DTD: 626 words, and villains in the penthouse

Okay. So it WAS something I ate, and it clobbered both Matt and me. The kid ate the same thing, and lots of it, and came through unscathed—which I guess is the advantage of being eleven with a cast-iron stomach.

Anyway. I’m feeling much better tonight, and got sucked into the story when I met my second villain. She’s my primary antagonist—and she wasn’t at all as I’d imagined her. She and Derok got to talking, and while he perpetually gives me the creeps, she’s rather charming on the surface. Since I know what she’s like underneath, this exterior charm actually made her scarier to me.

For those of you doing the Intermediate Level of the “Write a book with me” game, I got carried away when they began playing off each other and ran over my planned word limit.

You get to quit at 500 words if you’re so inclined.

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98 responses to “DTD: 626 words, and villains in the penthouse”

  1. Don Avatar

    Didn’t write yeasterday watched part of the best 100 fights in the UFC. Today got to 9406 from 8884 today not the normal production spent part of today rewriting the rough draft nothing major just plotting and dialog.

  2. Kathryn Avatar

    I wrote about 500 words, not a bad first day.

    Glad you’re feeling better.

  3. Cyndi Avatar

    612 words for today.
    It is always hard for me to start writing but when I’m doing it I love it. I call it writer’s anxiety. When I’m not writing I feel anxious because I know I should. When I am writing though I’m terrified. What am I afraid of, rejection? Yes. I am afraid of sucking.

    1. Holly Avatar

      It’s pretty common. If you go in telling yourself that you ARE GOING TO SUCK, because this is first draft and you’re allowed to suck, you expect to suck, and , a lot of that goes away.

  4. Jim Mitchel Avatar

    Still in Chapter 3 of my fantasy novel.

    The MC is having an encounter with his angry younger brother as well as the opportunistic villain.

    The writing went very well today.

    Word Count: 654


    1. Holly Avatar

      Very glad. Congrats on the words and the progress. Sounds like you have a good conflict going.

  5. Dee Avatar

    406 words down today, and working on my Sentence. Hopefully I’ll have it tomorrow.

    1. Holly Avatar

      You’ll get it. I sometimes rewrite mine twenty or thirty different ways before I find something that really clicks.

  6. Nancy Avatar

    Okay, 1580 total for the day. Can’t wait for tomorrow – I left off in an exciting spot. But the migraine that’s been creeping all afternoon is starting to hammer now. Time for an Imitrex and bed.

    Congrats all for a great day!

  7. Danielle Meitiv Avatar
    Danielle Meitiv

    800 words earlier today, a 900-word synopsis for a writing class (which doesn’t count towards the end-goal but still keeps those writing muscles humming!) and another 525 after the kids went to sleep! Woohoo!

    I also added a subplot and a new scene! Thanks for the motivation Holly (and all of you too)!

    1. Holly Avatar

      You’re welcome. And nice words.

  8. Dena Avatar

    I did 1691 words tonight and had a bit of a cry while writing the last few hundred. That’s never happened before, but this book feels different than the others I’ve written before it. Now I’m going to relax and maybe have an early night.

  9. Tori Avatar

    So glad you are feeling better Holly!
    Tonight I will work on my Sentences…or try to bring down the lightening again.

    1. Holly Avatar

      Are you okay? Did you get home all right? I’ve been worried.

  10. megan Avatar

    Well it’s back to the drawing board for me, MC doesnt like the way I have portrayed her, and love interest who may be the antagonist is curled in a fetal ball sucking his thumb. But, reading everyone else’s comments makes me not feel so bad, and that i wll be able to pull the rabbit out.

  11. Sylvielisea Avatar

    Today I wrote 782 words and had a great idea. I figured out how to incorporate popular culture and car obsession into my story, and hopefully how to make the actual time machine thing work out eventually.
    Holly, I can’t believe you motivated me enough to write this much! I was a little discouraged with past endeavors, but now I’m working again.
    Thank you!

    1. Holly Avatar

      Sounds like you have an interesting story going. Congrats on the words.

      And I’m glad you’re enjoying this. I am too.

