DTD — 401 words. And other things.

In spite of still being sick, I had a pretty good work day today. Got 1800 words finished on the first lesson of How To Revise Your novel, and got the next three lessons completely outlined.

I want to have a significant amount of the course already written before my two test students start class—and certainly before I open the doors to everyone else.

As for Dreaming the Dead, I came up with a handful or real titles for it between yesterday and tonight. Finally. Still have to decide which one I like, but DTD isn’t going to be DTD much longer.

And I got 401 words—started the follow-up scene to the one I was working on last night. It flowed well, and I’m pleased with the conflict in it, and the twist I put in just before I quit for the night.

But I still feel awful, so I’m posting this and then going to bed.

Matt’s been sick for a week so far, and still isn’t over it. I’m several days behind him, so I may still have a haul to get through this.

Let me know how your words are coming. I’ve been reading comments, though I haven’t been answering. I’m cheering your progress, small or large.

Hang in. And I’ll hang in too.

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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.

41 comments… add one
  • Lisa S Sep 10, 2009 @ 23:02

    About 500 tonight. Tired, didn’t want to, but I did. So there! Off for my cuppa tea now.

  • Don Sep 10, 2009 @ 22:11

    Got a late start today more adult stuff to take care of did 342 words today still looking at a Thanksgiving finish date of the rough draft.

  • Gabby Sep 10, 2009 @ 22:03

    804 words today. Very happy because it was a troublesome scene. It was just supposed to be a simple, in-between scene. Instead it has become a bear and has threatened to derail everything. Part of the problem is that I was letting my characters understand too much because I knew the truth. And it was like pulling teeth getting my characters to cooperate because they know more than what’s good for them/the story. I was able to take some of those gimmies away so that they could react more realistically to what they understand (and also more conveniently) LOL. But still a struggle. I had to force one of my characters to do what he needed to do and he said, “I hope that was the right thing to do.” To which I say, “Amen brother, and sorry about that.” I’ll have to do a reread/rewrite tomorrow when I’m fresh and fix it some more (hopefully). Cause right now, he would never have made that decision.

  • SCBrazil Sep 10, 2009 @ 19:53

    Just thought I’d share this one. It might help someone else also.
    Five days ago I started ‘meditating’. Just sitting quietly, watching my breath go in and out for ten minutes before starting to write. Confronting my thoughts is much more difficult than confronting a blank page. After eight minutes breathing I find myself wanting to run towards the keyboard.
    Whereas before I was stumbling towards 250 and rarely went over 300 words, I noticed that without effort or desire, my word count this week jumped to 400+. Organically, is the word.
    Apart from clearing distracting thoughts from my mind before I write, this exercise has also improved my focus and concentration during the act.
    Today I decided to push myself a little further to get the current scene moving. The result was 1021 effortless words. Wow.
    I’m now going on ebay to look for a ‘plastic hand with handle’ – so I can give myself a pat on the back.
    Ecstatic, is another word.

  • Dena C. Sep 10, 2009 @ 19:44

    I didn’t write on Tuesday or Wednesday of this week. I’ve been really tired, and the day job fried my brain. I decided to write tonight, no matter how tired I felt. I was aiming for the same amount of words as Holly, but once I got into the rhythm of it, I ended up writing more. I ended up with 1527, so a good writing night.

  • Red_dot Sep 10, 2009 @ 19:31

    So as soon as I started writing a book my mind went blank on any book I have ever read. How are they structured, how do they flow? This week I have spent reading two completly different things. Plato’s Phaedo and the last Harry Potter book. I also have outlined CH 8 and half of CH 9. OMG! Socrates was killed! Ok enough of wasted time, back to writing.

  • Jewel/Pink Ink Sep 10, 2009 @ 18:24

    *barely squeaks by but makes it*

    250 words 🙂

  • Treelight Sep 10, 2009 @ 17:27

    Well, I wrote 370 new words, but I feel like I’m just buying time instead of moving forward in the story – that is the rewriting of the next few chapters to fit the new storyline.
    The problem is I still haven’t figured out how exactly Gesem will leave with Cathrine his means of transport, or why. But they have to, so that Larasse and eventually Jheyrien can follow them to meet at a nice showdown and the rescue of Cathrine.

