DTD — 610 words, and dialogue

Tonight’s words flew. I reset the timer once when I had about 250, and before I could run to the end of the second ten minutes, I had 610 words.

Dialogue will do that to you. My heroine is trying to pry information about her host from her protector/jailer…and he’s reluctant to talk.

Fun writing night.

How about you?

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

96 comments… add one
  • Anambika Jul 17, 2009 @ 19:56

    480 and counting, it’s dialogue and it flows.

  • Cat (from HtTS) Jul 17, 2009 @ 3:37

    I managed 625 words on the WIP and 1.950 on the translation. Not entirely satisfied with what I wrote because when I finished I noticed that the dialog shouldn’t be between her father and the protag but between her and her stepmother. Need to rewrite that in the morning before getting on with it.

  • Debora Jul 15, 2009 @ 19:25

    524 words today. My narrator has gone off on a tangent, but I am honoring her wishes. As long as she keeps talking to me, I am willing to listen!

    • Holly Lisle Jul 15, 2009 @ 23:00

      Absolutely. No telling what you’ll find out if you let her run on.

  • Dena Jul 15, 2009 @ 19:24

    I wrote 1008 words today, and I’m packing it in. I didn’t sleep very well last night, my characters kept me up. 🙂 I left them in the middle of a love scene, so hopefully that will keep them busy enough to let me have some peace. So it will be an early night for me. I’m hoping to hit the 40K mark by the end of the weekend, and am planning to take Friday night off. It should be doable.

    Have a good night everyone. Talk to you all tomorrow.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 15, 2009 @ 22:59

      You sound like me today. Hope you had a good night’s sleep. And nice words.

  • tjwriter Jul 15, 2009 @ 16:41

    I’ve lost the notebook that had the beginning of my rewrite for my story idea in it. That makes me sad, as I liked what I’d been writing. I have a new notebook and I’m slowly accepting the fact I’ll have to start over. Again.

  • Anna Jul 15, 2009 @ 16:04

    Today’s count: 442 and still working… I think. *laughs* I really should keep working. I’m now at 27,619 total and I REALLY wanted to break 30,000 by friday night and the husband comes home and robs me of focus. Overambitious? Man, I hope not.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 15, 2009 @ 22:58

      2500 words is pretty doable in that length of time, depending on how much time you have to put into it.

      Good luck!

  • A. C. Ellis Jul 15, 2009 @ 14:37

    I’m not going to get anything done today on the novel. Just one of those days.

    But I am doing more now that I’m on this site. It really is a motivator.

  • Dawn Jul 15, 2009 @ 14:09

    1,607 words today. I’m thrilled with the scene I wrote first but unhappy with the next one. Oh well, it’s just the first draft… I’m really looking forward to this next scene as it’s the cliffhanger and I haven’t written many cliffhangers. I hope it turns out as intense as I think it will be.

  • Belle Jul 15, 2009 @ 13:59

    I did about 3 hours of research yesterday. Learning about 13th century Italy, some say Renaissance, some say pre-Renaissance. I kind of like the pre-Renaissance version becuase my characters would be more like rebels, doing something new and different that later becomes so popular. The story I am writing is not historical fiction but it was inspired by a 13th century author and one of his characters. I hope to get back to speculative fiction on my next round. Anyone have any ideas on where I can copies of street maps that old without having to buy a real (expensive) one? No word count, just research. Today I plan to start my write up about the characters.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 15, 2009 @ 22:57

      Congrats on the research. No clue on the maps, though. I’m always trying to find maps of old places. It’s rough.

    • Mikaela Jul 16, 2009 @ 1:26

      This is the link to the Perry Castaneda collection, it is avaible on the internet for free. I love this site, sometimes it feel like they have all the maps in the world.

      • Belle Jul 18, 2009 @ 16:36

        Thanks, Mikaela, I love the site.