  12. Carly Avatar

    First of all I just want to say a huge thank you to Holly for finally making me feel like a REAL writer, it’s been a long time since I’ve felt that way. It’s only been three solid days of writing but I’m loving my story, I’m enjoying the emerging secrets and betrayal that I didn’t know were hidden in all these little knooks and crannies of my plot and I am having so much fun it is unbelievable! Glad to hear you are feeling better, my whole family was hit with a nasty stomach bug last week and I managed to get it twice so I have recent experience of feeling really, really awful!

    Finally got to the writing on Sunday after feeling better and completing my University assignment that was due so here’s a brief list of my progress.

    Sunday – Wrote 953 words
    Monday – Wrote a massive 1,822 words
    Tonight – Wrote 565 words and came up with a brand new scene and a new way forward for the next couple of scenes.

    Basically by telling myself that it’s only 250 words a night I am keeping a strong hold on my motivation and finding that once I actually sit down to write I am having the time of my life and writing way over what I expected. I am really enjoying this right now so again, thank you so much for doing this Holly. You are a real star.

    1. Holly Avatar

      You’ve found out the same thing I’ve been remembering. Promising to do something, and then doing it, is such fun and so rewarding that you find yourself wanting to do more.

      Awesome progress.

  13. Kay Avatar

    I have written 612 words so far and counting. And those words are all on the scene i am having such trouble with last week. My MC, Ali, is questioning the thief capture by other soldiers. The thief knows something about the ‘fire sticks’ (explode like bombs but look like fireworks) that were set off near a Military building during practice and had killed a soldier. Looks like I have pretty much got the dialogue going. Yeah! But need to go back later and add what the characters are doing while talking.

    Have been sick myself last Friday and a little on Saturday but am feeling much better. Went to the beach Sat. with family and then a family cook-out later by the pool for 4th of July. Saw Mt. Trashmoore fireworks from Pembroke parking lot.

    Am thinking of another scene for story…must go.

  14. Nancy Avatar

    Work is interfering with my creative life. Suddenly, three new projects landed on my desk and I’ve got meetings the rest of the afternoon. Gotta hate it when that happens. Still, I managed 1338 at lunch on the new WIP. And I’m having fun! My MC is currently running for her life from a psychopathic earth-mage into what I’m calling The Forest of No Return, complete with sentient trees (anyone remember the old Disney’s Babes in Toyland song?). Whee!

  15. Scarlett Avatar

    Tired today after yesterday’s early start and late finish. Re wrote a couple of chapters so not too sure of word count. Tomorrow have a difficult chapter to write – not entirely sure what to do about it as I think my initial plan may not be right now. Maybe sleeping on it will help.

    1. Ed Avatar

      Scarlett, is that you from FM? It’s CreativeFlux from chat over there. I haven’t been in for quite some time, but I do try to follow Holly’s blog regularly. If it is you that I’ve stumbled across, I just thought I’d drop a line saying long time no see.

      Right now, I don’t really have a draft in progress, although I was trying to brainstorm some plot ideas for NaNo earlier this summer. So far, though, I have kind of wasted most of my vacation and haven’t written anything ๐Ÿ™ I’m going on vacation next week with my family, but I’m gonna try to write *something* before I have to go to school in August.

      1. Scarlett Avatar

        Hi Ed no wrong Scarlett sorry! Sleeping on it hasn’t really helped, still don’t know where to go with it. It must be wrong somewhere, it’s just finding the problem…!
        Hope you’re still feeling better Holly

    2. Holly Avatar

      Sleeping on it very well might help. Good luck.

  16. Julie Avatar

    I’m glad you’re feeling better today Holly. ๐Ÿ™‚ And yay for getting carried away in the story – it’s the best feeling! ๐Ÿ˜€

    I worked through the children’s story over lunch today, deleted a chunk that didn’t fit and left some notes for how I want it to go before moving to the next scene. I’m not sure how much I wrote today, but have an overall increase of 250 words so I think it’s heading in the right direction.

    I spent some time on the story this evening and got 455 words of planning out aswell.

    Congrats on the progress everyone. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Holly Avatar

      Delete Days make counting messy. Congrats on the forward motion.

      1. Julie Avatar

        Thanks Holly. ๐Ÿ™‚ Congrats on yours too. I know you’ve been doing it a long time, but it’s still nice to be congratulated sometimes I think!

