DTD — 518, and Aleksa meets Maggie

Sort of a fun scene bit today. Maggie, a college senior working her summer on a mediocre dig in Ohio, shows up to pick up Aleksa from the airport. I enjoyed watching the two of them talk around each other as Aleksa tried to figure out if her old friend Mike had finally found someone, and as Maggie demonstrated herself as completely oblivious to Mike except as the vehicle through which she was getting hands on archeological experience.

This was a minor bit of business, but it did allow me to do some critical character development, and sneak it in under the radar.

If you’re playing Write A Book With Me at level two, your magic word count for the night is 500.

And for everyone, how’s it going?

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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.

74 comments… add one
  • Cassie Witt Aug 18, 2009 @ 23:30

    619 tonight. 🙂 One of the scenes in chapter 3 is coming along okay. Although the words felt a bit clunky tonight. It wasn’t until I got to the end of my typing that I found my rhythm. And then, of course, it’s bed time. Congrats on your words today, guys!

  • Gabby Aug 18, 2009 @ 21:01

    My current scene is kicking my butt and I haven’t found a way out of it yet. I’m not sure what will happen if I let one of my minor characters figure too much out already but based on how everything has been setup there is no way for her not to know. This is going to mess my plan all up and I haven’t even made it to the middle yet. Jeez. It’s very nerve wracking making these decisions. I guess I need to go back to my outline and figure out all my altered scenes based on where I am and see if I can still see my way to the end. [I just don’t want to… wah… sniff].

  • Sarah Collins Aug 18, 2009 @ 18:12

    That’s some life you’re living, Cali! LOL. I bet you have plenty of inspiration for your words with tales like that to tell! (I think I’d rather have my 8 seconds on a bull – not that my experience with a bucking horse has provided me with the least bit of encouragement to ride a bull, but it still sounds better than THAT!)

  • Red_dot Aug 18, 2009 @ 13:37

    Didn’t get a chance to post last night. 1000 words I was stuck for a while and now things are moving along. I see how Holly says you get attached to your characters and don’t want anything bad to befall them. I wrote a conflict between two characters yesterday, that was fun, but emotionally taxing. Chapter 6 is very difficult for me, it has to transition into the next level, not sure yet how I am going to do that, quickly or slowly with lots of detail and do I keep on the same characters or do I flop back and forth to different places with different characters, writing a book is way more complex than I thought. Damn this reminds me of the time there was a fight across the street and a big guy was killing a little guy, so I jumped on the big guy and knocked him down, my hand could only reach not even half way around his huge arm. “Ohh crap now what do I do?”

    • Sarah Collins Aug 18, 2009 @ 14:45

      So how did the end of that fight pan out? I see you survived … ;c)

      • Red_dot Aug 18, 2009 @ 16:15

        Yea I made my 8 seconds. I’m a little guy and have had my share of street fights back in the day, so I knew I was in way over my head. I held him in a double arm bar whil using my head to push his down. His Mom was out there screaming and I whispered sweet nothings to him. Told him he is upsetting his mother and disrespecting her and kept telling him he is going to jail if he doesn’t stop. Lucky for me he calmed down and let him go. After his Mom grabbed him and it was over after that. Funny thing was my 325 lb 6″4′ gardner didn’t help me at all. I walked back over to my house and said “Hey thanks for backing me up!” He is like a big Bubba Gump he smiled at me and said “Looks like you had it all under control to me” Day in the life of me.

  • Clare K. R. Miller Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:40

    556 words for Friday. Cricket is being kind of stubborn about finding the elves, but she’ll give in soon.

    • Clare K. R. Miller Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:40

      Um, and by Friday I mean Monday, of course. No idea why I wrote that. Maybe I wish today was Saturday.

  • Meghan Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:31

    Eeek, no writing since the 9th, nearly 10 days ago!

    214 so far today (mostly from some scribbling I did on scrap paper while waiting for my hubby get his hair cut). Still working on Scene 2. I’ll have to add more description later, for now I just want to write the juiciest parts of each scene, which come from the interactions. Kate just literally ran into her arch nemesis, Aaron, and before they can start arguing two girls approach; each one thinks they are Aaron’s girlfriend. “Who are these girls, sweetums?” Heh heh heh. I left off with Kate and her best friend Angela settling in to watch the fireworks.

