DTD — 473, and Just Can’t Be

Tired and have a headache, but did get the words. Mostly, I was wrapping up the scene in which my hero discovered that the rash of suicides are all connected to someone he knew well—and hated—in his past.

But I also got back to Aleksa, who is on her way to a dig being run by her former grad student, which features a find he insists just can’t be. She was intrigued enough to fly in. It’s a mistake for both of them…but of course she has no way of knowing that.

Small things tonight, little bits of hint-dropping, laying the groundwork for bigger things later, setting up conflicts that I’ll be building into later on.

No bombshells. But certainly setting up the relationships and histories that I’ll be able to blow up later.

How are your words coming?

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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.

40 comments… add one
  • Barbara Aug 22, 2009 @ 18:24

    After what seems like weeks of interruption. School holidays and summer vacation, I’m trying to get back on track. It’s hard going – chug a chug chug. Half way though my supernatural novel and I feel stuck, so I skipped a couple of chapters and will go back and create a bridge, I live in hope…Creating a convincing plot is hard work. Ah, stop moaning and get on with it. Aye, aye, Sir. He has no sympathy whatsoever! Barbara

  • Patricia Aug 17, 2009 @ 23:21

    1,282 words Sunday night, and a small paragraph that I have fallen in love with and absolutely have to share. ๐Ÿ˜€ It is a little scene when Ryan is running away from his captors (who have tracked down the runaway and are now chasing him) and he falls into a hole. He hides there, but discovers that he is not alone…

    I could not see it, but the stench of its breath reeked of spoiled eggs and meat left to rot on the withered bone, and I held a hand up to my mouth to keep from gagging. Even in the inky blackness I could see a flash of glittering eyes, black as the shadows that hid its body, and a hiss escaped through jagged rows of teeth. I heard the claws scratch against the hard packed earth and my heart stopped. I had to leaveโ€ฆnow.

    (Ah, lots of fun!)

  • Wys Aug 17, 2009 @ 22:29

    I was so excited to read about this on another site I frequent. I am in starting tomorrow! Intermediate level. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Gabby Aug 17, 2009 @ 22:18

    Well I made it to 20,000. Struggling with a scene quite a bit so it’s going to need a few more changes. I’ve got my MC chatting with a secondary character but not sure whether there is any point to the red herring I’m trying to add in. Also I don’t want to give too much away but also don’t want to frustrate the reader. I’ll have to think some more about how I want it to work and try again tomorrow.

  • ceecee Aug 17, 2009 @ 22:11

    Did more ground-work (grunt work?) on my revisions but the fun factor is that revisions mean I’m that much closer to finishing and sending. Also did 961 on fantasy with my MC in a damned if you do/damned if you don’t situation–hee-hee–and the big sword-fight waiting in the wings. Sounds like many had a productive weekend–cheers.

  • Treelight Aug 17, 2009 @ 17:59

    Just in time for the new writing-week I finished my re-planning of the background-story and managed 260 new words. They mostly were little add-ons here and there to leave a hint for what is going on behind the backs of the MCs.

    I really hope that I can return now to the regular word-count.

  • Julie Aug 17, 2009 @ 17:29

    666 words today, but I’m hoping to get some more out later if my kitten will stop attacking the keys everytime I press them for a few moments!

  • Minze Aug 17, 2009 @ 15:07

    I was ill and couldn’t write, and even though I’m not really feeling alright yet, I thought I’d get back into the habit of writing and finish a scene – just a few words to wrap it up. In the end, I got 420 words, and they’re good.

  • Cat (from HtTS) Aug 17, 2009 @ 13:58

    1742 words of my translation and 289 in my WIP. It’s not much but I left the MC in dire need of water with an evil demon to outsmart before she can get to it. It’s going to be fin to write the next bit of the scene.

  • Sarah Aug 17, 2009 @ 12:48

    I got a little over 1700 words last night, started expanding on an unconventional love interest for a secondary character, and a visit from the MC’s ex-wife which will end badly.
    When I went blueberry picking a couple days ago I stuck my hand into a bush already populated by hornets and their nest. At the time I thought I’d only been stung once, and yesterday it was a little sore but not too bad. This morning I woke up with a lot of little white bumps, slightly swollen area around my thumb, and crazy itchy. So I’m hoping a baking soda poultice will help, and I won’t be so distracted that its hard to work this afternoon.

  • Scarlett Aug 17, 2009 @ 12:39

    1900 words today. Getting there, I can see the end in sight

  • Nancy Aug 17, 2009 @ 12:07

    350 for Sunday. Some shuddering, revolting stuff from my villain. It’s kinda scary to know that that stuff is inside my head. Makes you wonder about yourself. There go I, but for a civilised veneer??

  • Sarah Collins Aug 17, 2009 @ 9:36

    1178 for me for Sunday.

    • Sarah Collins Aug 17, 2009 @ 14:13

      Wow, Monday is proving to be productive. I’m on my LAST CHAPTER before THE END!

