DTD— 520 Words. First admission of truth.

Aleksa gets an admission from Ki that something she’d already basically figured out is true.

I’m basically happy with what I got tonight. But mostly, I’m happy I got anything. The past few days, this little bit of writing has been the sum total of my accomplishments. I haven’t tracked down the source of my exhaustion, so I’m going to turn in again.

I apologize for my lack of comments on your posts. I’ll pick up when I get my energy back. In the meantime, I’m cheering you on, and I am still reading posts, though it’s taking me a day or two to get to them.

I’m turning in now.

If you’re playing “Write a book with me” on level two, 500 words is your actual goal for the day, not 520.

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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.

60 comments… add one
  • Patricia Babbitt Jul 30, 2009 @ 20:22

    Just over 500 so far today. There will be more tonight as there is so much that I want to do with this chapter. It’s just so hot and will wait for it to cool. I melt even in air conditioning. Just don’t handle heat very well. So I’m still very engrossed in this story although it’s rough and has some minor holes. But I don’t want to start tinkering with it just yet. I want to just write the book from beginning to end to see where it goes before I start revision.

  • SCBrazil Jul 24, 2009 @ 19:28

    Unexpected visitors yesterday made me miss my session for the first time since I started this game.
    I’ve been here before and usually castigate myself so much I miss another day and then all days from then on.
    I had just found out my MC is blind, which I thought kinda groovy. I will write tonight and forgive myself.

  • Danielle Meitiv Jul 23, 2009 @ 22:16

    OK, I checked out for a while (to go to the Romance Writers of America conference) and came back with a new – and much improved! – project. I’ve since spent the better part of a week on world- and character-building and tonight wrote my first scene in my new WIP: a hard sci-fi novel with romantic elements that focuses on the ocean and global warming (two topics I know well from my day job). It takes place in the present and is NOT post-apocalyptic – I like to believe that we can avert the worst of the catastrophes and that’s what I’m writing about! (No, it’s not Utopian either).

    So – today’s count, not including the background stuff but just the novel itself: 562!

    I’m baaaack! 🙂

  • Don Jul 23, 2009 @ 20:07

    869 words today things are progressing well, still tired close to 19,000 words will reach 20,000 Sat. or Sun. I’ll be a 1/4 of the way done, going to eat and go to bed.

  • Debora Jul 23, 2009 @ 19:16

    Holly, hope you feel better soon! Is this an old pattern of exhaustion, or something new?

    I took a much-needed day off. I went through my overstuffed files, cleaned off my writing table (the dining room table!), spent four hours with an amazing 92 year old, and talked to my pet-sitting “boss.” Plus I made arrangements for health insurance for my daughter in graduate school, although I never did track down my other daughter. Life is complicated. Glad I took a day off.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 23, 2009 @ 23:25

      I’m thinking this is a long time with persistent failure to take time off when I need it catching up with me. 😀

      I have serious workaholic issues.

      • Debora Jul 24, 2009 @ 7:19

        Then you must do whatever it takes to get the rest you need! Easier said than done, I know, because you have created a huge community of writers who are thankful for your energy and insights on a daily basis. But *you* do not have to show up full of energy and insights on a daily basis.

        If you were a character in one of your own books, what course of action would you prescribe for yourself at the moment?

        Maybe a getaway for two on a deserted island somewhere, with no access to the internet?

  • Anna Jul 23, 2009 @ 17:20

    *Whew* Weird week. Major problems with our internet so I haven’t been on, so I’ll sum up. Last Friday I hit a major road block and ended up scrapping a 1500 word segment because… *shrugs* It just wasn’t working. It was touch and go for a while, but I pulled through. *grins* Since then, I’ve written 3,101 words, with today’s total being 807. Yay! Now, if I could just get my characters to behave…

  • Gina Jul 23, 2009 @ 17:08

    I sat down this morning to write my 250 words and lo and behold 1151 words came flowing out of me. I can’t believe it. It was a good day.
    Happy writing all.

