next two day, at about this time each night.

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

61 comments… add one
  • Brent B. Jul 17, 2009 @ 23:51

    I’m happy to see the nice progress a lot of people are making. I’m still in fix-it mode right now, shutting out most negative thoughts that usually plague me. Instead, I’m concentrating on using the tools I’ve learned (most from Holly). I’ve experienced two or three bang-head-against-wall moments. But overall, I’m really, really pleased with the new ideas and direction coming out. Ever get one of those ideas? the kind that make you lean way back in the chair, put your hands behind your head, and just go – whoa.

    Yes, I’m pleased.

  • Don Jul 17, 2009 @ 23:00

    Made 833 today the Invasion has started the MC is in DC sleeping wile the Greens start part one of their plans, one to get their stuff back, as well capture as many mammals as they call humans as they can. I’ll be at 20,000 before the end of the month, at this rate the rough draft will be done by Halloween. Things are looking good I’m shooting for 80,000 words that will give me a little to play with when I start rewriting. Nothing is worse than cutting things out.

  • Silke Jul 17, 2009 @ 19:35

    I’m at a total of 18194, net gain of 3258, but that was sort of on/off the last couple days. 🙂
    Over the half way mark on the short story. 🙂

    I want to have it finished by 1st August, but not sure if I’ll make it.

  • Debora Jul 17, 2009 @ 19:07

    I am very happy with my word count today: 694 words. Not a lot, but the draft is going well. I don’t even think about going back to rewrite, which is entirely new for me. I think this is because I finally found my authentic writing voice. I think my muse just dictated that last sentence, and being the good listener I try to be these days, I wrote down her words, verbatim.

  • Kay Jul 17, 2009 @ 17:00

    I wrote 1, 839 words today. Have been slowing down on writing, but today I did some bainstorming. It has proven very fruitful. I know now more about the Underworld/Thief side of my plot. I just need to do some mapping to figure out the layout, at least where Ali is, of the underground tunnel system the theives use in the city. And names for the city and some secondary characters. All in all, I am really happy how things are going so far. I hope to write some more tonight since I might not get to anything tomorrow. Busy day.

  • Danielle Jul 17, 2009 @ 13:24

    I only wrote for about half an hour last night, because my A/C broke and I wanted to go to sleep and dream of winter. But I worked my way through a description that has had me stumped for a few days, and it came out all nice and coherent. Again, not sure of word count, because it’s handwritten and it was a lot of crossing out.

    Today I’ve written about a page and a half, and it’s only noon. 🙂 Yay! That’s the most I’ve written in one sitting for a while. I’ll probably write about that much again before the day is done, so I’m really happy about it.

  • Noel Lynne Figart Jul 17, 2009 @ 13:02

    262 Words.

    I’m liking this pace. I can always come up with that much while swimming laps.

    Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), I think That Damned Book is going to have excessive water imagery. Given that birth is a huge theme, it’s not inappropriate, I suppose.

  • Ann Jul 17, 2009 @ 12:51

    Missed days on end, due to my 13y/o son’s pool injury(someone landed on his head) – but very relieved as it could have been so much worse. He’s in a collar for a week, but no fractures – so obviously the writing suffered a bit. Going to try to get back on track today

    • Holly Lisle Jul 19, 2009 @ 23:23

      Agh! Hugs. That’s awful, and I’m very glad your son came out of it mostly okay.

  • Julia GD Jul 17, 2009 @ 12:50

    Not much done in 3 days. Curse this migraine. I knew it’ll stop my progress sooner or later. I was just hoping for later. 360 words for Thursday. Well, that’s as good as it gets.

    • Nancy Jul 17, 2009 @ 14:30

      I feel your pain. I get them too. Feel better soon!

    • The Pencil Neck Jul 17, 2009 @ 15:29

      Feel better.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 19, 2009 @ 23:23

      Hugs on the migraine. I get them rarely, but when I do, I don’t write.

      Can’t.

      Hope you’re feeling better soon.