  • Lisa Sep 10, 2009 @ 16:44

    863 words, and I’m stopping because they’re about to walk into the climax scene. Very exciting! I know what’s going to happen but not HOW, so that will be interesting to see. Want to let it sit with my Muse for a while, so hopefully in the next couple of days I’ll be able to work on it again and finish the major climax scene of the book.

  • Gerhi Janse van Vuuren Sep 10, 2009 @ 15:44

    1512 words today – not that I’m using words to track my progress anymore. I am now counting scenes because just counting words and not thinking about how they relate to storytelling give me too much that I will throw away anyway.

    Oh, and over that last couple of days I totally re-conceived my story developing much more riveting and gripping (for me) story concept.

  • Erin Kendall Sep 10, 2009 @ 12:41

    I’ve been spending the bulk of this week plotting my Nano novel. I’d say I got about 200-300 words of an outline done.

    As for the other WIP, I’m taking a break on it till next week. Need the downtime.

    Cheers,
    Erin K.

    • Treelight Sep 10, 2009 @ 17:22

      Oh my, don’t tell me that I should start outlining my next NaNo-project, too!

    • Stormlyht Sep 10, 2009 @ 17:38

      Plotting for NaNo? Is that allowed? *laugh* I can hardly believe it’s only a few months away! But I’m not going to start plotting until October, I did the last two years on the fly so any plotting is going to be more than I’ve ever done.

      My best friend and I are going to be working on two collaborations this year, with each other! *laugh* I don’t know if I’m up to this challenge, but I’m going to give it a whirl. We’re going to write a mystery together that’s going to be a seat of the pants type story and we’re going to plot a more serious story using HtTS methods. *sigh* I think I’m going to die this November.

      I think the only reason she wants to write with me is because I type so fast. I stopped being allowed to get prizes at our write in’s for word counts, ’cause no one could beat me. *laugh*

      Good luck with your plotting and planning!

  • Lisa R Sep 10, 2009 @ 11:41

    0 words. I did help my son work on his essay for class. By the time I finshed with that, I was exhausted. But, I did work on Lesson 3 in HtTS. So, I did work to some extent, just no words.

  • Kait Nolan Sep 10, 2009 @ 11:18

    301 really lousy words yesterday. But hey, they’re progress of a sort, right? They can be edited.

    • Treelight Sep 10, 2009 @ 17:19

      Tell that to myself quite often, too.

    • Treelight Sep 10, 2009 @ 17:20

      I tell that to myself quite often, too 😉

  • Sarah Collins Sep 10, 2009 @ 10:17

    1535 and NO idea I had so many. This WIP is flying! I feel like I’ve barely had time to work on it, but it’s adding up quickly.

  • Dawn K. Sep 10, 2009 @ 9:43

    Wrote about 2000 yesterday and did some heavy editing.

  • Khena Sep 10, 2009 @ 9:09

    I think I figured out my problem, besides the obvious ones of my children and husband all being sick and my parents visiting this weekend. I’m excited about what I’m writing, but everything seems… anticlimatic. A lot as happened to Isotte in the last 68k words, and the bulk of her story is done with. She only has one great change left to happen in the novel, and one horrible experience to go through. But my male MC, a lot of things are going to be happening to him in the next chapters, and I found out I just don’t like him as well. My story isn’t over, and I have another third of my novel to write, so Nathalan and I are going to have to come to terms with each other.

    So, on that note, I wrote 750ish words to finish up a scene. Then I tried to go to bed, but the next scene harassed me until I hand-wrote 200 or so words, just enough to get into the mood and introduce the new character.

  • HannaBelle (aka Belle) Sep 10, 2009 @ 8:57

    Words yesterday were 900 something. I now have a better structure for the story and figured out how to tell MC’s life story without someone else telling it.

    I started a practice of putting an ampersand (&) in areas where I have a note to myself to fix something later. That way when I search for those areas it will be easy to find. It also keeps me from editing and re-mulling over things while I am writing.

    I am also taking previously written chapters and writing them into the new structure.

    I am not consistent with daily writing, but thanks to WABWM, I am getting back to it on a regular basis. Thanks for doing this.

    • Jessica Sep 10, 2009 @ 11:58

      That’s a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

  • Debora Sep 10, 2009 @ 8:34

    No words, but I have been doing some brainstorming about the various antagonists in my book. Interesting stuff. The weather’s been dreary, and I find that affects my will to write. This morning I know I have the time to write and will make every effort to do so.