  • Stormlyht Jul 23, 2009 @ 15:40

    485 words. Not much, but it finished up part two. I also think I’ve completed my edit on part one which I’m very pleased with, and I’m going to be into part three tomorrow! Whee!

  • Shawn Jul 23, 2009 @ 12:47

    259 words so far today. I’m going to try to write just a little during lunch break. I’m in the midst of the first real place where the 2 MCs get to catch their breath and actually talk to each other.
    Now, where did I put that book about dialog?
    I will finish this novel even if it is slop. In addition to perusing Holly’s wonderful articles, I’ve been listening to Brandon Sanderson’s podcast about writing. Everything I’ve seen says that the first couple of books, maybe the first four or seven are going to suck. So, time to get those out of the way (i.e. learn the craft by practicing) so that I can write the good ones that follow.

    • KQ Jul 24, 2009 @ 0:32

      I’m with you! I am determined to finish this novel! I go through periods of thinking it’s pretty good to periods when I think I’m the absolute worst writer in the world. You’re right, you have to write crap to get to the good stuff!

  • Jessica Jul 23, 2009 @ 12:47

    Only 200 for Wednesday but I’ve also been really tired lately and left the notes for that scene at home (was writing on breaks at work). I have been religiously trying to get words down every day because it’s keeping my muse under control but alert when needed. And as I head into my danger zone for writer’s block (between 12K and 18K) I want to be sure I am doing everything I can to keep it going.

    Did a lot more today but haven’t counted it yet, probably another 400 or so.

  • Julia GD Jul 23, 2009 @ 12:32

    I am learning to write with headache. ‘Cos I am terribly afraid that when it’s gone I’ll forget everything I am thinking about.
    2100 on Wednesday. And a little over 500 after midnight, which I guess count towards Thursday.

  • Dawn K. Jul 23, 2009 @ 12:20

    Good writing day today! 2,217 words and I can’t wait to write N’tal when he discovers Mailen has frozen an entire tent and all the surrounding warriors by mistake. Oops!

    • Dawn K. Jul 23, 2009 @ 14:11

      And Holly, I hope you feel better soon. It’s a real drag to feel tired all the time and a bad sign when it drags on. My mother would tell you to buy a bag of oranges and eat them all but I can’t give that sort of advice as I’ve never managed to follow it myself.

      • Holly Lisle Jul 23, 2009 @ 23:24

        Lots of fresh fruit in the house—and I’m eating it regularly. 😀 Thank you.

        I’ll be all right. I’m blaming this on a long stretch of overwork.

  • Talina Jul 23, 2009 @ 12:18

    142 words last night and it puts me at 1,009 total. Tonight I will finish my outlinging and map out my fictional lake with surrounding town. Afterwards I hope to accomplish at least another 500 word count.
    Happy writing to all and get plenty of rest Holly.
    Talina

  • Danielle Jul 23, 2009 @ 11:21

    Ughh, I know what you mean– it seems like I haven’t been able to write all this week.

    But I finally figured out why, and I solved the problem. I finished the Scene From Hell, which has had me stumped all this time. I didn’t want to skip it, because I knew I would avoid finishing it like the plague. I only wrote a few sentences last night, but I finished That Scene, and I’m happy with what I got. Now I get to go on to the good stuff!

    On another note, it should be interesting to read it, having read through the process of your writing it. Looking forward to reading it! And, for lack of a less geeky way to phrase it, may the Force be with your writing. (You know what I mean. Right?)

  • SCBrazil Jul 23, 2009 @ 11:17

    Years of procrastination; the idea of having an audience finally helped me get going.
    It’s mostly planning, plotting and characterisation so far but I have stuck to and gone beyond the 250 words a day. Everyday.
    Three things have helped me most.
    1. My biggest hurdle is a demanding inner critic so I just keep reminding myself; ‘Don’t get it right, get it written’.
    2. My laptop was stolen so I reverted to pen and paper. The messiness of the page is a sub-conscious visual reminder that this is not a finished book but a draft.
    3. Knowing that hundreds, or perhaps thousands of people are writing with me at that very moment and maybe having the same doubts.
    Thanks Holly and everyone else.

