DTD — 371 words: What the mind forgets

Tonight’s addition to the scene I’m digging through worked well for me. My hero has come face to face with the reality that the horror he left behind, far in his past, has once again caught up with him. And to deal with it, he can’t have the comfortable life he’s created for himself.

While I’ll build on this in later scenes, I’m happy with the way this first approach to the dilemma turned out.

“What the mind forgets,” was the recurring mini-theme of the scene. It provided a nice point-counterpoint to the situation.

I still feel like roadkill on the grill, but I figure at least I got words.

(And thanks for the good wishes. I’m at least feeling better enough to write. I’ll take that.)

How are you coming with your words?

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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.

52 comments… add one
  • Gabby Sep 9, 2009 @ 22:12

    Well, I had a great (but very busy) Labor Day weekend. I did do a lot of thinking about the WIP (but no actual writing). Finally got to the point of setting off one of my earlier Muse bombs and that was fun. I had to figure out the parameters and now I’m still trying to work out the impact to the storyline.
    Tues: 822; Wed: 299
    Exciting news too. Finally broke 25K. My new total is 26,005. I’d really like to be finished this by the end of the year, but it seems like whenever I do the word count math, I end up getting no words on paper at all until it’s impossible to meet whatever goal I set. So I won’t worry about it and just try to focus on taking it one day at a time, one word count goal at a time. To just be done–that would be incredible!!

  • ceecee Sep 9, 2009 @ 21:04

    Glad to be back after losing a vital file for the first time in all my years of using a computer, plus wallowing in some self-pity over having to recreate the damn thing from scratch. Such is life. And writing. But I got back to the fantasy, marking up 459 words yesterday and 577 today with much joy. Cheers, all.

    • Lee Sep 9, 2009 @ 21:07

      Ouch. Been there before too. Twice. Well, okay, the first time was stupidity…

    • Gabby Sep 9, 2009 @ 21:30

      Ugh, backup files. I’ve been forgetting to do that. Thank you, thank you for reminding me before it’s too late!!

      • Rabia Sep 9, 2009 @ 21:54

        I did that yesterday for the first time in…. a long time. I’m too embarrassed to actually admit how long ago that was.

  • Don Sep 9, 2009 @ 20:51

    Did 512 today a good day.

  • Stormlyht Sep 9, 2009 @ 20:42

    Got approximately 4141 words split between myself and my collaborator today. Going well in our current story, but beginning to wonder if I should be researching the “world” that we’re writing in. I tend to just write and let the world grow around me but I’m not sure I should do that this time.

    On a separate note, I’m not sure how I feel about my main project after my editing group last night. They all were so in to me adding chapters before my original opening chapter (because my story had a “surprise there’s going to be sex in this book” sorta beginning. I blame it on NaNo.) but now that there are chapters, they think that I’m moving the pace too quickly to get to my original first chapter. I had been using the new beginning chapters to really try to flesh out the inconsistencies in the world and bring my villain in before the last few chapters of the book but now I feel like I have just wasted several months on writing and editing these chapters. Now they want more of a character that I love, but I have to kill off, and I don’t want to put too much in the beginning or I’ll be taking away from the main part of the story. *pulls at hair* So I’m really frustrated and have to put the book down and think about what I’m going to do with it and what the main plot is and break it down into scenes and I’m SOOOO burned out from all the, possibly worthless, work I’ve done that I don’t even want to look at it.

    Ah, and I didn’t mean to rant. I’m loving the distraction this collaboration is so I’m really glad that I’m at least working on something.

    • Lee Sep 9, 2009 @ 21:04

      LOL

      Been there before. Makes you feel like you wanna take a header off the roof of LA library… Or any library for that matter.

      It’s not wasted. Sounds like it came from the heart. Just put it away for a couple days then come back and look at it. You’ll probably see connections you hadn’t seen before because you were too close to it angsting. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Stormlyht Sep 10, 2009 @ 6:20

        Yeah, it’s very likely. This main project is a lot of work anyway since I’m switching POV. So I’ve been deeply editing it while doing that switch and it’s been sooooo taxing! I’m putting it away for now, going to let it simmer in the back of my mind. I didn’t want to write some of those scenes in the beginning because some of it really did come from the heart. I LOVE the character I had to kill off, but I knew he was dead from the beginning of the novel so I can’t just cop out of it, you know? Ah well. *deep breath* Thanks for the encouragement. I really appreciate it. *trying not to angst anymore*

  • SCBrazil Sep 9, 2009 @ 20:13

    450 for me and I’ve just found a second burst of energy. I will go straight from here to an urgent meeting with minor characters. They’re feeling so neglected, I’m afraid they’ll strike before long.

