A light night. I haven’t been getting enough sleep, and today I’m really feeling it.
So I ran with Aleksa for a bit, as—alone and for the moment safe—she’s forced to consider what’s coming after her and the possibility that her life will never be normal again.
I’ll do more in that vein tomorrow. She surprised me with her response to her plight; I’m looking forward to discovering what she does next.
So. How’s it going for you?
Got 1399 words total today from a morning and an evening session. I took the writing a little slower, didn’t use the timer, allowed myself to consider each story beat before putting it down, and came up with some good stuff. So I think I may have been right in thinking I was rushing myself too much with my earlier stuff. I don’t feel like the new material is quite so icky. Still not finished draft. But better than dribble. 🙂
Almost three thousand words today, so not bad. The draw of worldbuilding is getting overwhelming, even though I have a feeling it’s just my muse’s way of distracting me from actually writing. But there are a lot of parts where I had to highlight the text so that I can add in the appropriate language and terms later. Maybe a little more worldbuilding is neccesary in this case.
I’m so glad I found this! I came here by way of NaNoWriMo, and have been pushing myself to write at least 1000 words each day (which mostly turns into more than that) on the days that I write (3-4 days/week) I am terrified that I will never finish my novel (first ever) if I don’t write that much. Not that I don’t love doing it…but it’s great to see that I will finish if I just keep at it, even if I have to miss a day or two. What a great place to check in for encouragement!
Hi, Larkk. Welcome to the party. Glad you found us.
A 13-year-old family fude comes to an end, we Indians are an emotional lot, Imagine the scene for yourselves. Also imagine a house full of uncles and aunts, cousin-brothers and cousin-sisters and a moutain of de-freeking-licious food – lamb biriyani, mutton, chicken, fish!!! and I have managed to write 230 words in 72 hours. it’s record – writing and burping, and preventing several nightmare creatures coming out of my mouth: creatures with chicken legs, lamb heads, and fish (I don’t know which part of it i ate)
Sounds pretty terrific. 😀
Wasn’t able to write much yeaterday dad was having some tests done and I wanted to be there. He’s been very supportive of my writing. I got 1457 words, things are setting up nicely. The MC Hannah is in Washington DC other players are enroute, things will be going to @#$ in a hand basket by the time they get there.
Hope everything went well for your dad.
Got 724 words today. Some totally unexpected stuff, but relevant. Things I needed to know about my MC, which may or may not make it into my next draft, but has both raised the stakes and deepened my knowledge of my narrator. An embalmer showed up! My first real walk-on.
A very good day. I also escorted a 97-year-old woman to the grocery store in the role of a senior care-giver. She was absolutely amazing, as sharp as a tack, and surprisingly speedy as she made her way around the store. I want to be like her when I hit 97 (if I hit 97)! A lot of my clients have dementia in one form or another, so it was nice to know that this particular woman has aged so beautifully!
I wrote 372 first thing this morning, and I think that’s going to be it for me. I didn’t sleep well last night either. I did book a vacation day from the day job tomorrow, so I’ll be able to sleep in. I was going to take tomorrow night off from the writing, but I think that’s going to be tonight. I’ll have time tomorrow to hammer out something, and as I said I can sleep in.
Is there a length check that makes posts go into moderation, or is it just me?
I don’t know i can’t figure it out either. I was thinking maybe it’s posts with key words in them..
It’s weird. I didn’t call anyone an idiot or anything. I didn’t see any particularly inflammatory words in the post.
But, if it’s happened to someone besides me, I feel better. 🙂
It checks words, number of links in a post, and some arcane thing I cannot for the life of me figure out.
I’m using WordPress’s proprietary spam-killer, and mostly it works, but I’ve had to fish a couple real posts out of spam lately.
I had a breakthrough today. I posted about it on the Eureka! board, which I believe is open to the public (not just Think Sideways students).
Congrats. Posted there to, as well. And yes, the Eureka is readable by everyone, not just TS students.