        1. Holly Avatar

          Yes, it is. ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks.

  17. ValMarie Avatar

    I ended up with 198 words last night. Planned to go for 500 words, but the baby started screaming and I ended up just being grateful I got any words down.

    1. Holly Avatar

      Yep. That’s how I learned to work in fits and starts and pick up where I left off without losing my place. I had two toddlers in diapers at the same time.

      It’s excellent training—and will make life so much easier for you for the rest of your writing career. So cheers on the words. And hang it. It really will get better.

  18. Michelle Avatar

    This is a cool thread, I love this idea. I’ve 6000 words on my novel so far and I’m really hoping this will be the one I finish. Unfortunatly yesterday there was too much going on to get into the story again. Now as I struggle to figure out what important knowledge the ancient tree demon will have for my main character I feel that massive wall start to build it’s self up again. I’m going to need to give my self a serious kick in the pants to get over this.

    1. Holly Avatar

      Hmmm. Maybe try narrowing your focus. Try asking yourself “What is the one thing the ancient tree demon could tell my main character that would totally wreck his world?”

      And then see how it works if that’s what it tells him. Her?

  19. Lisa Avatar

    Over 500 words, and just loving this challenge. Holly, you are awesome. There aren’t many busy professional writers like you who would take the time to bring so many of us amateurs along for the ride! (Note to self: when I am famous published novelist, I too will pay it forward and help newbies…I will I will…or maybe I’ll just refer them to Holly’s site…) ๐Ÿ™‚

    And I’m glad you’re feeling better!

    Anyway, today was kinda boring. MC got in an argument with the governor and now is going to tell him what really happened with the enemy soldier. I want to skip that scene since *I* already know what happened, but I guess it’s important eventually since neither the reader nor the governor knows. Then again, now that I think about it, I’m kind of curious how the MC is going to explain it…I don’t think he’s going to tell the full truth.

    1. Holly Avatar

      Generally, if your gut reaction is to skip a scene, you’re having that reaction for a reason.

      Big Serious Rule here: Only ever write the scenes you desperately want to write. If you don’t want to write it, replot until it turns into something you do want to write.

      And frankly, I’m having as much fun with this as you folks. I love coming in and seeing what everyone has done since I last checked. It’s a blast.

  20. Mike P. Avatar
    Mike P.

    321 this morning and hating every word. Might be 0 after lunch.

    1. Mike P. Avatar
      Mike P.

      247 net today. It has been one of those frustrating days. The scene just doesn’t want to come out.

      1. Holly Avatar

        Sorry. Those are not the fun days.

        I like to think about what I’m going to write the next day as I’m going to sleep. Just sort of put the question into the air, and let my subconscious hammer things out while I sleep.

        It tends to make the next day’s writing flow a lot more smoothly, even if I don’t get direct answers while I’m dreaming or right when I wake up.

  21. Jessica Avatar

    258 for the morning. I normally write at night after work but felt inspired today.

  22. Colleen Avatar

    I took a break to attend a convention (and then recover from it), but came back today to see what word count I had to match today. Holly – I didn’t expect the jump from the high 200’s to over 600, but hey, them’s the rules, right?

    Amazingly, I wrote 789 words before I got to a good scene break today – doing the “write a book with me” exercise forced me to stretch further out on a limb, and I’m proud to say that I delivered. My protagonist survived her meeting with the queen, had it revealed to her that the queen knows *exactly* what she’s about, and met an charming and enigmatic individual she’d just love to know better – if only said individual didn’t literally come from another sphere of exisistance. Just how is she going to handle that? Hmmm….

    Total words for Dawning Sun: 1622.

    1. Holly Avatar

      Congrats. And remember, the rules are all “take ’em or ignore ’em.”

      If they hamper your writing, change levels, or just write something.

  23. Silke Avatar

    My wordcount climbed a staggering 3914 words since the last post, bringing my total on this novel (Nazeron) to 14310 right now.
    Of course, my fellow crit partners dared me to write – and submit – a 30k “short” story, so I’m going to put Nazeron to the side a little while and bash that one out instead. (There’s a deadline… eeek!)
    I actually got started on it this morning, before work (I get up an hour early to get some writing done while everything is quiet) and I think I did about 600 words on that already, but that will factor into the new count, since I’m not done writing for the day. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Holly Avatar

      Wow. Serious progress. NICE.