  • May Sep 9, 2009 @ 19:31

    I got some words. Not too many. It’s going pretty slow, but beginnings are hard for me–though I also think they are fun to write–and I think I’m going off track. So I might skip a couple scenes, and come back to them later. We’ll see how it goes.
    I’m going to be busy until this weekend, so I’ll update then.

  • Lee Sep 9, 2009 @ 19:14

    307 words. The prologue which has a few of the main protagonists in a meeting over the latest intel. It’s an unscheduled meeting by the Empress’ ambassador and in attendance is the Vice Regent, Chancellor, the Empress and her Bodyman. The ambassador has just come from a round of talks with representatives of the Hegemony’s highly advanced neighbors. They want access to pristine human DNA and aren’t budging in the negotiations on the exchange of technologies between the two empires.

    Well, the general consensus is that there’s no such animal. throughout their thousands of years of history, humanity has been genetically smacked around by blatant and subtle manipulation, then toss in a few more centuries of natural evolution.

    Define ‘pristine’ human DNA. The neighbors insist it exists and after the meeting, with just the Empress and her Bodyman there, the Bodyman discovers that her Empress and the Emperor before her, and the line of rulers stretching on back into the beginnings of the dynasty have been Keeping The Big Secret.

    That damages their relationship and impairs the Bodyman’s ability to protect her ruler.

    No idea what’s going to happen next on that front. But a lot of emotion and guilt and betrayal came out in their confrontation.

  • Rabia Sep 9, 2009 @ 15:04

    I got 617 words last night, once I finally got around to writing. I must’ve spent an hour and a half just puttering around the computer before that. Why do I waste so much time? o.O *tears out hair*

    • Stormlyht Sep 9, 2009 @ 20:52

      Because although you want to write, you don’t want to write. It’s this mentality thing, you know what you have to do (and even want to do it) but when faced with the actuality of it, you’re scared. Or you’re uncertain. Sometimes I’ll sit down at the computer and stare at the screen. I’ll have 2 hours to write and I’ll go off onto the internet. “I’ve got time,” I tell myself. Or, “I just want to do a little research first,” or something like that. Then when I finally get around to opening the document I have to heave a big sigh and get working. Once I’m actually writing I’m usually alright, and often get right into the story. Then the time is up and you wonder where it all went. Try setting a timer for yourself. Say, “I’m going to spend 15 minutes doing whatever I want before I write.” and then when the timer goes off, stop. That annoying buzz does wonders for snapping yourself out of a daze.

      Another trick is to get good music going, that helps a LOT. Make the music fit what your writing. If it’s set in the past, get celtic stuff, or some latin chants or something like that. Urban fantasy? Rock, metal, or alternative. Music itself is a HUGE motivator. It can take you right into your world sometimes. I have over 7 different playlists catered to different types of stories.

      Just some suggestions, hope it helps! Good on the words though! Congrats! Every step gets you closer to the finish!

      • Rabia Sep 10, 2009 @ 10:50

        I think, for me, I have this mindset that I’ve already had a long full work day when I finally get to sit down and rest my feet. I *deserve* to kick back and relax, right? If only for thirty minutes. Problem is, the thirty minutes turns into sixty, then ninety. Surfing the net is easy and addictive.

        Once I start writing, I’m okay. Like for you, it’s the starting part that’s hard.

        I’ll try the timer method tonight. Only in my case, I’ll have my husband prod me. He’s far more persistent and annoying than a mere timer. ๐Ÿ˜€

        I love your suggestion of the different playlists! I also spend a good bit of time searching through my music for the perfect music to listen to while writing.

        The good news is that I *am* writing nowadays, unlike a month ago. Slow and steady.

        Thanks, Stormlyht!

        • The Pencil Neck Sep 10, 2009 @ 14:44

          Like I think I said somewhere else, I’ve been using Pandora recently instead of using/creating a playlist on my own computer. I just put in the name of an artist or song that has the “sound” I’m looking to write with and then I don’t have to worry about taking the time to find the right music. And I get to hear some new music.