  • Laura B. Jul 15, 2009 @ 12:16

    Talk about the best laid plans and all . . . . I’ve done much plotting and planning–mostly during a very dry 6-month period of no real writing–the plotting kept me in touch with the story (and I really got into it). But now that I’m writing again, it seems the characters have been waiting for this chance to tell me what’s REALLY happening. For one thing, I had planned for one of my secondary characters (who’s from another place and has abilities that are different from the other people who populate this story) to be an eccentric trickster, with a sub-plot that complicates the main plot. It turns out he wants to be the love interest for the MC. Who knew? And when I think about it, he’s a much more fascinating character that the intended LI, but I never once thought of him in a romantic light; maybe I stereotyped him in mind because of his otherworldliness (am I a fantasy bigot?). He’s not buying it. On top of which–that turn of events will definitely complicate the main plot.

    All of this to say, only about 400 words.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 15, 2009 @ 22:56

      LOL! Yeah, that’s the way it goes. I frequently say that my outline is just the story I’m not going to write. You get in there and everything changes.


  • unxplaindfires Jul 15, 2009 @ 10:57

    I can’t remember the last time I posted… it’s been a long weekend and the start of the week hasn’t been much better (work wise, I do not like my part time job much – considering it was a full time position for two years before this past spring.)

    Saturday = Plotting & Character Development (1895 words)
    Sunday = Scene scared the living hell out of me, it was slow and it was tense and it was quiet and the creature that came out of it, I am convinced it is under my bed. (1080 words)
    Monday = Was called into work (blah) but still managed to get some things thought out, plus a small fun scene. (432 words)
    Tuesday = Full day of work, chock full of fun things like a Corporate Meeting with the CEO yelling about stapler practices and the all important TOT Report and the possible reduction in work force that I am praying for. At lunch I was able to disappear in an empty conference room, read up on my chapters and jump right back in with a thrilling chase! (878 words)
    Also on tuesday the BF and I made a trip to pick up a companion for our 9 month old puppy… still on the fence on whether the new addition will work out, but hopeful. Food aggression is a major negative.
    Wednesday = Getting a mole removed and wondering on whether or not I’ll go see HP6. Might just wait until it is out on video. Was very underwhelmed by the last one. Writing later tonight. Words TBA.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 15, 2009 @ 22:55

      Damn. That’s a good week in a whole lot of ways. Very sorry about the Evil Day Job, though.

      • unxplaindfires Jul 16, 2009 @ 18:36

        Didn’t get a chance to add yesterdays words, because the new pup didn’t work out and we had to re-home him. A little said after seeing him go, so I wrote one of the more emotional scenes detailing a loss in the MC’s past. Felt better after that. 601 words.

  • Suzanne Jul 15, 2009 @ 10:05

    1500 today. Really excited about where this scene is leading me. I keep thinking I’ve got it planned out, but then it surprises me. I love writing like this, where it’s like I can see it happening in my mind, and it’s just a matter of writing down what’s going on rather than forcing the words onto the paper to make the action move along.

  • Mike P. Jul 15, 2009 @ 9:54

    389 words on tuesday. I am now knocking on 13,000 words. This is the most I’ve written for one project since college.

    • Mike P. Jul 15, 2009 @ 10:04

      I just realized I need to step up the speed of my story. The average crime/noir piece is around 245 – 280 pages, in my experience. At the rate I’m going I will be pushing 350+.

      The second draft is going to need a good trimming.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 15, 2009 @ 22:53

      Cheers. And don’t sweat the revision. Not yet, anyway. 😀

  • Erin T Jul 15, 2009 @ 9:26

    793 yesterday. Trying to see the overall design of the story. I think this is YA, and I also think I have two POV characters…wonder now how much grief that’s going to cause!

  • Lacey Savage Jul 15, 2009 @ 9:22

    I had an amazing night last night. I’d been struggling with my project for a while, but I was being stubborn and refused to admit that perhaps this wasn’t the right project for me at this time. Well, last night, I let my muse out to play. Before I knew it, she’d given me an entire story sketch–beginning, middle and end–for a book that scares me half to death. This project is so perfect for me, it’s terrifying. It’s also bigger and more complex than anything I’ve ever attempted.