I wrote 1038 words today! YAY!!!!!!!!!!! That’s the first time I’ve done more than 400 in a while. I finally feel like this is starting to come together. Today my MC got in a fight (hehe, and he started it, which is even more fun) and learned of the existence of some very bad guys. I have no idea who these bad guys are or why they stole my MC’s invention, but I’m so glad they exist. I really needed some real bad guys. My bad guys always have so many redeeming qualities that they’re not actually bad. And usually nobody knows they’re bad till the end. This time I am going to get some real, actual evil characters and make them as evil as I can. They can get some redeeming virtues in the rewrite. 🙂
Congrats! Are you a pantser, or did you already have a storyline planned out? Either way, new characters popping up out of nowhere is always exciting 🙂
Pretty much a pantser. I’ve tried planning, but I’ve *never* finished a novel that I planned ahead of time. I get bored when I know what’s going to happen next. I’ve finished a couple that I didn’t plan…none good enough to want to revise, so that’s what I’m working toward now!
I’m a planner but no matter how much I plan, unexpected things always happen. So the plan has to be fluid and change. So although I think I know what’s going to happen, that’s not usually what happens. 🙂
I think I’m somewhere in between a planner and a panster. I typically know how I want it to end (which frankly is never how it actually ends, althoughI usually come close) and I know a couple of really cool scenes or events I want to have happen. Sort of like big cities on a road map. Then when I start writing, I plan a couple of scenes, and as I’m writing them, I’m sort of planning the next set. For me, I can’t plan too far ahead because unexpected things happen, and I’m always adjusting for them — all while trying to keep my eye on the “big city” down the road that I’m aiming for.
Probably pretty goofy and rife with difficulties… but it’s the best compromise I’ve found so far.
Hope you got some good sleep last night, Holly!
I spent a couple of hours with my new project last night, and worked on interviewing my characters. I think I have a good grasp on my lead, and tonight I’ll be working on a couple of other key players.
After that, it’s on to world building — which has always been my least favorite part.
0 words. I took the night off. Hopefully tonight I can get something done.
Since I’m done with my first draft, I’m writing out my Sentences Lites for each scene. I got 10 done, which I’m very pleased about.
Holly- did you have to delete some words?
I had a typo in my WIP bar.
1300+ words written over the last two days. When I finished today, though, I realized I was done at last, done at last, thank God Almighty, done at last! In fact I was spinning my wheels and letting Muse drag me down blind alleys ’cause they looked cool. I’ll begin revisions on this work in a week or two and meanwhile switch to a New Project with my 250 a day goal–whhheeee!
Way to go!
Congrats on finishing!
So I figured out how to add some conflict to my story, but I just can’t seem to make myself write it. I think I’ve managed 100 words the last two days.
I mean, really good stuff is about to happen, but I keep getting bogged down in the logistics of things like, how does this secondary character who doesn’t trust the MC let her out of his sight so she can get kidnapped? I DON”T KNOW.
And then I end up getting caught up in a cycle of self criticism. I don’t feel like my characters are three dimensional enough, and I don’t feel like I have any theme or my world very well built. And then I end up questioning why I am even trying to do this in the first place. This happens every time.
On the train home tonight I am going to write 250 words come hell or high water. No more being Emo.
Just wait. As soon as you hit that good part, you won’t be able to stop!
Cessena, it is a releif to me to see somone else in the same place I am , yet, truly I sympathise. I got some good words the other day, just running with it, things kinda popped up, so I was pleased, then another, ‘oh gods!’ time. last night i may have got a break with the conflict, and all that important stuff. As emily says, i hope it turns that way for you.
Set a timer for ten minutes, and write as many words as you can in that ten minutes. Don’t stop to correct, don’t stop to question, don’t stop for anything but catching fire.
At the end, see what you get.
1609 for the day. My MC gets to find three bodies hanging from a tree and have her second fight with the 2nd tier villain next. I can’t believe how smoothly this is progressing — although I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. I think nailing the conflicts and theme and having The Sentence up front made all the difference.
NICE! Glad I’m not your MC.
1337 today, not bad but I need to go on a bit and finish the next scene. Unfortunately feeling ill and need to lie down instead
I had a great writing day yesterday. The words flew in fits and starts, but my kids spent the night grandma’s, so I had 4 extra hours to write in when inspiration hit. With 2127 words, I tipped over the 15k mark, so things are progressing nicely.
My word counts are much higher than I usually am able to maintain. I am hoping it is the new plotting technique I tried with this book. Which in a scatterbrained sort of way leads me to a question. For those of you who write with a computer, do you write in one long file, or do you have separate files for each chapter/scene?