      Good luck on the deadline. Those can be fun, too.

  24. Danielle Avatar

    Didn’t actually get around to the story last night, but I worked for about three hours on background stuff. Not sure how many words, but I feel like I accomplished something, and that’s good enough for me!

  25. The Pencil Neck Avatar
    The Pencil Neck

    274 words yesterday.

    Yesterday evening, I was out running errands after work and when I came home, my garage door didn’t open. I don’t have a key to my house. I always just leave the garage door unlocked and use my garage door opener. So this was a bad thing. I looked in the kitchen and noticed that the clocks on my oven & microwave weren’t on. I checked the circuit breaker and that was fine. So I went next door, and the power was out at my neighbor’s as well. So I sat outside by the pool with a notebook I have in my car and i worked on the relationships between characters and that made me reconsider everyone’s stories.

    I spent a good hour (of being eaten by mosquitos) before I called a locksmith. I was very happy when the power came back on about an hour later.

    1. The Pencil Neck Avatar
      The Pencil Neck

      Oh, and I’m glad you’re feeling better, Holly!

      1. Holly Avatar

        Thanks. I’m really glad it was just an unfriendly dinner, and not flu, which was where I thought I was heading.

    2. Nancy Avatar

      Sorry about the skeeters, but I’m inpsired by hw wisely you spent your time. Me, stubborn woman that I am, would have spent the hour trying to break into my own house. There’s a lesson here somewhere…

      1. The Pencil Neck Avatar
        The Pencil Neck

        Breaking in is easy. Just break out one of the windows of the garage door, reach in and pull the release cord, and then raise the garage door manually. Then I could have gone in my “normal” way.

        But that would have been messy and dangerous.

        But I did think about it for a second.

    3. Leah Avatar

      @Pencil: My power was out on Monday, too, small world.

      @Nancy: I have done exactly that whilst locked out of my house. Now when I find myself in these types of situations, I quietly repeat to myself, “What you resist, persists.” It helps me with my bouts of severe impatience, and it helps my checkbook since I have a tendency to make entrances when I can’t get through an existing one. Maybe someday I’ll learn the lesson to which you refer.

      1. Nancy Avatar

        LOL! I have this image of you, Leah, using a chain saw to cut a whole in the siding to “make an entrance”. I shall endeavor to use your mantra — sounds like a good one for me!

  26. Nancy Avatar

    All right, I’m back to square one. You know how some ideas are really great — but in the end they just aren’t right for YOU to write? Well, my WIP turned out to be someone’s else’s great book idea instead of mine. Or maybe now isn’t the right time for me to write this particular book. I don’t know. I do know I needed to find a new idea.

    So I spent a few hours with my Sweet Spot Map yesterday, did some free associative mind-mappnig and got smacked upside the head with something that IS totally me. And it’s pretty freaking brilliant too. All from one little word that was niggling around in the back of my head for the last couple of weeks — Crofters. I had no idea (other than the dictionary definition) what the word meant to me, but once I started scribbling bubbles onto a piece of paper, it all poured out, like water from a pitcher.

    So now I’m off and running again, and although I still need to do my pre-plan work, most of it came spilling out in the mind map, so all I really need to do is to transfer it onto the forms and then nail a couple more candy bar scenes. And unlike my previous project, I’m really excited about writing these scenes! That, by the way, was how I knew the previous idea just wasn’t for me. I couldn’t think of one scene I was really excited about writing.

    This is more like it! Thanks Holly! HTTS totally works.

    And yes, this one too is dark and brooding, and full of angst and horror. But I guess that’s just me. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Holly Avatar

      Hi, Nancy. Yeah, I know about those great ideas for other writers that suck for you. I have a few of those tucked away on my hard drive.

      Glad you bailed before it turned into a ball and chain for you. And good luck with the new one. ๐Ÿ˜€

  27. Lisa R Avatar
    Lisa R

    Holly, I am glad you are feeling better. I have been following your site for the last couple of months. I lost my focus on writing when I became sick at the beginning of the year. I had been working on a novel. Since then, I have been playing with short stories and a little journaling. I love this idea of writing everyday, so I thought I would join the fun. Thank you for your encouragement.

