DTD — 466 words, and the Ohio hills of my childhood

I remember the heat of Ohio summer, and the way the leaves of the oaks and maples in the hills hung heavy on the trees, dusty green and tired. The dirt back roads, the damp, cool sandstone outcrops in the steep hills, the cicadas with their buzzing racket, and me lying in the tall grass of a clearing, looking up at the bottom side of Queen Anne’s lace and red-winged blackbirds flitting overhead from sturdy weed to sturdy weed.

I chose a place I remembered, and stuck the faint remains of a 1600’s hunting camp there, left from the last days that Ohio was still a sacred hunting ground for the tribes who inhabited the area around the Ohio river. My archeologists are not having much fun there, but I did.

I walked those hills as a kid, alone often enough, or with our Springer spaniel. I saw more game sitting still when I went alone—and more of it rocketing out of underbrush when he was along.

Anyway, that’s me. How were your words?

image_pdfDownload as PDFimage_printPrint Page

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

42 comments… add one
  • Michelle Aug 19, 2009 @ 23:15

    Gah, forgot to update again! 1046 for me. Great day. πŸ™‚

  • wys Aug 19, 2009 @ 22:56

    First day here putting up my counts. I made 672 last night. Let’s see if I can match 466 tonight!

  • Don Aug 19, 2009 @ 22:04

    Another good day with product I’m happy with 754 words that will survice unitill rewriting.

  • Treelight Aug 19, 2009 @ 19:17

    For once I started to write right after I came home from work. No (or at last not much) distraction by doing other things first.
    The task for today was to rewrite the next scene so it would fit better with my newest ideas. It is one of my favorite parts of the story and I think I managed to improve it.

    In the end I had 281 new words and the male side-kick shows now some more of his true character.

  • Dena C. Aug 19, 2009 @ 16:54

    1284 for me yesterday. I’ve gotten in the habit now of putting my butt in the chair to write as soon as I get home from work. My goal usually is to make it to 1000, which is doable for me in about an hour. Sometimes I make it and sometimes I don’t and I don’t worry about it. Somedays the words are like gold and seem to get magically downloaded from by brain into the computer, and other days it feels like all that is coming out is crap. In the past I’ve beaten myself up for those crappy days, especially if I haven’t reached the word goal I wanted, but doing this exercise with everyone has taught me something very important. Writing a book is fun, and it is not something that “should” be done. There are many opportunities in daily life where we “should” on ourselves, and taking that “should” away from the writing process has enable me to write more, and to also find the joy in writing again, which is something that was missing for a while (and cause a long stretch where I wasn’t writing anything and felt like I’d lost a limb). So I’m not going to “should” on myself with the writing any more and I’m just going to enjoy the process and realize that there will be good days and bad days. And having said all that, it’s time for me to open Scrivener and to do what I am having a heck of a lot of fun doing. Talk to you all tomorrow.

  • Rabia Aug 19, 2009 @ 14:39

    I lost Monday night to a headache and last night to three episodes of Battlestar Galactica. We’re halfway through the last season and I’ve already told my husband no more TV shows for me once this is over. πŸ˜›

  • The Pencil Neck Aug 19, 2009 @ 13:10

    To reiterate what Ceallai said, maybe your MC isn’t who you think she is and maybe the community isn’t what you think it is.

    You’ve got a few ways you could look at this:

    * She tries asking for help first and something unexpected happens to chase her away
    * She’s got some reason not to ask for help from the community
    * She goes and searches for help and someone tells her she needs to find her father… quick

    Brainstorm and see if you can come up with some other options.

    • Nancy Aug 19, 2009 @ 13:31

      Thanks, PencilNeck and Ceallai. Good suggestions. Sometimes I get so caught up in the way I think it SHOULD be that I can’t see the forest for the trees. Even when they’re talking trees…

      There IS a characteristic that makes her different. It’s really the crux of the whole story. I had originally planned for her own community to be at worst indifferent to it since her ability benefited them, although there were one or two complainers in the pack. In fact, I’d already incorporated a scene where her suppposed beau ratted out the location of her cottage to the killer on the sly for a nice bit of gold. But maybe the villain has stirred up enough anti-Crofter sentiment in the village to turn the tide in the rest of the community as well. That anti-Crofter sentiment is at the heart of this plot… culture vs. culture.

      Okay… I’m beginning to see a way out of this. Especially if I have the killer be a different person than he currently is, separate from the main villain, with a different agenda… Hmmm… that has interesting possibilities, and would go to introducing the culture clash much earlier.

      Again, thanks guys! You rock!! You may now return to your regularly scheduled program — er, I mean day. (You’d think I watch too much TV, but really, I don’t. Honest. Aloha. Book ’em, Dan-o.)