    3,566 words total word count for my first draft.

  • Jamie D. Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:30

    256 words last night, last minute before bed. Good words though, which is what matters for now. I’ll have to step up the pace pretty soon in order to finish reasonably before NaNoWriMo.

  • Lindsay Aug 18, 2009 @ 11:57

    I didn’t see what my word count was but it was probably roughly around 100. Didn’t write anymore because my roommates and I went out shopping for food (together we spent like 400$ on food 0_o). Then we partied with some friends. hehe…

  • HannaBelle (aka Belle) Aug 18, 2009 @ 11:43

    0 words, too much fun.

    It my second week of house guests, a different pair. It’s the good and bad side of living near the water in Florida, guests DO show up. This week, though, I WILL take more time for writing.

    But, its also a new feeling. The absence of daily writing feels yukky, which is a good thing. I need to write to get that yukky feeling to go away.

    In the meantime, I had several big thoughts on on my current story, Pedestal and Bx, the second novel in this idea thread for me.

  • Michelle Aug 18, 2009 @ 11:39

    Oops, forgot to check in yesterday!

    207 yesterday, 226 today. Not great, but here’s the cool part: it would have most certainly been a big fat 0 both days if it wasn’t for this blog. Telling myself to just write a little bit is so much more motivating than thinking about tackling a whole scene or chapter. And now I have 430 words I wouldn’t have had otherwise.

    Congrats Sarah!!!

    • Sarah Collins Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:07

      Thanks, Michelle! (Assuming you were referring to me, LOL).

      I have to agree. WABWM has really kept me going! It’s sort of like exercise – “showing up” is half the battle. =c)

  • Scarlett Aug 18, 2009 @ 11:36

    1280 words today so still on track

  • Dana Aug 18, 2009 @ 11:05

    I’m at the plotting and note taking stage of writing and will be until the end of the month. It’s harder to quantify progress. I know I am making progress but it’s harder to explain to others than offering a wordcount.

    • Sarah Collins Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:10

      I bet it is hard to quantify! Keep up the good work – it will definitely show when the words start to flow! =c)

  • Lisa R Aug 18, 2009 @ 10:10

    521 words. More conflict. I can’t help but feel I am getting no where with such a low count; however, I don’t burn out half as bad when I would write 3 to 5K per writing session. In the long run, I think it all ends up even, but I sure feel like the tortoise.

  • Nancy Aug 18, 2009 @ 9:52

    Slow going this week. 227 words today. Not my most stellar performance. Still, they are words. I’m really having trouble writing this scene, which should be fun because it’s a biggie. I almost feel afraid to commit it to paper. Something very unsettling about it. Oh well. I’ll keep plugging.

  • Khena Aug 18, 2009 @ 8:31

    Just 131 for me last night. I was really tired by the time I got to writing, and just wasn’t thinking well enough so I gave up. However, I was thinking last night that i may have to merge two semi-main characters. I don’t really want to, but I think it will make my story stronger. I just wish I would have realized it before I was 49k words in. I’ll have to rewrite a ton of scenes, but they can wait until I finish the next 50k words =) At least, I’m going to try anyway.

  • Jessica Aug 18, 2009 @ 8:08

    553 on a critical lead in to later events. I had a lot of fun with this one – I actually left most of the details in bits and pieces because the POV character is drunk and keeps losing focus on conversations and actions going on around him.
    Starts off in a bar with his soldier buddies but when his nephew walks him home he passes out in an alley, wakes up to see someone mysterious by the city’s water treatment plant – who looks similar to the army General – and then wakes up again later in a bed with what could be the General’s symbolic red cloak (only it’s not) and a lot of unexplained blood on his hands.

  • Lila S. Aug 18, 2009 @ 7:50

    After a bit of a break from writing, I figured out that I wasn’t writing because I was just too mentally drained from a day at work to write in the evenings. So I’m switching to writing first thing (after making tea) in the morning, and I think it’s going to work out well. I’ve set my goal at 300 words. This morning I did about 450.

    • Sarah Collins Aug 18, 2009 @ 10:23

      That sounds so serene … sitting with a cup of tea in the early morning. Congrats on a great start!