    • Jessica Jul 23, 2009 @ 12:52

      I can relate! Especially after going through 2 laptop crashes – I have all my stories tripple backed up now: hard copy, soft copy original and soft copy on a spare harddrive recovered from the last laptop crash! Oh, and in my personal email because I keep copies of what I send to my crit readers. Definitely learned my lesson! 🙂

      • Khena Jul 23, 2009 @ 13:22

        Gmail has a document function that you can use to save back ups or share documents with people if you choose. It’s a nice feature I use a lot, and thought I would share. =)

  • Scarlett Jul 23, 2009 @ 11:02

    1685 words today whilst the children are next door playing with our neigbours. We are off for a bit now so I wont be posting for a week or so. Good luck everyone else with keeping up the word count and Holly I hope you are feeling better soon. Vitamin B12 supplements can help with energy levels if that’s any use to you

    • Holly Lisle Jul 23, 2009 @ 23:21

      Matt picked some up for me a few days ago. It seems to be helping. I’m hoping to be myself again next week.

      Thank you.

  • Beckie Jul 23, 2009 @ 10:01

    Let’s see. I edited 1500 words and added them(500 at a time) to my Text Novel/Dorchester contest entry. I wrote on my Alphasmart on the suspense, but I left the Alphasmart in the van so will upload tonight(no word count function on the old Alphie.)

    I like to write on my lunch break. I can’t write during slow times because my employer has a scary propriatory rule about anything done while on the clock.

  • Faith Jul 23, 2009 @ 9:32

    My energy has been zapped these past few nights too. All I’ve been able to do is think & plot, and edit old material. I think it’s the weather… it’s been so gloomy here, all I want to do at the end of the day is fall asleep. Still, I’ve armed myself with DOVE chocolate and an hour of “me” time tonight… catch-up is in the works!

    Hope you feel better soon 🙂

  • Rob Jul 23, 2009 @ 9:11

    No words. 🙁 Been spending the past couple days looking at my plot, trying to figure out if there’s something wrong or if it’s the usual self doubt.

    Should come up with some new words again at the next writing session, though.

    • Nancy Jul 23, 2009 @ 10:25

      I’m with you there, Rob. Once I get to the sticky middle, I never know if my conflict is weak or if my general malaise about the work is because my “attention deficit disorder” has struck again. 🙂 Hang in there and keep writing. For me, even if the drek I wrote needs lots of work on the back end, at least it’s finished drek! I can’t revise something I haven’t finished.

      Cheers!

  • Kait Nolan Jul 23, 2009 @ 9:01

    I wound up with 539 for the day, which puts me at my low goal of 1k for the week. I have a work conference starting tomorrow and prep for that today, so I’ve been busier than usual. I’ve been in a sort of “plug up holes” kind of mode the last week. Many became apparent in my last read through and I’ve been doing more expanding as necessary and working on the holes than moving forward just now. But hey, it’s all technically forward progress. It all must be done in the end.

  • Lisa R Jul 23, 2009 @ 8:11

    1131 words! I am very excited. I haven’t done much later due to lack of something and what I had been doing seemed very forced. This writing session flowed very nicely and is much better the middle. I read the article about the middles. I am wondering if I fit into that.

    Holly, I hope you get your energy back soon. I hate it when I have no energy; my thoughts are with you.

  • Khena Jul 23, 2009 @ 8:07

    2270 words yesterday. I finished up a great scene, and an ok scene. I started the big transition scene, and found out that there is a prophesy involved in my story. My MCs found a statue in the Temple, and since they are about to get clues for their quest, I also need to know what the prophesy is. It’s going to be a tough scene to finish. Hopefully I won’t screw it up too badly =/

  • Jennifer VanSchoyck Jul 23, 2009 @ 7:31

    I hit 752 words last night!!

