DTD — 498 words, and the cop’s view of the Dead Seven

Switched to the next scene to intro my hero in his new amalgamated form. He found something on the victims that makes him certain what looks like a weird cultish group suicide is in fact a murder, and tips him off to who the murderers may be.

I’m off my game tonight, though. The Air Force Kid is back overseas, and though this time no one is supposed to be shooting at him or shelling him or trying to blow him up (essentially his every-day job last time) he’s still in the desert, and I’ll be stressed until he gets home safely.

How were 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.

56 comments… add one
  • Erin Kendall Aug 5, 2009 @ 12:30

    430 words. Not as many as I wanted, but it’s good progress nonetheless.

    Cheers,
    Erin K.

  • Greg Aug 5, 2009 @ 12:17

    Managed 583 despite not feeling great. Bit of father-daughter conflict!

  • Mikaela Aug 5, 2009 @ 6:59

    I got 700 words yesterday, and today my arm is whispering bad idea. sigh. I love what I got yesterday though. Not sure if I will get any words today.

  • Brent B. Aug 5, 2009 @ 0:59

    700 over the last two days,
    The scary (plot) holes have opened up like the jaws of great whites, and . . . okay, you got me. I’ve been watching way too much discovery channel. Hey, it is shark week.

    All the respect in the world to AF kid for doing a real world dangerous job and keeping us safe.

    Any worries I face sitting in my chair while writing seem petty in comparison.

  • Julia GD Aug 4, 2009 @ 23:38

    I hope, Holly, your kid gets home safely.
    I don’t think I could ever survive the stress of my son being in army or anywhere as dangerous. I can barely handle him playing soccer, with all the injuries that happen so often when kids play competitive.

    When I am worried or upset I try (if at all possible) to write cheerful scenes, sometimes it helps (those times when I can actually write). And sometimes, I just subconsciously shift to really sad and troubled scenes and those can come out truly spectacular. It’s all with the price tag attached for me anyway. Writing sad, depressing stuff makes me really depressed and teary myself. 🙁

    Anyway, progress: yesterday and today I’ve done about 1500. Not much. I am feeling much better about the quality though, because I found that switching the point of view of the story allows me to show characters in a much deeper details. Unfortunately, with a better story comes the problem of planning. I am tempted now to include some flashbacks and history and make things generally more complicated.

    Again, best wishes on your son’s safe return!
    J.

  • Cassie Witt Aug 4, 2009 @ 22:14

    First time poster here! I’ve just finished mugging the muse (after 2 days with my head buried in it), and decided I had better act on some of advice you give while it was still fresh in my head.
    My brother-in-law (who lives with us) just bought the first season of dollhouse (god I love Whedon) and I have decided that I am going to write 50,000 words before I watch it. So I pulled out a NaNoWriMo form with a month set out for 1700 words a piece and got to tapping away.
    Yesterday, was not so great…158 words….but today I got 1926! Not all great, except for the end scene I typed out, but I am very satisfied.

    • Sarah Collins Aug 4, 2009 @ 23:04

      Welcome to the fray!

    • Gabby Aug 4, 2009 @ 23:23

      Me 2! Firefly is one of my all time favorite shows.

  • Gabby Aug 4, 2009 @ 21:24

    Added 524 words on Friday bringing total on WIP to 10177. Then family commitments kept me from working through Monday. Now that I’m back, my goal is 500/day although I’ll take 250 if that’s all that will come.

    I love these daily journals. It’s so nice to read about how everyone is doing. And to actually be a writer for at least a small time. I haven’t told anyone except my sister so it’s just so nice to be amongst a community of writers.

    • Sarah Collins Aug 4, 2009 @ 21:48

      Congrats on the 10k milestone!

      • Gabby Aug 4, 2009 @ 23:22

        Woot! Thank you so much. I am very excited about it. :)) All of you are such an encouragement. (Today 598 words. New total 10775.) More importantly, I finally got past a tough scene that I just couldn’t seem to picture and ended up with two new characters. I had flashes of their backstories which should add some nice twisties to my MC’s journey. I can’t wait to get to the point eveyone talks about where they hijack my story and I have to tell them, “no, no, don’t do that… whatever you do…” Right now, it’s 50 words, check word count… 10 words… update word count… how many more???.. rinse, repeat. Reading everyone’s posts here gives me that much needed light at the end of the tunnel.