    Yesterday, I wrote 1031 words on the ending of a short story I started last month. I am hoping to wrap it up tonight and work on another short story or go back to my novel. Again, thank you for the inspiration.

    1. Holly Avatar

      You’re welcome. And congrats on the good words. ๐Ÿ˜€

  28. Cessena Avatar

    I did about 300 words this morning on the train. (I am too lazy to count them in my notebook, but I’m saying two pages is 300 words.) I really feel like there is a lot of detail, description, and stuff that I want to put in but that I’m not because I’m writing by hand and I am impatient to get through certain bits. I am sure I will re write most of this when I type it in to my google doc.

  29. Mackenzie Avatar

    I accidentally skipped over a very important chapter in my novel with very important stuff in it so I had to go back and rewrite it. ๐Ÿ™

    Anyways, I wrote chapter five last night and I was on a roll. I did NOT want to stop writing, but in the end I needed some sleep so I had to. I got to the part where the MC, in a dream, relives the night when she was five when her sister dissappeared, then she sees one of the characters taking away her sister, and judges the entire scene based on that without thinking that maybe he was saving her. Then, she awoke to see that character and was just about to attack him. That’s where I stopped.

    566 words done in total for Monday! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m slowly getting higher and higher with how many words I write each day and how often a day I write and eventaully I want to start writing 3k a day. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Holly Avatar

      Know what you mean. I’m about to that ‘gotta sleep now’ stage myself.

      Cheers on the words.

      And a comment on 3k a day. Your mileage may vary, but for me, that turned into long hours and fun days interspersed with days that were simply stressful and some that were downright miserable.

      It’s good to know you CAN do it. It’s better to not have to.

  30. Mike P. Avatar
    Mike P.

    I actually put in another 127 words before bed last night. So my total for Monday was over 950 words.

    I figured out that my main character doesn’t do sympathy well. He can empathize, but he isn’t a “sensitive” guy. I’m also finding out he doesn’t talk about himself much. The story is in first person, so it kind of obscures his back-story.

    I’ve got issues to work on, but the accomplishment of moving forward feels good.

    1. Holly Avatar

      Sweet. I love male characters who aren’t sensitive. I can’t stand most of Robert Parker’s female characters (Susan Silverman has gotta go, her and her damn lettuce-leaf-meal-anorectic self). But WOW can he write men. I adore Spenser (my favorite cat of all time was named after him).

      And Lawrence Block’s Matt Scudder—magnificent man.

      So I’m cheering, and hoping for a book I’ll love to read.

  31. Erin T Avatar
    Erin T

    Just over 300 words last night, planning. When I’m in the planning I’m so excited, so thrilled, and so sure that “this” (*which equals whatever I’m working on at the time) is good, great, even brilliant. In the cold, harsh light of day, though, I think my inner critic takes a front role. Thinking about my project when she’s present, I’m quite sure the whole idea should be round-filed. ๐Ÿ™ Any ideas on how to get her to cork it? ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Holly Avatar

      Yeah. Those inner critics can be nightmares. Just keep reminding yourself, “It’s okay to suck writing first draft. The only thing in need from my first draft is enough words to fix.”

      You can do this.

  32. Cora Zane Avatar

    Glad you’re feeling better!

    I wrote 2k yesterday, which is on target for me. (1-2k) The wip is a little over 67k now, and I gotta admit I’m very excited to see the word count “growing”.

  33. Lacey Savage Avatar

    So glad you’re feeling better, Holly! I got hit with some kind of food poisoning last week, too, only it was after I spent nearly $300 for a really fancy dinner. *cringe* Way to ruin a celebration.

    I got almost 1,300 words written last night! It was one of those nights when I really didn’t want to write. By 9:00 PM, I was dead tired, but I hadn’t written anything and really wanted to, so I challenged myself to get 200 words done. When I hit 200, I aimed for 500. At 500, I wanted 750. By 750… well, you get the idea. ๐Ÿ™‚ Next thing I knew, it was 10:15PM and I’d written almost 1,300 words. I went to bed feeling great!

    1. Holly Avatar

      I love when that happens. You give yourself permission to just write a little, and then your Muse realizes it’s having fun, and your words get wings.