    So tonight, I’ll be settling in with my How to Think Sideways printouts and working through the brainstorming/plotting process while trying not to throw up. 🙂

    • Nancy Jul 15, 2009 @ 10:57

      Wow! Sory aboutthe first WIP — been there done that. But getting that kick-a** idea, that’s awesome. Good luck on the pre-work and I hope you get to write soon. It sounds like a great project if it affects you that strongly. Enjoy the ride — and don’t forget the psychic dramamine!

    • Holly Lisle Jul 15, 2009 @ 22:52

      Fantastic! I’m so excited for you. I’m looking forward to hearing how this goes.

  • Scarlett Jul 15, 2009 @ 9:18

    Didn’t post yesterday, can’t remember why. Anyway 2488 yesterday and 1183 today. I know I am writing a lot each day but I have only two months to finish my first draft. I am going on a course in September and need to take a completed first draft with me, so fingers crossed I can actually finish in time

  • Rob Jul 15, 2009 @ 9:08

    Joining in late, but I need the encouragement. Got 1135 yesterday morning before work. Getting the words, but feeling like they should be a LOT better than they are. I feel like I’m going to have a first draft I have to throw away completely when it comes to the rewrite. *sigh*

    • Nancy Jul 15, 2009 @ 10:54

      I try hard not to worry about the drek that is my first draft! I’ve had two complete first drafts in which, along about 2/3s of the way in, I changed direction entirely and had to completely (or mostly) rewrite the first 2/3s of each in order to accomodate the change. Both books were MUCH the better for it, and while the rewrite was a bear, I couldn’t have gotten to the much better ending and direction if I hadn’t written the not so great beginning. Sometimes I need to just get stuff down in order to find the real “nut” of the book.

      Good luck and nice wordage anyway!

    • Holly Lisle Jul 15, 2009 @ 22:50

      I frequently think that, only to go back after I’ve let the manuscript cool and be astonished at how much I can save.

      Let yourself suck in first draft. You won’t be as bad as you think.

  • Lisa R Jul 15, 2009 @ 8:59

    585 words last night. It started out slow, but I kept thinking, have fun and don’t edit. At the end, I was starting to have fun. I stopped sooner then I would have liked, but I wanted to start in the middle of a fun scene today. I also did 316 words for my other project.

  • Khena Jul 15, 2009 @ 8:55

    I had a great writing total, 1060 words… but I am disappointed. It was one of those unfortunate days when I knew exactly what I wanted to write for the day, but I wasn’t home and I was barely controlling my boys from going crazy(er). I managed to get a few sentances down at supper, but by the time the kids were in bed, I lost my momentum. So, I had a good word count, but I could have easily doubled it =(

    Oh well, just disappointing.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 15, 2009 @ 22:48

      You got words. On a day when things weren’t going in your favor, you still got words. And a good number of them, too.

      You can always, always look at what you got and think, I could have gotten more. And you’d always be right. But you couldn’t always have gotten better, and your life won’t step out of the way so you can write…nor would you want it to.

  • Shawn Jul 15, 2009 @ 8:43

    I wrote 489 words this morning. Thank you, Holly for setting up this section. I think it might be helpful to feel like I’m going through this with someone else. I often tend to procrastinate when it comes to writing. You know, the old “If I don’t write it, it can’t suck,” trick. My two main characters are going to meet very soon. They have both now lived through some horrific things and experienced near death and a sudden healing. Now I just have to get them out of the town where the main bad guy is so they can try to figure out what’s happening to them and what to do about it.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 15, 2009 @ 22:45

      You’re welcome. Knowing I’m coming in here after I finish my words motivates me, too. I love seeing what everyone else is doing.

      Good luck to your characters on figuring a way out of their mess.

  • Dena Jul 15, 2009 @ 6:37

    1330 words yesterday. I did them on the bus and during my lunch hour. I left things hanging in the middle of a scene so it shouldn’t be too hard to pick up the threads today.

  • The Pencil Neck Jul 15, 2009 @ 6:11

    606 words. And I think that finishes up the revised plot.

    Which means…

    I actually start writing real stuff tomorrow.