  • Lisa Jul 17, 2009 @ 10:42

    So last night as I was falling asleep I had this scene from an entirely different novel that wouldn’t get out of my head. It’s an idea I had a really long time ago but really didn’t want to bother with…it’s not in my genre, and it’s too autobiographical, and it’s too, too…I don’t know, just not something that I really wanted to write. But I couldn’t stop thinking about it this morning, so I decided to do your Busman’s Holiday idea, Holly, and work on it today since it’s Friday. I wrote 1100 words this morning, and they FLEW. Nothing like my other novel where I always feel like I’m counting words–this one, I was thinking about the scene and where it was going and it was so EASY to write. Darn.

    So now I think I’m going to do two WIPs and just work on this one on Fridays. Unless the other novel just completely dies, in which case, well, I guess I can give up on it if I want to. I’m only 7000 words into that one…

    • Khena Jul 17, 2009 @ 11:19

      Thanks for leading me to the article you mentioned. Somehow, I’ve managed to miss it in my browsing of Holly’s site. I’ve had some trouble in the last few weeks with Bob, the spirit-like creature trapped in a paperweight. He keeps insisting he has great stories to tell me about things he’s seen, but I keep putting him off. I am bound and determined to finish Dragonfly, but maybe I can spare a little time for Bob, other than a short Blurb in my ideas doc.

      • Lisa Jul 18, 2009 @ 2:15

        Haha…I think I’ve read EVERY article on Holly’s site at least three or four times. *sheepish grin.* It’s my favorite way of procrastinating when I should be writing…

    • Holly Lisle Jul 19, 2009 @ 23:21

      I love the Busman’s Holiday.

      Congrats on enjoying yours. Sounds like great progress, and a fun project.

  • unxplaindfires Jul 17, 2009 @ 9:32

    Nothing for Thursday, decided to take a break and go see HP6. Final Verdict: Disappointing.

  • Laura Jul 17, 2009 @ 9:07

    1890 words. Missed the creative writing camp due to health problems, so now I’m stuck home with my novel. It’s not such a bad thing, though – I have lots of free time to make some serious progress. Some things in the last scene seemed a bit rushed, but I can edit it later. The end is near, and meanwhile I’m planning on continuing an abandoned story. So I won’t be bored!

    Good luck with your writing! 🙂

    • Holly Lisle Jul 19, 2009 @ 23:20

      Very sorry you missed the camp, and hope you’re feeling better soon.

  • Jessica Jul 17, 2009 @ 8:38

    175 for Thursday. Got swamped at work but I didn’t seem to be getting anywhere with the scene anyways. However, I did get a response back from one of my crit readers on a previous scene that I was thinking had to be scrapped – she liked it. Said it was fine as it was and I should just keep writing. Sometimes you just need a little affirmation from an outside POV to relax and switch off the internal editor. So now I’m re-motivated to keep it up and ignore the perfectionist despite her screams. 🙂

  • Lisa R Jul 17, 2009 @ 8:33

    256 words. I had hoped for more, but I had a social engagement that kept me busy until the late hours of the night. It was a lot of fun and gave me a potential setting for a story someday.

  • Faith Jul 17, 2009 @ 8:32

    602 words… and thank goodness for dialogue. On the other hand, I think I need to read a few mysteries and maybe find a book on crafting mysteries before I get too much further… this is so different from other things I’ve written, I’m afraid I’ll write myself into a corner if I’m not careful.

  • Rob Jul 17, 2009 @ 7:57

    So what happens when you realize mid-scene that the scene isn’t working during first draft. Would you start over on that scene? Push through to the end of the scene then make a note for changes? This happened to me the other day. I was about 1000 words into the scene and thought I didn’t think it was doing at all what it should have. In this case, I ended up pushing through to see where it would take me. And I’m still pretty sure I’ll have to scratch it and rewrite. (I’m the kind of person that can get lost in contstantly revising, so I try to watch out for situations like these.)

    • The Pencil Neck Jul 17, 2009 @ 15:28

      Yeah, I’ve got to watch myself with the revision thing, too.

      If I knew absolutely that what I was in the middle of was wrong, I’d probably go back and start again if I couldn’t make a few tweaks to make it right. But that would be just within that particular writing session.

      If I’ve got something written and the next day realize it’s wrong, I’m not sure what I would do. I might write it again and leave both versions and then come back and figure it out during the revision process.

      But I’d probably just write out what I think is wrong in the notes and then forge on.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 19, 2009 @ 23:19

      I’d leave it in place, rethink the story, come up with an idea for a scene I should have written…and then write an index card for that.