  • Debora Aug 18, 2009 @ 7:44

    No words, but I watched a two-hour battlewalk following in the footsteps of Kemper’s Brigade during the Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble Charge on day three of the battle of Gettysburg. You’ve got to know the battle really well if you’re going to write a book about it. There is always more to learn!

    And this morning, while walking my dog, I experienced a major breakthrough in understanding how the two sides of my brain interact. This came as a direct result of watching Holly’s latest videos on motivation. Thank you, Holly! Without explaining the nature of the breakthrough (it’s way too personal!), I can tell you what it taught me. I’ve got to hand over the controls to my right brain during the writing of my first draft. I got the bit about communicating with my muse while making my way through HtTS. What I didn’t get is what a stranglehold I keep on my right brain as a matter of daily survival. Minute by minute, for sanity’s sake. I’m not kidding. So the years I’ve spent blocked as a writer all of a sudden make a whole lot of sense. You can’t invite your muse to communicate with you at the same time you keep your right brain locked in a box labeled dangerous. Irrational.

    Fascinating stuff, at least to me. A major breakthrough. My left brain would like to be a lot more organized about the process of writing. Notecards, sentences lite, the whole nine yards, but in order to foster communication with my muse, I’ve got to reverse my normal process. Got to put my left brain in a box labeled dangerous. Irrational!

    Wow.

  • Larkk Aug 18, 2009 @ 7:39

    I was itching to start writing out those plot cards, so I decided to write them out the for the rest of the novel. I started with my narrative summary of the ending and copied each section into a new text document. Then I tried to summarize those sections even more to fit on an index card, which wasn’t always easy, I’m wordy. Now they are all lined up on my cork board, like postcards of the pictures I see in my imagination. Cool! And I can actually start to see where I’m going wrong! Especially little things…I saw right away that my MC couldn’t sleep that night because he was going to have to fall asleep the next day.
    What a blast !
    And I love how I can put the freewriting up on the top screen to fish out what is most useful and to write it out more coherently on the bottom screen.
    So even though I miss writing, I feel like it was a very productive and fun night.
    And I’m getting questions, interesting ones.

  • Cat (from HtTS) Aug 18, 2009 @ 6:53

    721 in my WIP and 1684 in my translation. I am very happy with what I wrote. Got surprised by the fact that my Phoenix is a coward. heheh

  • Dena C. Aug 18, 2009 @ 6:49

    1029 for me yesterday. The heat wave continues, so I was quite happy with my word count yesterday since sitting in front of a computer was the last thing I wanted to do.

  • Leah Aug 18, 2009 @ 6:12

    1345 for the day. Not bad. Cut through “writer’s block”; rather, my unhappy state that hubby’s gone. Regained my equilibrium 🙂 Happy again. And found out why I had such a strange idea for my next scene: my heroine was drugged!!!

  • Laura Aug 18, 2009 @ 6:11

    903 words and a quarrel between a young witch and her cat over a stinking fish, and the first signs that her sister is back in town. I hope I’ll find some time for writing on the ferry tonight, so that I don’t lose my rythm.

    Good luck everyone!

  • Greg Aug 18, 2009 @ 4:11

    A sluggish 531 for me, but also managed to get a second, bigger, story off the ground, on which I did 1083. Are multiple projects allowed?

    • Cat (from HtTS) Aug 18, 2009 @ 5:44

      Why wouldn’t they? Some people are more comfortable doing two projects at the same time. Mind you, I couldn’t do it. I’d get the characters mixed up and mangle the locations. I prefer to write one first draft at a time (doing a revision or a translation parallel doesn’t worry me because I have already told those stories, which means no confusing story-mix for my Muse).
      Good luck with both.

      • Greg Aug 18, 2009 @ 8:05

        Thanks. Life for me at the minute is short-term contracts, followed by some time off to write, which means I’m trying to maximise the writing time before I’m forced back into paid work, when I may have to revise my daily targets to keep myself sane!

  • The Pencil Neck Aug 18, 2009 @ 2:53

    340 words.

    Pretty irritating. I was writing along minding my own business when I get a call at about 11:30 pm from work for a last-second conference call. 🙁 Right in the big middle of my normally scheduled writing time.

    This is a scene that is mostly coming from the first draft but instead of copying and pasting it over (from yWriter to LSB), I’m typing it into LSB and making mods as I go.