          I’ve heard Jango is pretty cool, too. But I haven’t tried it, yet.

        • Stormlyht Sep 10, 2009 @ 17:16

          Sure! Glad I can be of any help. I know how hard it can be to convince yourself to write, and then once you get started. Man, sometimes it just comes right out.

          I have mad love for Pandora, once you’ve trained a station, things go sooo well. The only reason I don’t use it for writing is because they don’t know one of my all time favorite groups for writing fantasy. I don’t understand, since they’ve put out several albums. The group is called Era, and if you like chanting (almost latinish sounding) with guitars and really cool sounds, you should look them up. They are not, however, the Era that is spanish, or mexican, or whatever.

          Good luck with your husband, I hope he does the trick! ;D

  • Jewel/Pink Ink Sep 9, 2009 @ 13:58

    Wow, this is fun to see how everyone is doing.

    1034 words for me today. It was fun, too. Wrote a scene which took me by surprise about my female protagonist.

    “Roadkill on Grill” sounds like a great name for a restaurant. Or a band. ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad you are doing better.

    • HannaBelle (aka Belle) Sep 10, 2009 @ 14:49

      Could be the next reality cooking show Roadkill on the Grill.

  • Treelight Sep 9, 2009 @ 12:47

    276 new words for me, in which Jheyrien learned that his friend Larasse jumped on another big transport-animal instead of waiting where he was supposed to be. Since this is the only clue he has, Jheyrien is now following him on a mount-animal.

    And thus all parties that are involved in my little chase are finally on their way.

  • Jessica Sep 9, 2009 @ 12:25

    No words, more brainstorming about Male MC and his sick scene. I think my brain is getting drained by what’s going on with my real family though – lil sis is now sleeping on my couch since older sis went mental over toast. Yes, apparently roasting bread is enough of an excuse for a grown woman (and her husband) to throw a screaming fit and kick lil sis out of the house. Two slices of whole wheat now divide my family. It’s sad, but for some reason I can’t stop laughing over how stupid it is! (Sorry, had to share)

  • Kait Nolan Sep 9, 2009 @ 11:47

    Wound up with 502 for yesterday despite a serious case of Zombrain. So I’m pleased. Should top 60k today.

  • Lisa R Sep 9, 2009 @ 10:17

    762 words. I almost didn’t work on anything because it was late, but my husband prodded me along. There was a big wreck, but I am not sure how plausible the injuries are.

    • Rabia Sep 9, 2009 @ 15:02

      Husbands are good at that, aren’t they? Mine performs the same duty. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Leah Sep 9, 2009 @ 8:30

    Nothing today. Way too much came up, and the nap was much needed. Tomorrow subbing for a MS English class. Should be fun. Will get something done though.

  • HannaBelle (aka Belle) Sep 9, 2009 @ 8:24

    Wrote 790 words yesterday. Thanks for the numerous comments on yesterday’s post about the feelings about writing. Today I can write uninterrupted for a while.

    Also on deck today is finding a structure for writing a book proposal. I have a “how to” manuscript I wrote when I was teaching, thought I would try again to market it. It needs a lot of editing and updating, but it might still be viable to a small market.

  • Khena Sep 9, 2009 @ 8:11

    I read a book yesterday. Apparently, I cannot read fiction and write fiction on the same day. But I was tired, so I went to bed early. Both my kids have Pink Eye, so it’s been… interesting… trying to dose a 2 and 4 year old.

    On the plus side, I wrote 1300 words the day before (and forgot to post) and finished up a scene. In order to push myself to finishing up my novel, I’ve been looking at scenes to finish instead of words, since I don’t know how many more words I’ll need. I do know that as of now, I have 4 partially written scenes to finish, and 38 scenes to start (and finish, obviously). If I can finish up a scene most days, I’ll be able to finish by November, and actually participate in NaNo this year. Time will tell =)

    • Debora Sep 9, 2009 @ 9:29

      “itโ€™s beenโ€ฆ interestingโ€ฆ trying to dose a 2 and 4 year old”

      LOL. I remember those days. Just keep reminding yourself you are not a brute, this is really for their own good, etc.

    • HannaBelle (aka Belle) Sep 9, 2009 @ 10:37

      I like your dragonfly icon/avatar/photo. Not sure what to call it.