  34. Staci Myers Avatar
    Staci Myers

    I can’t count the number of times I’ve sent out the mental casting call & had someone completely different from what I’d imagined show up for auditions and refuse to leave!

    264 words on Bloodsworn yesterday. I’ve found that switching between a couple of projects helps me avoid writer’s block.

    Glad you’re feeling better!

  35. Sari Avatar

    About 450 on actual story tonight. 575 on plotting.

    It’s difficult to write the mental aftermath of killing a person. My MC did it to save an innocents life but in doing so lost her own innocence (what was left of it). She’s going through a rough patch. But she’ll get through. She deals with action a lot better than she deals with reflection.

    Glad to hear you’re feeling better Holly.

    Catch you all tomorrow (Tuesday for me Monday for the rest of you? Time diff is confusing…)

    1. Holly Avatar

      I spent … damn … at least a week not writing after killing off one character in Vengeance of Dragons.

      If it hits you hard enough to affect you in real life, you wrote it right.

  36. Dena Avatar

    1195 words yesterday. I did most of it on the bus and during my lunch. When I got home and added it to Scrivener (it was written long hand) I had about 900 words which wasn’t quiet enough to get me over 20,000 in total, so I wrote some more and now I’m at 20,224 words in total. Woo hoo!!!:-)

  37. Minze Avatar

    952 words. I brainstormed and outlined this scene in great detail last week. Following a strict outline isn’t fun. I’m looking forward to tomorrow, when I’ll be discovering things again as I’m writing them.

    1. Holly Avatar

      Yeah. I don’t follow detailed outlines. They grate on me and leave me feeling constricted. The only thing I could promise an editor who demanded a detailed outline was that the book she got wouldn’t be like it. As soon as I go to the trouble to write one, my mind starts twisting everything in it around and turning it all inside out. (Good for the book, if a bit hard to explain. “No, he was the villain in the outline, but look how much cooler it turns out if you find out he’s undercover, and actually the hero…”)

      Index cards and single sentences for each scene. I never feel like I’m wearing a straight jacket that way.

  38. Gerhi Janse van Vuuren Avatar

    I got 324 words done this morning.

    Brought in a bit of backstory in the scene that gives the main character a secret to hide. Or rather a memory he would rather not dwell upon. Made his adversary fascinated by the same event and hopefully they’ll keep rubbing each other up the wrong way.

    1. Holly Avatar

      Sounds like a promising conflict. Nice way to make a bit of backstory active and immediate.

  39. Ann Avatar

    321 words in for Monday, which puts me at just over 2000 – not alot, but I am loving writing every day. Also did some revision work on novel 1.

  40. Cat (from HtTS) Avatar

    I got 1005 words on my WIP and nearly 2000 of my translation. I am very pleased.

  41. Julia GD Avatar
    Julia GD

    Work was overwhelming today. Had only a couple hours to write. Total 867 words. Sad. Well, tomorrow will be a new day!

  42. Sarah Avatar

    Somehow I wound up with 1385 words. Oh my. It definitely took a twist tonight, however. My MC decided to go visit the ancient Rome equivalent of Chinatown. Should be interesting tomorrow.

    My problem now is that I started writing in the middle of the story. Not just _in medias re_ but literally in the middle of the story. I had this cool scene idea and started writing it. Now I’m almost 9k into the story and I haven’t the slightest idea how this low-level theologian became best friends with the emperor of half the known world. I’m going to have to go back and write a beginning sooner or later, and the idea of it scares me more than lions and tigers and bears put together. ๐Ÿ˜›

    1. Gabriele Avatar

      Which emperor is that? Some of them kept odd company, after all. *grin*

  43. Andrea B. Avatar

    I wanted to participate in this challenge for a while, but a had exams to write. Now I have time an I’m in with a project, that already has 38000 Words. I wrote 1500 Words today.

    1. Holly Avatar

      Welcome. Hope the exams went well. The words certainly did. Congrats.

  44. KQ Avatar

    1931 to report, and moving along.

  45. Ieva Avatar

    1300+ words and something that made me feel sick and edgy all evening. I never could have thought that I’d have such reaction to a scene where nothing bad happens, only a raw spot in heroine’s past is treated kindly and with compassion.