    Today, the focus shifted to a couple of thugs and their boss. The thugs are about to go extort some protection money from a poor tailor.

  • Treelight Aug 18, 2009 @ 2:30

    I managed only 198 additional words today, but another scene got remodelled according to the slightly changed backstory.
    This rewriting is harder than I thought, because it takes time to first find the right spots and then the right words.
    On the other hand I love that the little twist in Larasse (one of the characters that got a bit changed last week) is now more visible.

  • Sarah Aug 18, 2009 @ 0:49

    Almost 2000 words today, crazy hornet sting and all. The ex-wife was yanked out of the scene, by whom we know not yet, and two secondary characters showed up with big, goofy, telling grins.

  • Sarah Collins Aug 17, 2009 @ 23:37

    3278 words and … drum roll please … THE END! I even knocked out the first 33 words on my new WIP (novel #2) – what a day! Cover your eyes – I’m doing the happy dance and trust me, NO ONE wants to see that!

    • Danielle Aug 18, 2009 @ 0:29

      Congratulations!!!

      • Sarah Aug 18, 2009 @ 0:48

        Ditto on the congratulations! I read somewhere that Anthony Trollope would write every day from eight (or something) in the morning until five (or something, can’t remember exact times) every day. When he finished a novel, even if there were only 15 minutes in his day left, he started on the next. Sounds kind of like madness to me, but your comment about starting on your next WIP reminded me of that.
        Way to go!

        • Sarah Collins Aug 18, 2009 @ 10:03

          LOL, Sarah (and thanks!). It does sound funny when you’re talking about someone else! Personally, the opening lines for #2 have been SO clear in my head that I just had to get them down. It drove me nuts until they were there!

      • Sarah Collins Aug 18, 2009 @ 10:01

        Thank you, Danielle!

    • KQ Aug 18, 2009 @ 1:25

      Congratulations! I’ve been watching you get so close, and it’s inspiring! Also, major kudos for diving right into another work! I’ve heard that it’s important to start on the next thing very soon. I look forward to watching your word count grow!

      p.s.- did you type ‘The End’ at the bottom? I have fantasies of typing those two words at the end of my first draft!

      • Sarah Collins Aug 18, 2009 @ 10:11

        Thanks, KQ! No, LOL, I didn’t write “the end” at the bottom. I went right back to the first chapter because I knew I had back story in there I didn’t need. I fought so hard to get rid of it when I originally wrote the chapter, but I must have been too green. (This is my first work of – or attempt at – fiction since grade school). It was great to see how much of it had been naturally integrated into the rest of the story and just plain wasn’t needed any more. I bet I deleted over half of it! I turned a lot of it into current info, and the rest stayed – either in chapter one or further down the line. Before I started cutting, I highlighted all of it so I could really SEE it go. I think getting rid of it and finally feeling good about that chapter was better than finishing the book, LOL!

        Even better, though, is my lack of need to pump #2 full of back story. That, probably more than anything, makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something!

    • Treelight Aug 18, 2009 @ 2:26

      What a wonderful big last step to reach the finish-line!
      But why only 33 words for the new one? 😉

      • Sarah Collins Aug 18, 2009 @ 10:15

        Thanks, Treelight! =c) As for the 33 words, it was because I had the opening lines in my head SO clearly. I just couldn’t wait to get them down! As soon as they were there, I went back to take care of that back story in the first chapter (mentioned above). I’m off to a roaring stop, eh? LOL.

    • The Pencil Neck Aug 18, 2009 @ 2:44

      Woot! (with eyes clamped shut)

      • Sarah Collins Aug 18, 2009 @ 10:16

        Thanks, Pencil Neck. You won’t regret the decision to keep your eyes closed, LOL.

    • Laura Aug 18, 2009 @ 6:07

      Congrats! Feels amazing to have a finished novel in your hands, doesn’t it? 🙂

      • Leah Aug 18, 2009 @ 6:10

        Nice! Congrats. Getting to the end (FINALLY) myself.

        • Sarah Collins Aug 18, 2009 @ 10:18

          Yay, Leah! I’m looking forward to celebrating with you again!

      • Sarah Collins Aug 18, 2009 @ 10:17

        Yes, it DOES! Thank you, Laura!