      I can relate to a reading day vs. a writing day. Think I will pay closer attention especially to the different times of day, and energy level, conducive to each. Right now, sans job, I do most of my writing in the morning and job hunt, web work, reading in the afternoon or at night. I suspect that will change drastically when/if I start working again.

  • Larkk Sep 9, 2009 @ 8:05

    1217 words to introduce the scene that I planned yesterday. I could have written more, but I ran out of time, so hopefully I will be able to pick up where I left off today.
    Planned out writing is still daunting for me, but better than writing completely blind, as I often do. Maybe it’s because I need to plan even more?

    • Adam Sep 9, 2009 @ 10:33

      i think it is a comfort and preparedness issue. i personally have everything outlined in a way that triggers scenes based on a sentence or two, but that type of rigid guideline doesn’t work well for everyone. The more planning you do on your outline, the easier it becomes to write from one in my experience.

      it is a personal preference in writing style, and all that matters is that the direction you go works for you.

      • Larkk Sep 9, 2009 @ 15:09

        Thanks for the input ๐Ÿ™‚
        I’m not at a point yet where I know what works best for me, but am experimenting with different levels of outlining. So far what tends to happen when I try to plan a scene is that I keep adding detail after detail until finally I get sucked into writing the whole darn thing! I don’t think that will work if I want to try a planned NaNo novel. So I’m looking for that middle ground, between knowing everything and nothing at all, that will keep me on course for the entire novel. I like your idea of using just one sentence (or two-but no more than that) to set up what should be happening and will try it!
        However, I have to admit that one of my favorite things about writing has been when a planned story takes an unexpected turn…

  • Minze Sep 9, 2009 @ 6:07

    I continued to brainstorm today, and noticed again that I get fewer ideas when I forget to put the timer on. I got some great ideas yesterday though.

  • Cat (from HtTS) Sep 9, 2009 @ 4:26

    seems I have caught Holly’s virus. To reboot and run a virus scan (that is, sleep, drink some tea and swallow some homeopathic pills), I decided to take the day off (and tomorrow, too because I need to take my youngest to the doctor again). I hope to be better by Friday.

    • Minze Sep 9, 2009 @ 6:05

      Get well soon!

  • Greg Sep 9, 2009 @ 4:16

    I got 511 on D&D and the bulk of a couple of short scenes in OFL (1314).

  • Ieva Sep 9, 2009 @ 3:13

    700 words that let me meet my writegoal. It’s a curious little scene of cooking at my love interest’s home (with a bit of nostalgia on my wandering protagonist’s part) but I think it’s fitting. I suspect I’ll have to edit it vigorously though, because I did a lot of “writing myself into mood”.

    All in all, I’m quite satisfied, because this calm and peaceful, almost blissful setup will make the next scenes even creepier. Muahaha.

  • Joyce Sep 9, 2009 @ 2:01

    177 and I refuse to feel guilty. Though I got to work early today, the novel didn’t get much attention. But I finished a first draft of a mini story for my blog column that starts tomorrow. So I’ve really got 600-700 words of fiction today.

    Holly, this really is a wonderful experience for me. Not berating myself over my writing makes such a difference. I have permission to write what feels good, not what I’m “supposed to get.” Falling short doesn’t feel like death any more and getting words feels like joy again. Thanks for giving us all the opportunity to join you.

  • The Pencil Neck Sep 9, 2009 @ 1:44

    616 words.

    Rough day at work today. It was good to be able to sit down for a few minutes and write. But I’m fried. Yesterday was so good. ๐Ÿ™‚

    The Mentor goes to the premiere of a show she’s been dying to see. But on the way in, she hears a couple of lords talking about the murders in the temple and how the murderer got away. (Also mentioned extra militia men on the streets, gotta work that into the story.) That bothered her. Then the dancer starring in the show wasn’t dancing, her understudy was. That bothered her. And when she went to commiserate with her Dancer friend, she was missing, too.

    The Mentor has now made the decision to find out what the heck is going on and if there’s a rogue vampire or an insane magician roaming her neighborhood. And whatever it is, to put a stop to it.

  • Sarah Sep 9, 2009 @ 1:25

    I got 2144 in my main WIP, and we are at a dinner scene where my hero sees the secondary love interest/only route to help the primary love interest, and he thinks she is quite arresting. I’m looking forward to their one on one exchange. Tomorrow!