  • Laura Jul 15, 2009 @ 5:59

    Just 189 words. Had to go over to my aunt who’s sick, so yeah. But my MC finally overcame the shock, so it’s not like nothing happened at all. I hope to make better progress tonight.

  • Minze Jul 15, 2009 @ 5:17

    336 words, and again things did not play out the way I’d planned them to. It improves the scene, however, so I’ll just tweak my plans a little.

  • Gerhi Janse van Vuuren Jul 15, 2009 @ 5:10

    303 words and very happy about that.

  • DasteRoad Jul 15, 2009 @ 5:06

    Done with the preplotting for the current phase! Now it’s writing time again! *happy dance*
    The walk-on snotty student companion I had introduced in one of the scenes is now coming back and demanding more screen time… who knows what she will bring in the end? I’m curious to find out 🙂
    I’ve also realized that I really need to do some decent worldbuilding: I started this project “borrowing” the background on magic and its social importance from a previous (old) project of mine, figuring I’d tweak it on the go if something was bugging me. But now I really need to clear my mind, and I think your Critical Worldbuilding worksheet will be of help, Holly 🙂

    • Holly Lisle Jul 15, 2009 @ 22:43

      I’m glad. Good luck with the details. And cheers on getting back to writing.

  • Ieva Jul 15, 2009 @ 5:04

    Something about this story bothers me and I can’t tell what. This week reminds me why I dropped writing for two years or so: I am simply not a good person when I’m writing.

    • The Pencil Neck Jul 15, 2009 @ 6:08

      Oh, yeah, sure.

      Like you’re a good person when you’re NOT writing.


      • Ieva Jul 15, 2009 @ 15:28

        *growls and slaps TPN*

        when I’m not writing, I don’t realize I’m, well, who I am.

        (but you made me smile.)

        • laurel Jul 15, 2009 @ 15:35

          Hi to you too Ieva

          If you did know what bothers you about the story what would it be?

          ten minute writing/writhing? (wicked grin)

          I bet one of your characters is happy to tell you what bothers her/him?
          so glad you are here. Allies are great.


          • Holly Lisle Jul 15, 2009 @ 22:42

            Yeah, I second that idea. Ask one of your characters to tell you what the story needs. Set a timer for ten minutes, and write in the character’s voice, and see what pops up.

          • Ieva Jul 16, 2009 @ 6:16

            Actually, I did just that. I sat with my notebook and pen, and wrote, OK, what do I need? And the answer poured right out 🙂 Thanks

  • Rachelle Jul 15, 2009 @ 4:22

    461 words of complete and utter drivel. At least Im improving my typing abilities…

    • Mike P. Jul 15, 2009 @ 9:59

      I’ve felt like that. I have a whole chapter that makes me feel that way. I just press forward and promise to fix it in revisions. I refused to let it bother me and the next day I turned out words that I loved.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 15, 2009 @ 22:40

      The frustration is no fun.

      Not sure what you’re writing, but ask yourself, “What is the absolute worth thing that could happen to my hero right now, right where he is? And what would he do if that happened?”

      See if it helps you focus your story.

      And hang in. Better words will come.

  • Sandra Fowke Jul 15, 2009 @ 3:47

    Wow I plugged out 700 words last night and I don’t know where they came from! One moment I was glaring at what I had written the day before then bam!

    • Holly Lisle Jul 15, 2009 @ 22:39

      That’s a good way to get into the story. I generally read and revise the last three paragraphs of what I wrote the day before. By the time I’m done with word replacements and adding in dialogue, I’m already rolling into new material.

      Very cool that works for you, too.

  • Mikaela Jul 15, 2009 @ 1:46

    Yesterday was fun and I added 600 words. Today will (hopefully), be even better since if everything go as planned I can write the lovely words THE END. Of course now it wont get as planned, but I will at least try finish this draft today.

    • Sari Jul 15, 2009 @ 3:18

      yay exciting. Good luck!

      • The Pencil Neck Jul 15, 2009 @ 6:13

        How’s the kitty?