  • Jim Mitchel Aug 4, 2009 @ 21:19

    Had a family emergency on Friday, so no words written on the book.

    Still in Chapter 7. One of the characters is trying to come to grips with a nightmarish creature she literally saw the night before.

    Word count for Monday: 264

  • Don Aug 4, 2009 @ 21:06

    No word count worthy of the name mostly making things more clear and a more defied direction. This is taking much longer than I thought it would but the more I do it the better I feel about the direction and it easier it will be to meet my goal of finishing the rough draft by end of the year, maybe sooner.

  • Gina Aug 4, 2009 @ 20:33

    266 words… too tired to go on. So it’s off to bed I go. I’m on vacation in a couple of days so I hope to get more done then.

    TTFN

  • ceecee Aug 4, 2009 @ 20:30

    Holly–blessings for you, for AFK and all those serving.
    Managed 1800 words today (working toward 2K per day) and have almost got MC out of this fix and on with the show.
    New toys–Heroine may be connected to the magic in story; Hero cannot smell (OK, he can smell but he can’t smell it if he’s smelly); and child in the story steps up and takes a bigger role, instead of just being the McGuffin.
    Not bad for a Tuesday.

  • Dena C. Aug 4, 2009 @ 19:08

    588 for me today and building up to one of the bigger scenes in the book.

  • Danielle Lanois Aug 4, 2009 @ 18:37

    Only 268, and not sure I’m liking the new character, but maybe things will change. Tonight’s writing will be rushed, though, so I probably won’t fall in love with him today.

  • Karen van Wyk Aug 4, 2009 @ 16:56

    I hope your son is soon home safe and well, Holly.

    Well, I lost rather than gained words today. I’m 289 words down on yesterday’s count but the scene is much stronger for the cut.

    I’ve set aside a good few hours to write tomorrow as I have a fever and won’t be doing my karate training tomorrow night.

    Here’s hoping for a good word count.

  • SCBrazil Aug 4, 2009 @ 15:10

    My graduation ceremony this evening – six years of study. Sun’s out, up early, shopping for new clothes, haircut and a shave. Is that me in the mirror?
    I’ve been groping about the house for a couple of days in a blindfold to feel what it’s like to be blind, so I treated myself and did the first blind scene after lunch.
    In the Source Dimension he gets his sight back, (I couldn’t carry that POV for a whole book) but the daughters he’s never seen live here, not there.
    Hmmm. Life’s tough!

    • SCBrazil Aug 4, 2009 @ 15:23

      Holly, thoughts of peace coming from here also!

    • Debora Aug 5, 2009 @ 6:49

      Congratulations on your graduation! What have you been studying?

  • Minze Aug 4, 2009 @ 14:52

    482 words plus research. My favourite find: combat cutlery from the early 18th century. I’ve no idea whether that will ever be useful for anything I’m going to write, but my muse is practically drooling about the things.

  • Clare K. R. Miller Aug 4, 2009 @ 12:15

    531 words for me yesterday. They’re talking to the town council and trying to convince them of the danger.

  • Cat (from HtTS) Aug 4, 2009 @ 11:52

    4872 words in total (but 3000 were from a short story that ties into the novel. They only needed to be rewritten a bit to fit). That concludes Part I of my three part novel with nearly 25.000 words to it. If I keep writing like this I will actually be able to finish the novel before NaNo. My agent will be very pleased!

  • Lisa R Aug 4, 2009 @ 10:15

    My heart goes out to you, Holly. It was very hard when my husband was over there, but to have one of my boys over, very tough! I can’t imagine.

    No words, I was too busy catching up from working all weekend.

  • Sarah Collins Aug 4, 2009 @ 10:09

    1751 and milestones: I topped 40k words (almost to 42k) and noticed that my typed ms is over 200 pages. WOW!!

    Sending prayers and thanks to your Air Force Kid and all of the others out there – may they all return safely.

  • Belle Aug 4, 2009 @ 10:05

    532 words yesterday on two different scenes. I see what you guys have been talking about. Once the writing starts the characters start to come up with things I had not thought of. Also, for one of the scenes to work, I have to write many more scenes to show how my MC saw life around her then to see how it all changes when she sees the undercurrent of secrecy that happens in broad daylight.