I hand write first but when I do type it up… I’ve tried it a few different ways.
1) As one big Word doc I found I was scrolling up and down a lot and getting lost. Tried to leave myself “comment” notes in the margins but that just made the screen more chaotic and distracting. And had to keep referring outside the doc for the background info.
2) As multiple chapter files, kept under one neat folder. This was okay until characters starting popping up or disappearing and was especially troublesome during the edit stage when I had to keep renaming and renumbering the order of things – especially transposing one scene to a different chapter. And again, had to refer outside for background info.
So I went online, checked out different writer programs and found #3) YWriter. I LOVE IT! It’s opens up right to my WIP, stores everything into one big folder but keeps it separated by files. I can jump back and forth, click and drag, search characters, locations, blah blah blah. All my notes, background, goals, scene by scene conflict are there. And it’s free. 🙂
I believe, but not certain, that Scrivner is about the same type of program. And I’m sure there’s lots more like em if you dig around the internet a bit.
I’m using Ywriter as well and really liking it. I like how it duplicates the notecards but in much more detail and how is forces me to see each scene as a little separate entity, just as Holly has taught. I’m quite a bit into my manuscript already, so I’m moving all of it over to YWriter (slowly but a bit at a time) as well as transferring my notecards. I have another month to get it done and then we are taking a trip (to the locale where the book is set) and I want to have them all done so I can attach pictures, etc., to each chapter. Really love YWriter since I don’t have a Mac where I could use Scrivner. Glad to know you’re enjoying it, too.
Thank you both for the suggestion, I have downloaded it and will give it a try. I’ve tried Keynote in the past, but I had problems with the characters and such, keeping everything from getting too complicated, but this seems like it will help a great deal more. I was working by notecards (scenes), and ignoring chapters altogehter, but that will be easy enough to change =)
I’ve tried both Liquid Story Binder and yWriter, and between the two, for what it’s worth, although I liked many aspects of Liquid Story Binder, I was always nervous about knowing where everything was. When my computer crashed, the files I lost were associated with Liquid Story Binder. yWriter really has everything I could possibly want. I need to write against a colored background (for some reason that tricks my muse into thinking I am not really writing), and I can do that with yWriter. It also has a text-to-speech option I like. Plus it saves everything as text files, so I don’t have to to jump through hoops in order to export my files into another program. You can also view your text in various ways, one of which makes it look like a book, which I also like.
Just my personal opinion. I am not a computer whiz, although I love them. It’s just what works for me!
Which version of LSB did you try? For me, the files are easier to find in LSB and it saves the chapters in RTF files, just like yWriter. Each book has its own set of directories with its files underneath. All the chapters together, the images together, etc.
Some of the files that are “odd” like the mind map files, the dossiers, etc., those are saved in Dat files. (You can actually read most of those as text files but there will be a few control characters in them.)
The other things like the chapters, the notes, the outlines, those are all just text files or rich text files.
I’m so glad you found something that works for you! I’ve been there and tried a dozen different programs before finding something that worked for me.
I think, like most people, I started off with one long Word document but that doesn’t really work well. So, I moved on to creating a single documents, but you get into naming issues when things start moving around and also when you’re doing versions. So then I moved to single text files and writing in NotePad++ (because I already use that for work) and WinCVS to do version control. And that was OK but I wanted something more…
So then I heard about yWriter and that was GREAT. That really helped and that’s what I completed my first draft using.
But just a couple of months ago, someone on the HtTS forum suggested Liquid Story Binder. I had tried LSB before and it’s not intuitive. I tried it and it didn’t immediately work for me so I moved on to yWriter. But after reading that post and checking out some of the tutorial links they had provided, I tried LSB again and actually went through some of the tutorials.
You can create Dossier’s on each character and include pictures. The Dossier feature allows you to create Title’s for different types of Dossier’s so I’ve got Dossier’s created with Holly’s questions/triggers as titles. I’ve got Conflict Dossiers, Scene Dossiers, Place Dossiers, etc. You can create Storybooks with pictures and/or text (I use the Sentence technique here.) You can create Planners that group things together. You can create Outlines and Checklists, etc. The latest beta version (4.20) even has Mind Mapping software built in.