      And then I’d pretend that was the scene I actually wrote. I’d work from there.

  • Khena Jul 17, 2009 @ 7:51

    Had a big day writing wise. Wrote 2386 words, hitting aver 17k words! I just seem to be flying along at the moment. I also downloaded yWriter and imported my WIP into it which forced me to lay out my novel in Chapters. It was a good thing, I found some holes I couldn’t see from my scene layout. I imput most of my character information, and a little of my notecards. Another 35 notecards and I can stop hauling around the actual notecards! Yay!

    • Nancy Jul 17, 2009 @ 9:55

      Wow! Excellent wordage. And keep us (okay, me) posted on the whole yWriter thing. I’m still on the fence…

  • Minze Jul 17, 2009 @ 4:05

    347 words. I like the things that happen in this scene, some of which I found out only while I was writing it, but even while I was writing it I couldn’t care less. That isn’t a good sign. Tomorrow I’ll have my cup of coffee BEFORE starting to write.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 19, 2009 @ 23:18

      Not caring what happens is definitely not a great sign.

      Did the coffee help?

  • The Pencil Neck Jul 17, 2009 @ 3:50

    2019 words today/tonight.

    My scenes are a lot shorter now than they were. I finished off one scene and then completed two others. When I did my first draft, my scenes at the beginning of the book were about 2000 words per scene, by the end of the book, I was down to about 1300. Now, I’m getting about 800-900 words per scene.

    But I’m considering this a draft version so I’m not sweating it at this point. The idea is to just get words on the paper. Or screen. Or whatever.

    • Nancy Jul 17, 2009 @ 9:53

      That’s interesting. Is there a change in the pacing? More action, or more dialogue than usual? I find that for me, the more action or dialogue the shorter things get. And like you, the closer I get to the end, the briefer my scenes get, as I start to ratchet up the tension toward the big finale.

      • The Pencil Neck Jul 17, 2009 @ 15:25

        I don’t know. I think when I first started writing, I was worried about getting to 90,000 words. It seemed like a HUGE number. I think I was padding my writing with a bunch of filler. I KNOW that I was using a lot more passive voice construction. So, I might just be getting tighter in my writing.

        But i’m also worried that I’m not giving enough description. I don’t want to do information dumps so I’m trying to work the description in organically into the prose. But I’m sure that I need to do more.

        • Khena Jul 17, 2009 @ 18:45

          I’m having the same problem. I tend to get caught up in what my characters are doing, and not really describing anything that isn’t blantantly important to what is happening. I write short, but I know it, so I only tend to shoot for about 80k words in my first draft and fill in the rest of what I need.

  • Cat (from HtTS) Jul 17, 2009 @ 3:42

    521 words on the WIP and none on the translation wich bugs me a lot. If I want the translation finished AND polished in time for x-mas I need to get 1500 words per day incl. weekends. But no, the kids had to have a fight that went on for more or less the whole day until I took them swimming (to cool them down). I hope I’ll get more done today.

  • Ieva Jul 17, 2009 @ 2:59

    300+ words just to write something to keep me going.
    I spent all the day rewriting a story so it’s fine.

  • Treelight Jul 17, 2009 @ 1:38

    I managed 375 word for the thursday-count. Somehow I’m feeling a little bit queasy and need to catch some sleep now.
    From saturday on week I’m on vacation for a week and probably won’t write anything or much, so I really want to get my 5 days complete on friday. It should be possible, since I already have a rough version of the next bit.
    At last I think that my little explanation-scene has turned out well so far.

  • David Jul 17, 2009 @ 1:33

    Hey…I just joined up tonight. I’m starting my novel. so far, 800 words. It’s a first draft, so of course it’s rough edged and splintery. Lots of ideas coming on how to tweak it.

    • Treelight Jul 17, 2009 @ 1:40

      Great! I’m hoping your story will grow fast and steady 🙂
      What kind of novel will it be?

    • Ieva Jul 17, 2009 @ 7:34

      Welcome aboard!

      • Brent B. Jul 18, 2009 @ 0:03

        Rough edged and splintery? what are you writing on, a cactus? sweet description. Welcome!