      • Larkk Aug 17, 2009 @ 20:13

        Go Sarah! Cheering for you and looking forward to seeing your name on the cover of your finished novel:) Can’t wait to read it too!

      • KQ Aug 17, 2009 @ 20:24

        Congrats! I am excited for you! I am *supposed* to be near the end, but I don’t feel like it. I wonder, am I ever going to get the ball up the hill?

        • Sarah Collins Aug 17, 2009 @ 21:50

          Thank you, Larkk and KQ! And trust me, KQ – if I can do this anyone can. I only started writing it b/c the idea of writing fiction terrified me. (I don’t take kindly to bullying – not even when it’s self imposed!) Now I’m on top of the world!

  • Lisa R Aug 17, 2009 @ 8:36

    270 words on Saturday and 633 last night. I really enjoyed the writing last night. The conflict between my MC and her brother has been set. I believe this will make one of my later scenes even more intense.

  • Jessica Aug 17, 2009 @ 8:03

    Didn’t think I’d have time to write from all the running around my husband sprang on me but got 150 before attempting to sleep (and sleep was very unsuccessful – got to the point where I couldn’t tell if I was awake or dreaming and it was probably both). So we’ll see how today goes.

  • Khena Aug 17, 2009 @ 7:51

    2381 words for me yesterday. I finally utilized my writing time instead of what I had been doing lately. My MC finally repaid her abusive uncle, and is goign to send him packing shortly, as soon as he stops screaming and they let him out of the cage they put him in.

  • Larkk Aug 17, 2009 @ 7:29

    Downloaded the free trial of Scrivener and imported the whole WIP into it. What a difference it makes to see all the chapters laid out all nice and neat, with my index cards just waiting to be filled out. I can’t say enough about how inspiring it is to know that all my character bios, miscellaneous scenes, research, odds and ends will all be in one place. Wow…now I’m feeling dangerous. Thanks everyone who recommended this program!
    But then, got back to writing, lowered my expectations and cranked out 523 words.

  • Dena C. Aug 17, 2009 @ 6:46

    403 words for me on Sunday. It was much too hot to do much more than that. Still it’s better than no words.

  • Debora Aug 17, 2009 @ 6:39

    Lost my rhythm. Today will be the eighth day in a row I’ve had work. The work is rewarding. I am not complaining, but my brain feels utterly fried.

    I need time to recharge. Will post again when I regain my rhythm.

  • Laura Aug 17, 2009 @ 5:59

    756 words and I’ve finished the first chapter. Things are going smoothly and the MMC just found out, to his utter disappointment, that he has to find a job and pay for the car that his parents gave him as a birthday present (his mother got fired). Given that he’s extremely lazy and sure that working is just for adults who have finished University, it’s going to be tough for him.

    Overall, a good writing night. Tomorrow I’m leaving for Stockholm, I hope I’ll get some words done while I’m on the ferry.

  • Ceallai Aug 17, 2009 @ 5:00

    *ahem* sorry. No idea how that happened. Anyway, the main character in both stories is a teenage girl (or elf) who comes from a noble/rich family, whose father only cares about power, money and his reputation and who tries to use his daugher to those ends. In both cases she is torn between the need for freedom to be herself and fear of her father’s disapproval, and in the end the need for freedom wins out. The mother in both cases dies when the girl is very young. In one case she is brought up by adopted parents (peasants as it happens), in the other case it’s a couple of servants employed by the father.
    The question is: what does this say about me? I do not know my “real” father (we talked by e-mail for a while but he doesn’t want to know me and I don’t think I care much), and my adoptive dad is great. A bit overprotective, but great. And my mother is still living, I’m close to her. Does it mean anything that I repeated the theme accidentally? Or am I just working myself up for nothing? It’s bugging me so much I can’t concentrate on writing…

    • The Pencil Neck Aug 17, 2009 @ 10:55

      Have you been through HtTS? I think this is related to “standing in your map.”

      I think everyone has certain things that they’re drawn to and certain story themes that call to them. You may be writing the same basic story in different clothing just because you don’t feel you’ve “dealt” with whatever issue is at the heart of the theme for you. Or maybe not. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m not a psychologist.

      But, when I was growing up, one of my favorite authors was Jack Chalker. After reading a few of his novels/series, I realized that he had the same plot device in almost every story: people changing form. As he went on, he also seemed to get fascinated by men turning into women. That’s got to be something psychological.

      For you, it may be the same sort of thing.

      When I was trying to write songs for a living, I wrote a LOT of songs. And I noticed that certain themes came up a lot for me, too. And those same themes have a tendency to unintentionally surface in my writing, too. I think, in a way, writing is a way some people use to try to deal with unresolved issues. And if it keeps coming up, then you’re just still dealing with it.

      Not saying, just saying.

      • Ceallai Aug 17, 2009 @ 12:35

        Thanks, that does help. At least I’m not the only one. But what’s HtTS? Is it a part of this site?