  • laurel Jul 15, 2009 @ 1:46

    I’m writing scenes as they call to me most strongly, occasionally I feel this way of writing scenes is a bit random and dangerous, other times I feel that a sequence of scenes I’ve not thought of before become connected in nascent insouciant wonderful ways. I’m going to continue writing tonight, so I’m not yet sure how many words for today.

    • Ieva Jul 15, 2009 @ 5:07

      Hi Laurel 🙂 Nice to see you here, too.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 15, 2009 @ 22:37

      I love the point in the story where the connections you didn’t know you’d made suddenly become clear.

      It happens to me with every book and every story, and it’s an incredible feeling.


  • Charlene Teglia Jul 15, 2009 @ 1:07

    Fixed plot, wrote 1K of novella. Nice to write at this pace. It feels sane.

  • Jamie D. Jul 15, 2009 @ 0:53

    Just 264 today, but that’s okay. I started this WIP before I got the Create-a-Plot clinic, and now I want to go back and apply some of those principles to this WIP before I get any further (just 5,809 so far). I know it will make a stronger story. Planning to do that tomorrow.

  • Nicola Jul 15, 2009 @ 0:18

    530 words today. About 500 a day seems to be what I’m averaging. Once upon a time I wouldn’t have been satisfied with that, but maybe that’s why it’s been almost a year since I really wrote anything.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 15, 2009 @ 22:36

      It’s possible to set the bar for yourself so high that you just walk away. I’ve done that on occasion. Why force yourself to fail, when you can just as easily set conditions so you’ll succeed?

      This is something I have to ask myself from time to time, too?

  • KQ Jul 15, 2009 @ 0:15

    2094 to report. Interestingly, some conflict that has been going on between my MC and an importrant other got cleared up, but, to my surprise, there was more going on than I thought! I’ve never finished a novel before, and I’m starting to get to the ending. Great, scary and amazing all in one!

  • Beckie Jul 15, 2009 @ 0:15

    I put 385 words on the new project which right now is called the intrigue since that’s the line I’m looking at with this story. I’ll get back to my futuristic romance soon but decided to move up the Intrigue because I heard there will be an editor pitch in October, so they are apparently looking for new authors. I doubt I’ll have a full ready by October but it will be close to 3/4 done, I think. Day job will have lots of overtime in August which will slow me down.

  • Jim Mitchel Jul 14, 2009 @ 23:40

    I finished chapter five today. Had a lot of fun writing about an ancient battle, and tying it into the book’s current events.

    Word count for today: 771

  • Clare K. R. Miller Jul 14, 2009 @ 23:31

    348 words today. Mostly my MC trying to figure out why the heck that guy lied to her (she’s going to try harder to find out tomorrow, but probably won’t learn the truth until the end). I’m not sure my continuity entirely makes sense there, but eh, I can save that for the rewrite.

  • Treelight Jul 14, 2009 @ 23:30

    382 words today, or should I say this morning? It seems I’m settling on a new time-window for my writing: 4 to 5 o’clock in the morning. But I still count this as tuesday (I’m in Germany, by the way).

    Started a new chapter, which is always fun.
    However, it didn’t quite go yet into the direction I had anticipated. Instead Cathrine got another chance to tell Jeremy her not so good opinion of how he uses his magic. I like those little quarrels between them.

    I agree, writing dialogue makes counting words easier.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 15, 2009 @ 22:33

      I can do 2500 words of dialogue and not even feel it. 2500 words of action/description? That’s work.

      Congrats on the progress.

  • Elise Jul 14, 2009 @ 23:29

    593 words today. I wanted more, but didn’t sleep well last night, so didn’t have the mental energy to write as much as I wanted. Going to get extra sleep tonight and hope for a better day tomorrow.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 15, 2009 @ 0:02

      Sympathies. I’m starting to crash now. Know what you mean.

  • Eve Jul 14, 2009 @ 23:28

    Today, instead of writing the scene that I thought I should be writing-the one that stymied yesterday–I wrote a completely different and much better scene. Giving myself permission to write the scene even if, in the end, I tossed it seemed to be the thing my muse was waiting for. 574 words.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 15, 2009 @ 0:01

      Another HUGE breakthrough moment for me was realizing that if the scene was really sucking…I didn’t have to write it. I could write a different scene. Congrats.