It’s really an amazing piece of software and I think it costs about $50 for the full version.
But like I said, it’s not intuitive at first. So it’s important to try out the tutorials to get a feel for it.
Guess it’s just more of a program than I want or need. yWriter does the job for me, and I understand what I’m doing with it. I might have understood LSB better if I tried out the tutorials, but even then sometimes it made me feel claustrophobic, if that makes sense. With yWriter I feel I can take a step back when I want to. I also had problems with LSB crashing unexpectedly. My computer may not have enough memory for it.
You may have had an unstable version. I got on the LSB forum and realized that Jesse (the programmer) is constantly tweaking things. You can go onto the forum and tell him what problems you’re having and he’ll work on fixing them. Since I got LSB, my version has gone from 4.08 to 4.21.
But like I said, when I first tried LSB, it just felt wrong. It felt like it was forcing me to do things I didn’t want to do. But now, it feels really comfy.
But… I feel like I’m being an advertisement for it. I don’t want it to sound like I’m trying to convince you to switch. 🙂
The main thing is finding the package/system that works for you. I loved yWriter4 while I was using it. I used it for probably a year. If it works for you, then rock on. yWriter5 never worked for me.
Oh, and the LSB versions don’t change automatically. The software isn’t detecting new versions of itself and doing automatic download/installs. When a new version comes out, you’ve got to go out and get it.
I’ve got a long reply to this that’s waiting in moderation. Short reply: I use Liquid Story Binder now. It’s not as easy to use as yWriter but once you get used to it, it’s much more powerful.
That’s what I finally settled on, too.
Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll give it a look.
I’ve posted a list of tools, both free and not on my blog. http://emilycaseysmusings.blogspot.com/2009/06/helpful-writing-software.html
Yep. That was a very helpful blog.
I have separate files for each scene. They’re connected by their index cards and a mini-Sentence each.
I use Scrivener (Mac software).
Slow day – just 220 words. But, something is better than nothing!
253…how’s that for cutting it close? I just remembered I have an early meeting at the day job so I have to stop now even though I was in a groove. Maybe I’ll get to write more later.
730 for Wednesday. Blew through 3 scenes when I’d only planned to do 1 but it got me to the next candybar so that’s my plan for today. I’m sitting just over 7.5K now and optimistically I’d like to reach 10K over the weekend.
MC is about to have a very bad day at work.
1,024 words today. I’m falling in behind my planned 1,250 but I just can’t go on. For some reason this cliffhanger scene is anything but intense. I’ve been looking forward to writing it but now that I am it seems so predictable, so planned, so expected. I don’t even know if it’s a point of tension at all. I’m writing and thinking, yes, that’s what will happen but doesn’t everyone reading this already know this is what’s coming next?
Ask yourself, what if what I planned to have happen DIDN’T happen. What might happen instead?
No words, more research.
3052 words, and I can see the end. I’ll let the characters take a little break and then it’s the final race. Only 2 chapters and the epilogue left, I can’t believe it! Tonight will be exciting.
Happy writing everyone!
750 words today. I want to get to 35k words by the end of the weekend.
My MC has been told that she is in this world to save people from the ‘evil warlord’, but all she can do is laugh. It has to be a joke right? Right? Well even if it isn’t she’s going to pretend it is and move on. She’s also missing her lost companion but is starting to bond with her new one.
And w00t it’s Friday tomorrow, and then its the weekend!!!
Love writing, Love my story, Love this challenge.
Catch you all tomorrow and happy wordage 🙂
Good conflict, it belongs in the story and moves the plot. The scene isn’t done, but that’s okay. I know where I’m going with it, and I got paying work, so I only had 250 words of non-paying writing in me if I wanna get paid for client stuff.
592 words. I’m tired and didn’t feel like writing, but I’m committed to writing a little every day, so I just wrote anyway. It’s not like it was fun, but I got to the end of one scene, and the scene does its job. As I wrote it I already saw how very creepy the antagonist is underneath his kindly veneer. This is going to be fun to bring out during revision. He’s like Gepetto gone bad.
Finally started writing real stuff today. Wrote the first scene today. And of course, my main character was dead by the end of it.
Just like I planned.