  • Kait Nolan Aug 4, 2009 @ 9:58

    Got 690 yesterday and finished plugging up one of the holes created by my outline revision a few weeks ago. Yay for that! Also planned another 4 scenes on the novella I thought up this weekend.

  • Paula Aug 4, 2009 @ 9:36

    . . . but nothing compared to what you must be suffering over your son. I feel for you — I have a son, and I believe imagining him being shot at would be hell.

    • Holly Lisle Aug 4, 2009 @ 23:37

      I keep telling myself this time he’s in a peaceful place.

      Myself does not believe me. But facts speak to this deployment being very different than the last. While he’s gone, I’ll focus on work.

  • Erin T Aug 4, 2009 @ 9:34

    300+ words last night, including a light bit of polishing my main character intro, and then a bit on my 2nd MC – and I realized that he may need to lead off. I don’t have his voice down yet – it just hasn’t hit me like Bren’s did – but I’ll get him. 🙂

  • Paula Aug 4, 2009 @ 9:25

    First time commenter, long time fan!

    Just started drafting a project I’ve been working on for about a month. Been blogging on it at “The Paula Process” for about that period of time — per your advice in How To Find Your Writing Discipline!

    And now I’ve sort of gone public, so I’m really up sh*t’s creek . . .

    • Sarah Collins Aug 4, 2009 @ 19:20

      Here’s to finding the proverbial paddle! Welcome. =c)

    • Holly Lisle Aug 4, 2009 @ 23:35

      [g] Hi, and welcome. Congrats on committing.

      Jump on in. We’re laid-back and mellow here.

  • Jessica Aug 4, 2009 @ 9:21

    Holiday Monday so I decided to give myself a day to break and give the muse some rest (thanks Holly!). Went mini-putting with the family and had a great time! Didn’t get quite as much sleep as I wanted but I’ve got some ideas for the next scenes.

    Best wishes to the AFK and to you Holly. 🙂

  • Shawn Aug 4, 2009 @ 8:39

    I’m having a crisis of faith, I think. I got no words yesterday. Something was holding me back, then I read Holly’s post about all of the rework she is doing. That’s what I want to do. I have serious doubts about the magic system I have in place. It’s vaguely defined at best. The MCs get a sort of supercharged gift of this magic because they have been chosen, sort of commissioned to right an imbalance in the world. The only problem is that the bad guys have to be similarly superpowered. The loose definition may leave the reader feeling that the magic system isn’t plausible. I also need someone to teach my MCs how to use their new abilities, but that implies others have a lesser form of these abilities naturally. The scenes where the abilities come upon them are pretty cool, though.
    Anyway, that was a long ramble to preface this:
    Holly is a professional. I’m still a newby. How do I tell if the parts that I don’t think are working should be reworked, or if I’m running into typical difficulties that just need to be worked through?

    • Larkk Aug 4, 2009 @ 10:18

      I’m a newby as well and know exactly what you’re talking about. To keep the words flowing, I pretend I’m READING the book, instead of writing it. That way it is okay if things aren’t clear yet, and I still get to write all the fun parts. I’m interested to see what other writers have to say about this.

      • Shawn Aug 4, 2009 @ 17:49

        Thanks. I realize that I probably just need to suck it up and write the story. The magic system is sort of integral to the theme, so changing it would weaken the story. I just haven’t inserted enough about the abilities of people other than the MCs to make it believable yet. I think I just got the picture of how this has to work. The reality of the magic system has to permeate the society for it to not feel sort of fake and grafted on. Not just the heroes and the villains get to have these abilities.

        • Gabby Aug 4, 2009 @ 21:18

          Hi, I was just curious why the teachers need to know any magic? I’m thinking of Buffy and her Watcher. The Watcher doesn’t have any abilities, it’s just knowledge they’ve past down. Another possibility is instead of teachers, the ability could opensup access to ancient scrolls from a secret cave, another dimension, etc, etc. Just random thoughts in case they help 🙂

          I’m also a newbie but my thoughts on this are that I want to understand my magic system “fully” so that I don’t contradict myself as I’m writing. And I would be worried that the reader might pick up on the vagueness if I didn’t understand the system any better than they do. You could always just add a note… “need to figure out magic system later”… and just keep moving forward. I always think with a good story that the characters and the plot matter more than the magic system. Good luck!!