      • Eve Jul 15, 2009 @ 19:30

        Thanks Holly. I think I’m still sometimes too scarcity-minded. I believe that I can put together only so many scene, so many words and then I’ll run out. How silly. It’s amazing what we will believe, even with evidence to the contrary.

  • Jessica Jul 14, 2009 @ 22:48

    402 for the night. Not as tense as I wanted it, not as funny… leaving myself a mental note and a little yellow flag in my notebook. Think my muse got distracted when I paused to snack on some canteloupe slices after dinner. 🙂

    • Nancy Jul 14, 2009 @ 22:51

      LOL! Yeah, cantaloupe will do that. Mine prefers crunchy sticks of cheesy goodness. Anything healthy and she’s driven completely off track.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 15, 2009 @ 0:00

      And that’s why God invented revision…

      • Ieva Jul 15, 2009 @ 4:32

        Noah’s ark as a second draft? 🙂

  • Danielle Meitiv Jul 14, 2009 @ 22:45

    Haven’t been able to write 5 days/week – seems like the day job and the kids conspire too often for that.

    Sigh. HOWEVER, when I do get to write, I’ve been doing around 700+, so it looks like I’m averaging about 1500 a week. Not quite the slow and steady I expected but hey, it’s working for now.

    So, even though I’m on a slightly different trajectory for now, knowing that the 250/day 5 days/week goal is out there helps me make time to write. So far so good!

  • Nancy Jul 14, 2009 @ 22:42

    A respectable 1219 for the day, putting me 33 words away from 12,000. I alternately have great sympathy for my villain and am completely repulsed by him. He’s a delight to write.

    The MC is not as much fun at the moment, she’s still unfurling her wings a bit. Although tomorrow she should have some fun things to do — save a child from drowning (which might actually make more problems for her than solve them) and have a really interesting cat and mouse conversation with the walk-on who wouldn’t leave.

    Happy writing, all!

    • Treelight Jul 14, 2009 @ 23:07

      That sounds like a “good” villain to me! After all, even the bad guys have their reasons and problems.

    • Clare K. R. Miller Jul 14, 2009 @ 23:33

      That sounds great! I can’t deal with villains unless I can get into their heads. In fact, I was really stuck in my current WIP until, oddly, I made the villain female, whereupon I got a flood of information about her.

      Plus… I know I would love reading about a villain who is both sympathetic and loathsome!

  • Lisa Jul 14, 2009 @ 22:40

    Dang, I’m so slow. 305 words, and kind of dragging. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what was going to happen in this scene. I’m excited about this one, but I’m not sure what’s going on yet. I got some good background stuff figured out, though, and the story is starting to take more shape in my mind.

    • Nancy Jul 14, 2009 @ 22:49

      The way I look at this, there is no such thing as slow when it comes to this exercise, Lisa. We all work at the speed that is best for us at that moment in time. Today you have 305 more words than you did yesterday. That’s nothing but a positive. Relax and enjoy the writing. Sounds like you’re doing great!

    • Treelight Jul 14, 2009 @ 23:06

      I think 300 words are a nice step. At last it seems the pace that I’m settling into, and I find that this still keeps the story going quite well.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 14, 2009 @ 23:57

      I don’t feel the least bit guilty when I get 250 words instead of more.

      If I have a day where I only get 50, I won’t feel guilty about that, either. Words add up, and as long as you keep writing them, you’ll get to the end of your book. So cheers on the 305.

  • Sarah Collins Jul 14, 2009 @ 22:30

    I counted 1569 for the day. If I keep this pace up, I’ll be finished with my first draft (and first novel or attempt at writing one, mind you) within a month! This is pure pleasure for me – I love it even when I hate it!

    • Holly Lisle Jul 14, 2009 @ 23:56

      Excellent. I’m so glad you’re finding the fun in this. Nice progress, too.

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