  • Ceallai Aug 19, 2009 @ 12:42

    I’m too dispersed at the moment. I’ve gotten stuck on the thing I was working on (which I’ll call “Sky” after the main character – no proper title yet) and I’m getting back into that fantasy story along the same theme I was doing before. I’m also writing this thing that’s more theraputic than anything, a fictionalized version of something that happened to me when I was a teenager. It’s the easiest thing to write at the moment, although I don’t intend on doing anything with it.
    Anybody else play video games? “Sky” was inspired by “Mirror’s Edge”. The graphics and the soundtrack more than anything (the plot’s ok, but pretty classic, it’s a short game). Maybe if I play it again I’ll get back into “Sky”.

    • Rabia Aug 20, 2009 @ 14:00

      That was the last game my husband played. I had vertigo just watching him! The gameplay was awesome. It looked fun but I bet it’d be very frustrating for me to play. My fingers just aren’t that quick and coordinated.

  • Nancy Aug 19, 2009 @ 12:20

    Aaaarrrrggghhh!!! I started noodling about the story’s direction today (while sitting on an terminally boring conference call). And I realized that the whole premise I created to get my MC to leave her home and go in search of the man she thinks is her estranged father is utterly flawed. I started asking myself why she would run away instead of trying to get help from her community and the answer was, well, duh, she wouldn’t. Once she discovers the body of her “Aunt”, she’d go pounding on the nearest door in the village and if they couldn’t/wouldn’t help her escape the lunatic who’s now after her too, (andy why they wouldn’t defies logic in itself), then she’d proceed to the next door and keep on knocking until someone helped her.

    All of which means I need to rethink how the whole shebang starts. Which means the last 30k words may have to be completely scrapped or heartily revised. Gack.

    So tonight, when it’s writing time, I need to tear up some more scene cards… okay almost all the scene cards and figure out what really happened in those first 30k words (and more importantly why — and then start writing again, as though that is what I’ve actually written.

    Or I could watch a Man from U.N.C.L.E. marathon.

    At the moment, Option 2 is infinitely more appealing.

    *sigh* Holly, I’m beginning to hate the question “Why would she do that?”.

    • Ceallai Aug 19, 2009 @ 12:47

      Maybe the whole community has some weird, dark secret. Or she does, and she fears that if she asks for help they’ll find out. Or her dead aunt is found in such a way that they or the police would think she was the murderer. Did they have an argument before her death? How well does she fit into the community, or society in general? Does she have any reason to be afraid of the police? Could you give her one, or would that be out of character?

      Hope that helps a bit…

  • Lisa R Aug 19, 2009 @ 11:15

    0 words, but a wonderful evening with my MIL. She is so very encouraging with my writing and everything. I am very blessed.

  • Jessica Aug 19, 2009 @ 11:09

    527 and a really neat map. I was working on a transition scene and it’s becoming much more complicated – in good ways – so the map really helped. I don’t know if I’ll finish it today though, it’s my 3rd wedding anniversary today and I’m off for the day to go fishing with the dh. πŸ™‚ Notebooks and water don’t mix, though I’m sure I’ll be thinking of words most of the time. It’s so nice and quiet on the lake!

  • Nancy Aug 19, 2009 @ 9:54

    Had a vendor dinner last night, which ran way late, but still managed 252 words. I’m realizing I need to go back and rethink my plot cards in a big way — this thing is veering off to the left and I’m not sure the direction is going to work. So I may take a few days and puzzle out where the next bit thinks it’s going versus where I thought it was going to go – and ultimately choose what I hope is the “right” direction.

  • Sarah Collins Aug 19, 2009 @ 9:35

    I lost 780 words on the WIP#1 edit – a fact I’m particularly proud of because I couldn’t bring myself to delete any of the early backstory before. Discovering that I’d managed to disperse it through the rest of the ms in spite of my earlier fears made deleting it pure pleasure! I hope to eventually add about 2k to the story as I work through to ‘purty’ it up a little.

    As for WIP #2, I gained 643 words which brings me to a grand total of 676. LOL. Nothing like dropping from tens of thousands of words to 676!

  • Cat (from HtTS) Aug 19, 2009 @ 8:28

    940 words in my WIP and I nearly finished the update of my websites layout. That was a major job (over 120 files to change) but I think it was worth the hustle. I’ll double check the pages for a few more days and upload them next weekend.

  • Larkk Aug 19, 2009 @ 8:06

    570 words.
    Lovin’ this pocketful of words.This way can still move forward on my novel, and work on back story etc. at the same time.

  • Dana Aug 19, 2009 @ 8:05

    I got a bit done but didn’t finish what I intended. Today’s heat and humidity kicked me arse over ears.