I was hoping to get a second scene cranked out but got too busy with work stuff.
Oh! Our Pencil Neck has begun to strangle necks! Beware! 1168 words? cool! March along – left-right-left.
Interesting way to start a book—killing off the MC. Looking forward to more teasers to see where this will take you.
All the tips you guys gave me are very useful and I am employing them all. The sweet spot thing is my major focus right now – changes in progress. So far, the story still has the essential ideas, and the ending still looks more or less the same, but the book is too tidy and clean. If it was a car, and I had to own and drive it. Well then I better be able to throw trash in the back seat if I want to. So right now I’m throwing some trash into the story and making myself at home.
1000+ words, and passed the 30 K mark. These guys are pretty sure they’re gonna play very real reality show where voting somebody out means sentencing him (or her) to death. I’m undecided between them taking a reasonable route (there actually is one, requiring them to cooperate) or… Hmmm. I might settle for “or”.
Holly, I like those scenes when the character has time to stop and think. There are nearly always gems in there.
well done and I quite like the sentencing to death bit, wonderfully wicked.
Agreed. They let some interesting things slip when they’re leaning against a wall catching their breath.
I got 510 words in this morning. It works so far writing my 250 minimum first thing in the morning. If I did not get enough sleep then it is not catching up with me yet. And trying to write consistently late at night seems impossible at the moment. After the kids went to bed last night I moped around like a zombie.
Generally I’m a morning writer. At the moment nights are working better for me, which simply proves to me that not every process works every time for every story.
Go with what works. And congrats on the words.
Funny thing, I did exactly 387 words… just like you! 😀
It feels so good to be writing again… everything goes much swifter when you have your conflicts clearly in place and know exactly *how* and *why* it will move things forward.
My MC just met a snotty fellow student at the magic academy (the walk-on who demands more screen time), I’m eager to get to their confrontation.
I am totally stuck ,but oh well, so nice to see so many people forging on ahead, willing or otherwise, finnished drafts and finnished chapters and surprising word counts, all so cool. I have tried to brain storm, to mind map. but the only thing that seems to get nay words flowing is just writing, and i havent done that cause I dont want to have to redo or throw. Guess I should really just do whatever comes. Dosnt count that is is so cold at night my hands are too frozen for pen or keyboard, and the loungeroom is useless with distractions.
Holly, does it help you to read other peoples blurbs? As it helps us to read yours?
U R not alone!
I like reading other folks’ blurbs. I get excited about their stories. But I have a process for getting ideas and developing them (thinking sideways), so I don’t actually get stuck. Sidetracked, occasionally.
No words today. I spent all day researching my subject with hours and hours of live video feeds. Then shopped for more items for room remodel, which will be going on Friday through Sunday. Did write in notebook about 300 words of technical jargon for subject. I think today will help me with finishing chapter 2, when I try and write what characters do who are of the subject, I tend to stall. Even though I didn’t write today I found it an exciting day.
I wrote a bit last night, not sure how much. But I got a LOT of prewrite done. I did a map of the city of Atlantis, because I couldn’t wrap my head around Plato’s description, and actually seeing how much of it is surrounded by water brought the people of the city to life. Also started writing a skeleton of a language- my Atlantaeans speak primarily Latin and Greek, but also a sort of proto-indo-european offshoot indigenous tongue. I am proud of myself. 🙂
I finished the second draft. Yay! Now it is off to a beta reader, that will point out what I missed. I am excited, though. This is the first time I manage to finish a revision. And I know what to write next, The Wild Hunt. Now, if you excuse me I have an to pick the brain of a god.
Congratulations! I’ve barely started my first draft, so I can only imagine how much work went into your second. Break a leg with the reader, agent and publisher!
Yay for you! 🙂
Congrats on wrapping the second draft!
267 for me. Wasn’t into my scene at all. I don’t know if it should even be there! I think I’m dragging my feet because I have a major scene coming up that I don’t know how to write. I may switch to another part of the story; I do have other characters doing other things in other places. We’ll see.
436 words today. The MC is starting to figure some things out… sort of.
Sorry for the double post (I know these DTD entries can get busy with the replies) but I have a question. I know you have a quiz on “SHOULD I save this work” but I already know that I want to. Do you have a product around the lines of “HOW to save a WIP”? Something that helps repair the wounds caused from not doing enough preliminary work?