  • Ieva Jul 23, 2009 @ 5:10

    1100+ words, and plodding onwards 🙂 My antagonist came over and for the first time, was trying to do something evil (guess she’s corrupted by the dead already); and my protag didn’t even notice it consciously and brushed her off on subconscious level. Good for her.

  • Minze Jul 23, 2009 @ 4:41

    563 words.

    The last few days I was tired while I was writing (not before). Today I tried to write something that was fun, and thank goodness it woke me up instead of sending me to sleep. I’ve come to suspect it’s a residue of my depression: if something’s wrong, I get tired at once. I could develop this into a Flat-Writing-Detection-Tool for my muse. (“I had to rewrite the whole thing, it had a yawn index of 1.75.”) The difficult bit is deciding if I’m tired because my writing’s boring, or if my writing’s boring because I really am exhausted, or if I’m exhausted but my writing’s OK.

  • Greg Jul 23, 2009 @ 3:20

    622 for me today, and somebody hiding a baby!

    • Dawn K. Jul 23, 2009 @ 9:43

      Hiding a baby? You’ve filled me with questions. My muse really likes the idea, it’s really intriguing.

      • Greg Jul 23, 2009 @ 12:45

        Tough call for her, but she can’t escape with the baby in her arms. She might not escape without him, and if she doesn’t, she has to hope he doesn’t wake and give himself away…

  • The Pencil Neck Jul 23, 2009 @ 3:14

    1133 words.

    My current MC had to tell a woman that her son was dead and try to pump her for information about known associates. Didn’t work. So he’s moved on to talking to the girlfriend and has learned that her father wasn’t aware of the relationship and had forbidden his daughter from associating with the young man. I’m still finishing that scene. I hadn’t really figured out that second scene and I’ve got to add a plot card for it.

    When the girlfriend dies, it’s going to be much more poignant now.

  • Roo Jul 23, 2009 @ 1:49

    Got through the target number. Was trying to complete a section, since my linear head seemed to be working, but — do the people you’ve been waiting for *wait* to arrive until *just* after your brain begins to function in linear mode? Couldn’t they come before?

  • CLNorman Jul 23, 2009 @ 1:39

    350 words and then was called into my day job. It seemed to be flowing a smidge better before I got the call to go in.

  • Jamie D. Jul 23, 2009 @ 1:22

    I took yesterday off, but thought about it the whole time, so should have just sat down and wrote anyways.

    Got 281 new words tonight though, so back on track. I started a new scene, and it’s filling holes and giving me new things to work with. Excellent.

  • Kevin Jackson Jul 23, 2009 @ 0:57

    I did about 250 words of possible paths for the story to take. The MCs has discovered the potential good that magic can do. Next they have to face a real challenge: someone who wants to take advantage of their magic. I was originally picturing an overtly evil type, but now I’m leaning towards a Machiavellian Prince. He cares about the welfare of his people, and he sees the two MCs as tools to be used–and discarded.

    • Danielle Jul 23, 2009 @ 11:26

      Wow, I had never thought of doing an antagonist based on Machiavelli- I like the idea. Hope it works!!

    • Holly Lisle Jul 23, 2009 @ 23:13

      Yipe. Save us all from the man who’s catch-phrase is “for the greater good.”

      Sounds like a thoroughly scary villain—much scarier than some mustache-twirling black-hat.

  • Dana Jul 23, 2009 @ 0:31

    1,123 words, 2YN lesson 24, and over half of 2YN lesson 25. I’m having a much easier time of 2YN since I bought the books.

  • KQ Jul 23, 2009 @ 0:21

    1138, I ‘finished’ the scene that was giving me trouble. It’s not very good, but I am moving forward. Hopefully I’ll feel a little bit more inspired for the next stuff.