  • Khena Aug 19, 2009 @ 7:43

    Yesterday was a big day for me. I had decided to remove a character from my book, but on further reflection, she played an inportant roll in the beginning. So I decided to kill her, which was almost more difficult since I really love this character. So I brainstormed about it a while and decided one of the scenes I skipped would be the perfect place for her to disappear, swallowed by a giant vine with fangs. As this was a tightknit group, there’s going to be a lot of guilt and blame for what happened. Good stuff. Most of the scene is done, except for a little in the begining when I got to impatient to write the good stuff, so I am sitting at 1610 words for the day. That would have made me happy enough, but this scene also carried me past the 50k mark and my theoretical halfway point. It’s the first time I’ve made it this far, since the few projects I’ve finished have been short works of ~30K words. So hurray for me! =)

    • Larkk Aug 19, 2009 @ 8:08

      Hurray for you indeed! Sounds like you’re having fun too πŸ™‚

      • Khena Aug 19, 2009 @ 9:13

        Thanks =) I am having fun!

  • HannaBelle (aka Belle) Aug 19, 2009 @ 7:35

    Back in the groove, a couple hundred words, mostly reviewing the structure and who does what and why. I know I am missing something, but hope that as the scenes progress that I will see what is missing.

  • Scarlett Aug 19, 2009 @ 7:13

    2100 words for me today. It’s going well at the moment and all sorts of revelations keep cropping up as I write making it exciting to do

  • Leah Aug 19, 2009 @ 6:29

    616 words today. Hope for more tomorrow and deeper development.

  • Greg Aug 19, 2009 @ 4:16

    Project1 (D&D): 533
    Project2 (OFL): 1040

    All the characters are in play in D&D – it’s not an exercise in getting them into as much trouble as possible! Still introducing the characters and their conflicts in OFL…

  • Ieva Aug 19, 2009 @ 1:57

    I’m back. Somewhat. With 600+ words, and the first scene of “she tried and still failed, and there’s no dignity, no pride, nothing good about it”. I’ll have to get her (and myself) out of this stage soon.

  • Sarah Aug 19, 2009 @ 1:28

    1810 words today, and I am sleeeeepy. I think I’m in the midst of writing a scene that should be at the end of the next chapter, though…
    Also- Holly, I love the song!

  • KQ Aug 19, 2009 @ 0:52

    3007 for me. I really enjoyed it, but it is some backstory that I will place earlier in the story. Finally felt like I had my groove on.

  • Clare K. R. Miller Aug 19, 2009 @ 0:29

    Well, crap. I knew there was something missing from my nighttime schedule. Maybe I’ll make up for it in the morning.

    (Nope, no writing today. Well, not on this project.)

  • Red_dot Aug 19, 2009 @ 0:21

    829 words today. Conflict and moved the story forward I see hope with CH 6 total of 18,500 so far. I have been writing for 6 or 7 weeks this is going to take forever. Well 500 a day 5 days a week almost on track. Actually I forgot when I started and just went by folder creation date.

  • The Pencil Neck Aug 19, 2009 @ 0:19

    1320 words.

    Still in a rewrite/recovery of a scene.

    A couple of bad guys shake down a tailor for protection money and one of the bad guys realizes that the other bad guy has been skimming. When they enter into a deserted dark alley, the one bad guy chews out the other one. And then something drops down into the alley behind them.

    (That’s our MC about to kick some A and ask for some names.)

  • Elise Aug 18, 2009 @ 23:53

    940 words today. I, too, consider my goal 500 words a day, but when I’m in the middle of a scene I feel like I have to finish it. Up until two hours before I started writing tonight, I had no idea what I was going to write next. But I must be getting my writing muscles in shape because it came to me how I needed to frame a setup for a clue to the murderer that comes much later on. I had a whole scene where previously I only had a phrase-or a sentence. I love when that happens!

  • Patricia Aug 18, 2009 @ 23:37

    Word count for today is…*drumroll* a whopping 3,314 words! Poor Ryan went through hell, but it was really fun and words kept flowing. It is so fun writing from his perspective, because the words flow so freely that I feel like it’s him the one writing it and not me, which is exactly how it’s supposed to be.

    It’s funny, because I consider my daily limit to be about 500, though I would be perfectly happy with 250, and yet I find myself writing 1,000 or more. I’ve passed the 20,000 word mark in only two and a half weeks. I am feeling good!

    • Red_dot Aug 19, 2009 @ 0:13

      Wow, lots of words.

    • The Pencil Neck Aug 19, 2009 @ 0:13

      Rock on!

      • Patricia Aug 19, 2009 @ 9:25

        Thank you very much! πŸ™‚

    • Sarah Collins Aug 19, 2009 @ 9:36

      Wow, that’s awesome! Way to go!

    • Nancy Aug 19, 2009 @ 9:55

      That’s fantastic. Way to go!

  • Jim Mitchel Aug 18, 2009 @ 23:29

    Another tough day, but I kept pressing on. As I was finishing up for the day the words finally started to flow. YES!!

    Got through how differently the two magic users in the group interact with magic. Also, showed a connection between a kidnapping that took place in chapter one, and the nightmare creature the party of heroes faced in chapter seven.

    I’m looking forward to finally writing some dialogue tomorrow. For the last two weeks all the writing has been mostly actions and descriptions. It’ll be a nice change of pace.

    Word count for today: 433

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.