    And 344 in my short story- the potentate is about to agree to a trade that will plague her the rest of her life, either way.

  • Clare K. R. Miller Sep 9, 2009 @ 1:02

    524 words today. The elf has gone out to see the dead body, expounded on the strange nature of the wound, and examined the body. Meanwhile, the town council is very relieved that Ernest will be dealing with the disturbance and the body, since several of them have vanished. Someone who’s not happy, however, is the shopkeeper who has to clean up all the vomit.

    Like Jamie D., I’m hoping to complete this draft before NaNo. Guess that means I should figure out how much I have left to do, huh?

  • Sarah Collins Sep 9, 2009 @ 0:52

    528 for me on the WIP. Have I mentioned how much I love this one? What a BLAST!

  • Karen Sep 9, 2009 @ 0:38

    Nothing today, but I did start chapter six and got 307 words. ^_^ Not happy with chapter five, and I’m not sure how to fix it right now so I’m moving on.

    • Karen Sep 9, 2009 @ 0:39

      Yesterday I got 307 words. Forgot to mention that, possibly it’s time for bed. <.<

  • Cassie Witt Sep 8, 2009 @ 23:57

    789 today. And all of that was during the 23 minutes I took to write at lunch. Didn’t think I’d get anything, but once I read the last couple of lines that I wrote it all started pouring out. I haven’t written very much the last couple of weeks. My plot was bothering me. So I used Holly’s free plot workshop and ended up with a scene that I think makes the book much better so far. Thankfully, I won’t have to change too much, I think. We’ll see when I get to revision. I also got the motivation course, because I lack quite a lot in that department.
    Thank you, thank you, Holly. I have learned a lot about myself that I didn’t know was holding me back. I feel like I can tackle this now. I’m going to ride on this wave as long as it carries me.

    Hope you feel better soon, Holly.

  • KQ Sep 8, 2009 @ 23:52

    762 for me, after nothing yesterday. It is so very hard near the end! Of course, I am creating character profiles for my next story, which seems so much more fun to do than write on the one I already know the ending to. Just got to keep on keepin’ on.

    Holly, glad you’re back at it and feeling a little better. Hope you feel mighty better soon!

  • Shannon Sep 8, 2009 @ 23:50

    409 so far tonight, which is more than I thought I’d get. I’ve gone back to work on the opening to my story and it’s hard. I keep getting distracted, too. I think I’m going to work just a little bit longer and then call it a night.

  • Lindsay Sep 8, 2009 @ 23:44

    I feel horrible. I haven’t written in like two to three weeks. I never expected the start of this semester to be so hectic. I am hoping that by this weekend I’ll be up with the flow of things and then be able to get back to writing. I miss my characters… ๐Ÿ™

    • Treelight Sep 9, 2009 @ 12:41

      Why don’t you try to write a little bit each day or so?
      Like a few sentences? Or 1 paragraph.

  • Adam Sep 8, 2009 @ 23:41

    i finished ch 11. I’m super excited about the chapter, and think it turned out way better than i could have expected. the brothers fought off the attack, but Kraz was only saved by Tzal carrying him back inside, and summoning his patron. There was a quick exchange between Tzal and her, then he eavesdropped on their conversation, and learned alot more about warlocks than he ever really wanted to know. She saves Kraz, but he now has horns that mark him as a warlock.

    chapter is 2870 words total, so probably got about 1800 tonight.

    Hope everyone’s night is as fulfilling as mine. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jamie D. Sep 8, 2009 @ 23:30

    I keep forgetting to post, but I’ve been doing about 500 words per day/4-5 days per week for the past couple weeks. I’m hitting that point in the draft where I’m thinking, “Why did I ever think this was going to be a good story?”

    But I’m slogging along, raising my word count to 600 words per night this week. Gotta get the draft done before NaNo, and I’m seriously considering taking the new revision course to see what I can make of this thing once the draft is done.

    Back to work – just starting for tonight. Feel better soon!

  • Crystal Shards Sep 8, 2009 @ 23:20

    No words today. The changing seasons are giving me allergies so I didn’t feel good and I decided to just take a day of reading instead of doing any writing today. I will jump back on the writing horse tomorrow.

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