  • Debora Aug 4, 2009 @ 8:07

    Got 595 words yesterday. Still not sure where this scene is headed, or exactly what happens, but know it’s important and full of conflict and has a lot to do with how my MC views herself and the demands she makes of herself as a person. So I keep listening faithfully to my narrator and record everything she tells me.

    I’m sure I’d never sleep with my son overseas.

    All my best wishes for him and for you.

  • Rob Aug 4, 2009 @ 8:06

    1160 words and another scene wrapped up. This after almost a week without words because the Dreaded Day Job chewed me to pieces.

    Still struggling with the usual self-doubts, but I can’t see anything terribly out of whack with the project. So I soldier on. PERFECT never finishes.

  • Khena Aug 4, 2009 @ 8:01

    I had a strange day of writing yesterday. I finished up a scene, badly, but I finished it. And wrote another I am very happy with. Then I checked my word count and I was 50 words short of my 2k word goal I had been missing for a week. So I pushed on, looked up the next scene, and had no clue where to start. But I knew where to end, so I wrote the last 200 words of the scene. They were good words, and it was a great ending. Now I just have to figure out how to get there.

  • Larkk Aug 4, 2009 @ 8:00

    599 words. Tons of plot related problems with this scene, but just wrote them down at the end of the scene and went to bed. Tired.

  • Leah Aug 4, 2009 @ 6:55

    1275 hard-fought words. Sometimes important scenes are immense and difficult to write.

    Sorry to hear about Air Force Kid. He’ll be safe, I’m sure. My husband could be called up at any time, too. My heart’s with you, Holly. Hope your game comes back in a day or two.

    • Sarah Collins Aug 4, 2009 @ 19:19

      Amen to that! Both counts, LOL, but about the important scenes being difficult. Mine seem to hide behind brick walls. No pressure when it’s The Scene, eh? LOL.

    • Holly Lisle Aug 4, 2009 @ 23:30

      My good wishes to your husband, too, Leah.

      Writing-wise, I’d say it came back today. I worried, and rather than let myself think about the worry, I worked.

      I got a LOT accomplished that way.

  • Ceallai Aug 4, 2009 @ 5:24

    I hope your son gets back alright.

    +253 words. I introduced my most charismatic main character into the story, the one who will get everything rolling.

    Yesterday my boyfriend had a nightmare that, the more he described it, the more I felt like writing it. Horror is REALLY not my genre (I don’t sleep if I watch Buffy, or even TAPS – seriously) but I feel like having a go just for fun. ^^

  • Scarlett Aug 4, 2009 @ 3:46

    Got up early today again to write before the children wake up. 2700 this morning so not too bad. I feel like I have a chance of meeting my target of finished first draft by 20 September if I keep this up

  • Lucca Aug 4, 2009 @ 3:43

    Still writing the new scenes I need… funny thin my Muse, gave me a new scene and went into hiding. Now I’m trying to remember why it was so amazing :S

    156 in new cards.

    All best for your beloved ones,

  • megan Aug 4, 2009 @ 3:38

    180 words, so I am pleased enough for a long day at school. I decided to try the story form the ‘villain’s’ pov, see the MC from there and that is being uselful. I must say there are so many really interesting sounding novels being written ‘here’, Makes me wnat to have time to read then all when they get finished.

  • Treelight Aug 4, 2009 @ 2:26

    Only 233 words, and I cheated there a bit, because I wrote them after I woke up. But since I’m not at work yet, I still count this as “yesterday”.

  • red_dot Aug 4, 2009 @ 2:12

    Weekend full of family drama, decompressed today, no words.

  • Jamie D. Aug 4, 2009 @ 1:49

    Finally back to writing tonight, after too many nights off. I really need to be more consistent.

    Anyway, 551 words tonight. Not too bad, considering my heroine needs a different job, the plot’s been reworked, and my hero isn’t who I’d hoped he’d be.

    Yeah – tomorrow will be better.

  • Ieva Aug 4, 2009 @ 0:59

    700+, just as I was supposed to. Funny that it’s past one third and only now some thinking ensues 🙂
    Overall a very good day with lots of mark-up, notes and stuff.

    Good luck for you too, Holly 🙂

  • Elise Aug 4, 2009 @ 0:13

    Only 88 new words today, but I’m making progress. My heroine runs into an attractive bad boy as well as her hero. She’s torn between the two.
    My prayers for your son’s safe return.

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