    • Holly Lisle Jul 19, 2009 @ 23:17

      Welcome, David. Glad you’ve joined us.

  • Jamie D. Jul 17, 2009 @ 1:21

    321 words tonight, leaving off with a very sweet scene that undoubtedly advances the plot (and up’s the stakes for heartache later on). I was going to take tomorrow/Sat. off, but am thinking I’ll just keep going. I love the direction my MC’s are headed at the moment!

  • Red_dot Jul 17, 2009 @ 0:49

    After 2 days of intense research, I was able to write a little easier on my subject. I had lots of action at work so I couldn’t write at work. Server (File) crashes and clean up (half a terabyte). The good thing though I was able to write for the first time at home. Only 120 words, but I did write and at home. I haven’t written on the weekend yet and I have tomorrow off, so no writing for me until Monday. Going to put in an engineered wood floor tomorrow. Thanks Holly, for someone like me who has no idea what he is doing this really helps.

  • KQ Jul 17, 2009 @ 0:26

    1577 words. I wrote a scene with some secondary characters that needed to get down, and I’m really happy with the way it turned out. I realize that I’m putting off writing a major scene with my MC because I don’t know the logistics. I usually take the weekend off, but I’m going to try to get some good stuff in this weekend. Congrats to everyone’s wordage.

  • Clare K. R. Miller Jul 17, 2009 @ 0:10

    582 words today. More figuring things out. I haven’t been aiming for 500 words but I think I’m going to start.

  • Eve Jul 16, 2009 @ 23:17

    Whoa Nancy, 2063 words today. Congrats! My number isn’t so stellar (unless you are playing golf). I managed a whole 78 words today. I’m scheduled for a medical test tomorrow morning and am just a bit nervous. That and a call from my son who has a little worry, completely put me off my stride.

    • Nancy Jul 17, 2009 @ 0:06

      Sounds like you’ve got a bit on your plate at the moment. And yet you still managed to write. Kudos! Hope the test tomorrow works out okay for you.

    • The Pencil Neck Jul 17, 2009 @ 2:02

      Good luck on the test, Eve.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 19, 2009 @ 23:15

      Hope the test went well.

      When life intrudes, you get to give yourself a break for not writing much (and sometimes for not writing at all).

  • Nancy Jul 16, 2009 @ 22:56

    2063 for the day. I was flagging early, frustrated with the fact that my subsidiary characters were more fun to write than my MC. So I took a walk at lunch to clear my head. I realized that my MC had stopped acting and was letting people act on her – or worse yet, for her. In the afternoon, in an empty space between meetings, I changed the direction of the scene I was writing, forcing my MC to stop relying on other people and do for herself. Not only was it good for her but it turned out great for the story. I think I’m back on track now. I’ve realized that this is a frequent problem of mine, but now that I’m aware of it, I’m hoping I can stave it off in the future.

    Hope everyone had a great day!

    • The Pencil Neck Jul 17, 2009 @ 2:02

      That’s an excellent thing to notice. I was writing this one story for a LONG time before I realized my MC wasn’t really doing anything for the first 3/4’s of the story.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 19, 2009 @ 23:14

      Huge breakthrough in figuring out where your MC went wrong. Congrats…insights like that can turn a wrecked, frustrating project into a thrill to write.

  • Deb Jul 16, 2009 @ 22:45

    I’m having a hard time today. On the plus side, I’m helping a 9 yr old find his writing voice 🙂 …on the down side, I was hoping for at least 2,500 words and my so-far grand total is 645. 🙁 Trying to make at least 2,000 words by midnight… 🙂

    • Holly Lisle Jul 19, 2009 @ 23:13

      That plus side is a pretty big plus. And they don’t stay nine for long.

  • Sarah Collins Jul 16, 2009 @ 22:26

    Wow – the week flies by quickly with these updates! The good news is that I’m up to 1469 for the day and still going. The fabulous news is that I’ve made up most of the ground I lost five days ago when I wiped out two chapters and heavily edited another! I’m about 250 words shy of breaking even, and I LOVE the new stuff!

    Enjoy your weekend break!

  • Jim Mitchel Jul 16, 2009 @ 22:24

    I’m still chugging through chapter six. I’ll be there for a while.

    Word count for today: 527

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