Thanks for your time.
For fixing a broken story, there’s a long version, a medium version, and a short version. The short version is here: One-Pass Revision. Plot Clinic offers more extensive help with replotting.
And the long version is toward the end of the Think Sideways course, where both Lesson 22 and Lesson 23 will offer a much more comprehensive approach to getting a screwed-up story working.
In general, I recommend pretending that you got the story right from the very beginning, writing a page where you tell yourself what you have to fix in the revision, and then just moving on and writing the rest of the book in first draft as if you’d nailed the beginning from page one. But I do realize that sometimes this simply isn’t possible—that the whole beginning has come completely apart.
Good luck, and I hope one of these approaches will help.
Yay, 519 words today! It seems writing gets easier again now that I do it almost every day once more. Well, and I wrote the better part of that during work.
The rather tense situation between my MC’s has been lightened up now. They can’t stay angry at each other for long.
There had been some more dialogue, but I got the chance to put in some more insights into their heads, too.
Next would be the moment when some things are cleared up to the heroine and thus the reader. I just hope I won’t pour out too much info at once.
I was completely unmotivated today, but told myself to just write 250 words. Started writing, and ended up with 452 words for the night – better! It’s a great conflict-moving to resolution scene, lots of good, emotional dialogue. Very cool.
Started Chapter six today.
I’ve been both excited and nervous about writing this chapter ever since I finished the story outline/chapter breakdowns. In it are my main two characters, and four supporting characters. This is a brief reunion of the team of “legendary heroes” before they leave on their mission.
I spent a fair amount of time reading through the different character’s bio sheets before I started.
Fun so far, but I still have a long way to go on this chapter.
Word count for today: 304
Didn’t do enough pre-planning and I’m paying for it now. I’m taking the night and possibly tomorrow hostage for more scene-planning and background as well as some BG info for the characters.
But it’s certainly not taking a step backward. I just should have done it beforehand (did get The Sentence though :)).
Time to delve into the Holly-How-To books I have on hand.
Had an excellent day today, even though I wrote for an hour on a mini computer in a hot car while waiting for my daughter at dance class. But during that hot hour, I got over 1000 words written and I think this set of scenes is winding down very nicely. Hoping to get another few hundred words written before bed tonight, but not sure that will actually happen.
Wednesday evenings are studio night. I don’t make much, but I do make more money from my painting than I do from my writing. The painting went well and at the end I decided to just tweak the writing a bit and to my surprised I ended with 745 new words. I’m now at a total of 49,433 words and about half done the novel.
I have 522 more words tonight than I had last night. That’s after some editing and deleting so the total might have been more, but I’m just going for net progress, LOL.
Hi Sarah, Do you know? You are frequently LOL-ing in all your comments. Keep it up, your writing and your LOL-ing as well.
I’m writing scenes, new ones, scenes that seem wayward but related, the lovely connecting ones, and some that lead me far away from my sentence, which concerns me, as these scenes may transform into being related to my sentence, but they may also lead me far astray; it seems too easy to find myself writing a slightly vastly different novel, and I am finding I love writing scenes, but I hope these scenes are related to my novel, rather than misbegotten lyrical detours that are pretending to be part of a destination, but may not be related to my novel at all. (wry grin)
I’m going to continue writing tonight after a visit to a watercolor painting..
Perhaps you can try to gently separate those “orphan” scenes in a separate folder for another time when you visit this universe?
I got rid of one of my “detours” by writing a short story concerning the time before the novel begins (and how this whole trouble starts) because I had no time for that in the novel. Perhaps I’ll do some more stories like that.
What an absolutely brilliant idea, thank you!
Skips off to create folders that are many shades of the wild book forest.
I surprised myself. 518 words today plus a startling bit of brainstorming. I’m calling today an EXCELLENT writing day!!! 🙂
Excellent day of writing. 1406 words today on a scene I thought was finished yesterday, but realized wasn’t. I love it when the words come easily.
I’m still bogged down in prewriting. I’m making a major change to the plot that moves the story from taking place across a HUGE area to taking place in a much smaller area. My blog lists more of the details.
I’m enjoying the prewriting, but I still can’t wait to sit down and write the damn novel 😀