        • Jessica Aug 17, 2009 @ 13:03

          How to Think Sideways.
          It’s Holly’s novel writing course, highly recommended by everyone who’s taken it (at least I haven’t found a single negative comment yet).

          http://howtothinksideways.com/

          or you can select the link “Novel Writing Course” at the top of the page.

          And yes, recurring themes do show up in my work from time to time. And writing, even when it’s not a novel, has always been an outlet for me. In fact I’m better at communicating by writing than orally.

  • Ceallai Aug 17, 2009 @ 4:53

    Nothing, for the past week or so. Last week I was very busy, but now I’ve no excuse any more… story is starting to feel flat. And something else is bothering me, but it’s psychological – if anyone can help me on this one, please do!
    Here goes: this story, which is slightly futuristic, is set on a small group of artificial islands, and is all about society, the definition of civilization, democracy, and how people work as a group. The last story I wrote is a fantasy about elves and dragons and stuff. They are completely different, and yet the main character is

  • Leah Aug 17, 2009 @ 3:17

    Since my husband deployed today, and since I won’t see him for the next few months, I spent time with him this weekend instead of writing. Back at it now; will post tomorrow.

  • KQ Aug 17, 2009 @ 2:58

    814 for the whole weekend-I just can’t seem to work on the weekends! I’m at a point now where I need to begin towards the climax, but I feel like I am going sooo slooow! I keep telling myself I can make things tighter in the revision, but I know I need to amp things up. This week, I’ll try to crank out some stuff to move the plot forward.

  • Danielle Aug 17, 2009 @ 2:03

    I’ve taken the past week off from writing to completely rethink my WIP- the backstory, the main storyline, and several of the major disasters have been neatly turned on their ears. The characters are still essentially the same, and they are currently adjusting to their new settings. They seem as enthusiastic about the situation as I am- though they don’t yet know about their future troubles. ๐Ÿ˜€ I have to rethink what I’d already written; but it was only about three or four scenes, almost all of which I can use, so there’s no real loss there. And I like what I have now better- it fits more with where I want to go.

    No words yet tonight, but I’m going to start that in a few minutes. Wish me luck!

    • The Pencil Neck Aug 17, 2009 @ 10:48

      Luck!

  • Patricia Babbitt Aug 17, 2009 @ 1:59

    500 and going. I have been in a whirling dervish of activity lately, but things are settling again, and I’m back…with more words. I was back reading your blog and saw that you knit as do I. When I reached a point where I didn’t seem to have the words for the rest of a chapter, I began to knit and watch the weather change. Complete avoidance, I thought. Your post help me to see this a productive time. A time to let ideas congeal and words arrive. Thanks for sharing your knitting entry.

  • Brian Cansler Aug 17, 2009 @ 1:37

    I spent the majority of today packing for my first semester of college (UNC-Chapel Hill), which I leave for on Wednesday. I can’t wait!

    So no words today, but I didn’t work a bit on one of the languages I’ll be using. Hopefully I’ll get some words tomorrow, but I doubt I’ll get any Tuesday (because I’ll finish packing and be in bed inordinately early) or Wednesday (I’ll be up at 4a, leave by 5a, get to Chapel Hill by 8a, register and move in, and then I get to enjoy hours of band camp that same day until late). Although now that I think about it, the car ride on the way up to CH might be a good time to get some words down. 3 hours is a hefty drive with equally hefty boredom.

    • ceecee Aug 17, 2009 @ 22:01

      Best of luck, Brian! But please, friends don’t let friends drive and write. Tell us someone else will be at the wheel!

  • The Pencil Neck Aug 17, 2009 @ 1:20

    1628 words.

    Two scenes.

    In the first, the MC tries to kill himself by staying out as the sun comes up but as the sun is burning his skin away, the demon inside (vampirism is a form of demonic possession in my world) forces him to turn and flee to safety. Wracked with guilt, he decides to figure out who made him this way and make them pay.

    In the second scene, the MC disguises himself as a beggar to try to follow the guy who hired him for the job in the first place. His plan is to get the man alone and question him… to death. But he almost blows the plan because the berserk rage of the demon inside him almost makes him confront the minor bad guy on a crowded street instead of following him and waiting for the right moment.

    The first scene was totally new. The second scene was based on an old scene. I had the old scene up on one screen and then typed the new version in on another screen. I used a few of the words from the original scene but I think the new one is a lot deeper and richer than the original. At least, I hope it is.

  • Elise Aug 17, 2009 @ 0:25

    A good day–1554 words. I did go to Saguaro National Park for a brief time today and, although it was much too hot for hiking, I did find a park ranger and asked him a number of questions. In turn, he suggested I drive the loop so I could see what this side of the park looked like. I guess I got inspired because after finishing up the scene I started yesterday, I wrote a whole new one where my MC went back to the scene of the crime (which just happens to be in Saguaro National Park) and discovered an important clue.

  • Clare K. R. Miller Aug 17, 2009 @ 0:15

    677 words today. Cricket is starting to get the concept of liminal spaces.

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