  • Larkk Jul 23, 2009 @ 0:15

    Had nothing definite in mind today, only a vague idea of what comes next. (Really should have known about plot cards before I started this!) But was in the mood to do a big wordpile anyway. Thanks for the tip on the [TC]- to come- by the way, I was able to move on and get more words and not get hung up on a detail that I should be able to figure out pretty easily later.
    Been gnawing at a better way to explain how the magic works and came up with a better solution today. It seems so obvious now, I wonder why I didn’t see it right away. Maybe it’s too obvious? I’ll give it a few days to see if it sticks.
    Wordpile = 2125

    Hope your feeling better soon, Holly!

    • Holly Lisle Jul 23, 2009 @ 23:11

      I love [TC]. It saves me from getting bogged down in broad and frequently unnecessary research on first draft, and lets me get into all of THAT on the second go round, when I have a little time to curl up with half a dozen thick books and a carefully planned, specifically targeted tour of just what I MUST know.

      I’m glad you found it helpful.

  • Jim Mitchel Jul 22, 2009 @ 23:36

    Finished the first scene of chapter six, and started the second scene of the chapter.

    Word count for today: 578

  • Clare K. R. Miller Jul 22, 2009 @ 23:33

    629 words today. The MC has brought her boyfriend up to speed (okay, he’s not actually her boyfriend yet) and argued with him… but he’s just gotten some information that will make him see her side.

  • hazel Jul 22, 2009 @ 23:22

    I’m going to join up soon. I’m in the middle of plotting so I’m hoping it wouldn’t take more then a couple weeks to work out a rough first outline.

    But today was a very productive day in terms of pre-writing. I answered a lot of questions, and I brought in new villains to play, but most of all I finally humanized my main character. I was just listening to some music and something about those songs I guess just helped make her real for me (there now on a playlist for easy access). Hopefully this will lead to more plot revelations tomorrow.

    Today’s been a good pre-writing day.

  • Elise Jul 22, 2009 @ 23:16

    I think you do too much, Holly. You could probably use a long vacation.
    Today I took a scene I’d written a few months ago and added it to my WIP. Unfortunately, I’ve already killed off the person who was poisoned in this scene, so I had to choose a new victim and tweak it a lot. Bottom line is only 74 additional words today, but I’m making good progress.

  • Nancy Jul 22, 2009 @ 22:59

    1204 for today. Now I’ve got the MC and the boy in the water, I can’s seem to get them out of it! I may just cut to: and then they were on shore and have done with it. What I really want to cut to is: And then they reached the city. But there’s a bit of stuff that needs to take place between here and there. I just need to make the next scenes fun. Figuring out how to do that may mean ripping up plot cards and replacing them with new ones.

    Which means I need time to sit and think. Probably not going to happen for a few days.

    Happy writing everyone.

    • Dawn K. Jul 23, 2009 @ 9:35

      Oh, I’ve had that happen. Best of luck with it. I wish I could watch and see how you put the fun into those needed scenes. 🙂

      • Nancy Jul 23, 2009 @ 10:17

        LOL! Me too! I suppose “and then a giant grue came down and ate them all” wouldn’t work — although it would be fun! Perhaps I’ll record the process on my camcorder for you — see Nancy sitting on the floor of her living room with bits of damp, chocolate-stained notecards scattered about her, a big turkey baster (labeled “FUN”) with brown goo in it clutched in her hand… should be quite the show!

        • Dawn K. Jul 23, 2009 @ 12:17

          ROFL So that’s how it’s done? I must buy a turkey baster. I’ll ad it to my shopping list under office supplies. 😀

          • Stormlyht Jul 23, 2009 @ 15:43

            Or Christmas list! ROFL, if you make the video, I want to see it too!

  • Sarah Collins Jul 22, 2009 @ 22:46

    209 words for today. This is a difficult scene for me. My fingers normally fly, and tonight they’re getting bored waiting for cues. I’ll sleep on it and try again in the morning. =c)

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