    I’ve also been reading George Templeton Strong’s diary of the civil war years. It’s still 1860, and the Democrats have split into two factions, North and South. Abraham Lincoln has just been nominated to be the Republican candidate for President, much to the diarist’s surprise. William Henry Seward (later Lincoln’s Secretary of State) was thought to be a shoo-in. And the Prince of Wales is soon to be touring America incognito.

    I love thinking about past events as if they haven’t happened yet, or are just about to happen, or are just happening now! Putting aside preconceived notions, ignoring the history as it’s been written, and getting back to a state of mind where everything is still possible. Still subject to chance.

    Gotta get myself back into a nineteenth century mindset. Easier said than done!

    • HannaBelle (aka Belle) Sep 10, 2009 @ 16:39

      Sounds like a nice frame of mind to get to. I am always so impressed by authors who re-imagine results of events in ways that, when described, sound more than possible.

  • Jessica Sep 10, 2009 @ 7:56

    150 words of fun feverish dialogue between MCs. It was going really well, not so much a rewrite but something to liven up the scene with some cut and paste in the edit. I would have written more but I fell asleep.
    Time seems to be an issue lately – I’m not as creative in the mornings but by the time I get home after work I’m so drained of energy… and during work it’s gotten busier so it’s harder to get into the story with only 15 minutes break.

  • Larkk Sep 10, 2009 @ 7:48

    559 words, some of them on Google Docs at work, with my boss in the next room. Did I say I love a challenge? I can almost always get words, as long as they don’t have to be good ones! I should be more careful though, I do actually like my work.
    Can’t wait to see what the new title will be, Holly 🙂

  • Ceallai Sep 10, 2009 @ 7:47

    [rant]
    244 words today. Not much, but I’m finding out stuff about Rhelos, Eliane’s father (and one of the baddies). So tired… so much so, that although I’ve been dying to get to this scene, right now I just don’t feel up to it.
    Also, my crappy laptop is being awkward today (I could swear this thing is possessed) and without my faithful online thesaurus (French) I’m just not getting anywhere. The French have less adjectives than we do, but they use them a lot more, so I have to re-learn the writer’s rules I’ve picked up in English. Why aren’t I writing this story in English? Am I mad?
    [/rant]

    • Treelight Sep 10, 2009 @ 17:17

      Why aren’t you indeed? 🙂
      I mean, I’m writing in english although I’m german. However, read most books in english now and thus it’s somehow easier for me to tell a story in that language … and it’s more international.

  • Jeff Sep 10, 2009 @ 7:22

    Well I just stumbled across his site the other day when I was messing around getting onto the Nano webpage. After reading through the WABWM rules I decided that along with NaNo for the first time I would dedicate myself here also so that I don’t have hat immediate timeline as with NaNo. I’m in to the long haul with you Holly. Just started my first ever novel and already have the plot, characters and the whole first chapter done. 800-1K words in one 3 hour sitting. The story is coming together nicely and I have no concerns with confusion. Gonna take tomorrow off since I will have been up for 47 hours by the time I get off of work. Will try to post everyday my progress, looking to hit 75K words by the beginning of December. Update to follow soon. Thanks again Holly.

  • Charmaine Sep 10, 2009 @ 7:00

    Got a scene in my head for The Pirate Girl and had to write it straight away. 779 words. Only in retrospect this scene does not belong in the first book of The Pirate Girl, but rather goes better in either the second and third book, involving Krule kidnapping young Grace and the bumbling but caring Duke and Pirates coming to the rescue.
    Could never be this regimented with my writing if it wasn’t for How To Think Sideways and my motivator who put me onto the course – Thank you!

  • Minze Sep 10, 2009 @ 5:32

    Still plotting, this time with my timer put on. It’s bizarre how the ideas just flow and pour out of my subconscious if I use a timer. Today got me a better picture of my main character. She’s a very, very reticent person, so it was hard for me to get a grip on her. She was also inconsistent: genuinely wanting to be respectable one moment, behaving like a conman the next. Writing her was beginning to be difficult and boring. I *think* I’ve got a clearer picture of her now – with her background, it makes perfect sense for her to be the way she is. There’s loads of potential conflict in there. Tomorrow, I’ll think about ways to funnel this into the novel. (In a TIMED brainstorming session, obviously.)