    • Khena Aug 18, 2009 @ 8:03

      Congrats! =)
      You must be so happy!

    • Jessica Aug 18, 2009 @ 8:32

      Way to go Sarah! That’s awesome!

    • Patricia Aug 18, 2009 @ 10:02

      Congratulations! It is a great accomplishment indeed, and I wish you luck on the newest project!

      • Sarah Collins Aug 18, 2009 @ 10:21

        Thank you, Patricia! I figured “starting all over again” on the new one would be tough, but I’m still so excited that it hasn’t hit me yet, LOL. (I guess it pays to be easily amused! *grin*)

        • Jamie D. Aug 18, 2009 @ 12:25

          Many Congrats, Sarah C. I bet that feels spectacular! 🙂

          • Sarah Collins Aug 18, 2009 @ 13:15

            Thanks, Jamie! I’m enjoying it, but starting all over again w/ #2 is a doozy. =c)

        • laurel Aug 18, 2009 @ 13:22

          Inspiring, well done. Which one do you dream about most?

          • Sarah Collins Aug 18, 2009 @ 14:09

            Thank you Laurel!

            WIP #2 is actually a spinoff of WIP #1. More than one reader told me they’d like to see something brewing between two of my supporting characters, so the cool thing is that I don’t have to say goodbye to my favorite couple from #1. I already know them, and in many ways it’s just one big story. Each one stands alone, but as it turns out there will be one very big connection to absolutely delight anyone who read the first book. I love digging in from the new POV!

    • Red_dot Aug 18, 2009 @ 13:14

      Awesome dude! (I’m from Cali) Great news,

    • Lisa R Aug 18, 2009 @ 13:49

      Congrats!!! It is so exciting seeing someone finish!

      • Sarah Collins Aug 18, 2009 @ 14:01

        Thank you, Lisa! The glory is short-lived, LOL. I’m a whopping 200 words into my new WIP with a loooong way to go!

    • Larkk Aug 18, 2009 @ 16:56

      Congrats and awesome job!!! Are you doing something special to celebrate the completion of your first novel? (Besides the happy dance that is!)

      • Sarah Collins Aug 18, 2009 @ 18:04

        Thanks, Larkk!

        I think my biggest reward is starting #2. The new story has been eating at me – particularly in the last couple of weeks and especially since I thought of my subplot over the weekend. Now I face the task of editing #1 and going for submission-quality work and it’s almost intimidating! I’m thrilled with most of it and reading back through has been full of great “wow, did I write that?” moments but I know there are spots to work on. But “I’m finished” quickly turned in to the realization of how much there is left to do, and I’m not telling anyone IRL about it so I can’t even do my happy dance publicly, LOL. It’s all very hush hush around here – go figure! =c)

  • Patricia Aug 17, 2009 @ 23:29

    725 words tonight. I’m happy. 🙂 Though I would be happier if I actually payed attention to my poor body and got some sleep. 😀

  • KQ Aug 17, 2009 @ 23:25

    1213. I’ve been having a hard time lately motivating myself to write the words. I think the problem may be that I’m getting nearer the end, and so have a really good idea how it will end. I just keep on keepin’ on, though.

    • Sarah Collins Aug 17, 2009 @ 23:41

      I seem to have trouble near the big scenes, which just kills me because those are the ones I can see so clearly! Maybe it’s performance anxiety on my part, LOL. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you – I hope things are flowing again soon!

  • Brian Cansler Aug 17, 2009 @ 23:20

    358 words, bringing me six words from the first thousand. Got a fun bit done today, and I’m loving my writing style lately. It’s really flowing within me.

    I’m going to try and write a bit more tonight and finish this scene.

  • Maggie Aug 17, 2009 @ 23:10

    Not so great. Words were flowing last night, but now I realize that even though I love those words, that’s not where the story really wants to go. I’ll have to rethink this (or have my muse do that part while I wait for the ink to hit paper).

  • Jim Mitchel Aug 17, 2009 @ 22:48

    I started chapter 8 today.

    Slow going so far. I found myself veering off into how sorcerers and clerics interact differently with magic. I was not really prepared to go in that direction. I have some ideas, but I’ll need to figure out the exact differences between a sorcerer, and a cleric.

    Not a lot of success today, but at least I got the chapter moving.

    Word count for today: 242

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