    1. Holly Avatar

      Sounds like you’re getting into some good stuff. When you’re scaring yourself, odds are good your reader will have the same reaction.

  46. Michael Avatar

    Holly, hope it passes quickly!!

    Today was middle girl’s birthday, so we declared a family day/holiday and didn’t do squat. Mondays are like that a lot, actually. My creativity on the story would not be denied, however, and I ended up doing a series of photo-shoots using action figures using my MC and supporting characters from various points in the story. Quite a blast!

    1. Holly Avatar

      Cool. I love the creative things people do to get inside their stories.

  47. Brent B. Avatar
    Brent B.

    Holly, I can’t thank you enough for the inspiration I find here. And thanks to everyone else, too.

    The inspiration I draw from all of you is really helping me to overcome my inner critic. He’s a harsh bastard. Sometimes I labor over the same damn sentence forever trying to perfect it, or I rewrite the same paragraph five or six times. Or worse, I can’t write anything because the dots just aren’t connecting.

    In the past, this would have defeated me. But not this time. The struggles are worth the end result. My opening is getting good, not great yet, but it really is coming together. I changed the way Cricket meets the stranger. The change eliminates random coincidence and now the stranger finds her because of something she does.

    It is so important to just return to the page everyday and work at it. It’s amazing how much clearer the story is growing inside my head. I’m more excited than ever to write all the way to the end.

    633 words today, although I’m not really trying to pace you.

    Now excuse me while I go slap my muse around.

    1. Holly Avatar

      I’m cheering for you. A lot of us end up writing a fair amount of stuff at the beginning that we toss in the revision. It’s the process of finding your story, which you basically do by writing all sorts of things that aren’t the story until you collide with the thing that is.

      Smack your inner critic upside the head, and tell him he can have a field day after you finish the first draft. ๐Ÿ˜€

  48. Kim Avatar

    My first day of writing today! I’m still actually in the planning stages but I’m trying something new and doing a summary outline that will then get fleshed out into a first draft after I get to the end.

    Today, 680 words.

    1. Holly Avatar

      Great start!

  49. Jim Mitchel Avatar

    Hi everyone!

    I’m jumping onboard this writing challenge. I’ve been working on my first novel for a couple of months now. Many thanks to Holly for all your great articles! They helped me a great deal.

    I have already completed the first two chapters, but I took a little break to get a new comic book project going. I’ll be working on the novel and the new comic book project at the same time. Today I started on chapter 3, and wrote 270 words.


    1. Holly Avatar

      Hi, Jim. Welcome. And congrats on the words.

  50. Sarah Collins Avatar

    I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better! I suppose the good ones can find inspiration darn near anywhere, LOL.

    “Jack” is up to 32,039 words with 930 joining the fray today. I’m at an odd point. I need to kill two weeks in the story without actually killing them, and I’m trying to figure out how to do it in a way that moves the action forward. No fillers! A few ideas are lurking, but this is really important so I’m giving them time to fester. I’ve got the first part of the chapter down and I’m sure the rest will come to me overnight, causing me to (AK!) delay the morning writing for those paying jobs. Ah, the joys!

    1. Holly Avatar

      “Two weeks later, Bob and Betty ran into each other again.”

      1. Sarah Collins Avatar

        LOL. Sort of. I need to establish a friendship between two of my characters during the time period, but it’s not something that needs a lot of attention. I just need her reaction to make sense when the secondary conflict comes out after those two weeks. It’s not much of a stretch as-is, but there will be no stretching in my little world. LOL!

        1. DasteRoad Avatar

          If I may intrude in the discussion… when your story moves forward at a very slow pace, a tight description of the relevant events may do the trick. This may work provided that the events are story related (the reader is probably not too interested about unrelated stuff ;)) but rather minor at the same time: of course you don’t want to brush past carelessly a climactic moment. If it’s the dawning of a friendship you’re describing, as an example you could show us that the characters take long walks together, that they discover amazing things they have in common, but we don’t need to know much more, a single sentence can be enough.
          A different way would be to place the characters right away in a situation of tension, even if they don’t know each other very well yet: people who share danger or problems can bond quickly and the reader will be more involved. This is just my two cents though: you know your story and it depends on the effect you want to achieve! ๐Ÿ™‚

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