  • Julian Adorney Sep 10, 2009 @ 4:08

    1279 words. I started out feeling lazy, and just coasted for most of the first half. I got the words down, but they didn’t shimmer.
    Fortunately, after a little reading I got motivated for the second half, and ended up much more satisfied with the last 600 words. The main character’s fight is building towards the climax, and I’m feeling the increasing desperation, the rising momentum of the climax. I should get there by Saturday.

  • Greg Sep 10, 2009 @ 3:22

    D&D: 547, and pending battle.
    OFL: 1237 and a prank going wrong.

  • The Pencil Neck Sep 10, 2009 @ 1:48

    804 words.

    Long day at work. They’re shifting managers around and shifting my priorities.

    The Mage was injured when he performed the sacrifice of The Dancer. (I’ve got to go back and write that into that scene.) So, bleeding and damaged, he stumbled to a friend’s house who is a healer. She heals him and then insists he go to the hospital. He refuses. She insists that she go speak to his wife (who’s dead at this point but no one knows it) and he refuses. She tells him he can’t stop her and when she bends down to pick up the files she dropped when he showed up on her door, he kills her. He doesn’t need the fuss.

  • Sarah Sep 10, 2009 @ 1:28

    I had some major revelations in my current WIP after going through HtTS Lesson 12, and now I know I have some major revisions ahead of me- AFTER the book is done. I’ll be writing as if the revisions are made, and fixing past scenes later. It will make my climax tighter, and more important.

    That being said, I got 2167 words in my main WIP, and the last three scenes of my short story outlined. I’m tempted to just take a day to finish up the short story, but I have a pretty strict deadline set for myself on the novel, that I really want to keep. And crucial revisions (like expunging an entire character) are going to make that harder.

  • Ieva Sep 10, 2009 @ 1:27

    I’m still holding my thumbs for you and your family.

    400+ words on Wednesday. 493 to be exact. Stuff happened in the meantime, stuff that had to happen, so I guess it’s OK.
    Plot-wise, a cool turn that changes the situation completely bringing it closer to dark fantasy: the local people seem to be slightly, horribly possessed.

  • Joyce Sep 10, 2009 @ 1:20

    I decided to take the night off from my story, SEA, tonight. I busted my butt this morning to get my blog column out. I’m so pleased with how it turned out. But between that and working with my mom and her trainer (we’ve got horses), I’m dead for the day.

    I am possibly also a big slacker, but I’ll give myself a free pass for now. 🙂 Back to work tomorrow.

  • Brian Cansler Sep 10, 2009 @ 0:11

    So today, I realized there was no excuse in my life right now for me NOT to write. I love writing. Classwork, three foreign languages, band, and sleep are not things that should get in the way, and I finally decided to stop letting them.

    So. 536 words tonight, and each one felt damn good to put down on the page. I’m quite pleased 🙂

    Holly, I hope you feel better soon. And by the way, I find that listening to “The Lady and the Dragon” helps me focus. I really think it’s your voice; sometimes I’ll put on old HTTS lessons and things like that to keep me on track. You have a great, therapeutic quality to your voice, and I love your accent and the way you articulate words. (I’m such a nerdy linguistics major!) So anyway, thanks for unknowingly helping me stay focused 😉

  • Adam Sep 9, 2009 @ 23:48

    sounds to me like you were very productive while being sick, i’m not that productive when i’m ill.

    Got started in the next chapter. set up the crowd and moved quickly into the speech of the prophet. words came really slow tonight, but i always get slowed down in scenes that are long monologues, especially from this character because he is so different in mentality than i am. (The health care speech and analysis being on tv while trying to write didn’t help)

    overall, got 800 words, so its moving forward.

  • Clare K. R. Miller Sep 9, 2009 @ 23:43

    529 words for me today. Things are being dealt with, they’re back at the boarding house, and Cricket is feeding Jack soup.

  • Elise Sep 9, 2009 @ 23:04

    While I haven’t been posting, I have been writing the last four days. 394, 157, 284 and 708 words respectively. I’m starting to get the hang of alternating points of view and have now had my heroine find a second body–with evidence that once again points to her as the murderer–and my hero has had an event that he thought was in his past come back to complicate things in his life. It’s beginning to be fun again, but I’m a little worried that what I thought was going to be key in this novel hasn’t gotten enough words devoted to it yet. Of course, I’ve only got 42,500 words on the story so far, so there’s plenty left to write.

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