Friday Night and Writing Your Book

So. Today pretty much kicked me across the room. I’m looking at THE WRITING CRAFT: Motivation being about two hours long unless I can figure out some way to cut or compress it without taking out critical info.

I may not be able to. Sheesh.


Fiction. If you’re writing this weekend, how did your day go?

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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.

44 comments… add one
  • ceecee Jul 20, 2009 @ 12:01

    Lost my email to hackers for a couple of days but I was still writing! Finished the first draft of my mystery (wa-hoo!!) which I’m setting aside for two weeks to cool off and let Muse mull over fun stuff to tweak during revisions. Meanwhile, doing pre-planning and my word-count writing on a fantasy.
    Cheers to All!

  • Beckie Jul 19, 2009 @ 23:39

    Sunday Night.

    I got a lot of plot/character business done on my suspense novel. I was excited to see they pushed the contest date back to November–that is a reasonable time frame for me.

    I also edited 1500 words, posted a blog and I might get some word count down tonight, too.

  • Debora Jul 19, 2009 @ 7:19

    657 words. The more I write, the more complicated my first-person narrator becomes, the more devious and flat-out unreliable. I never know quite what she’s going to say, or what direction she’s going to take, but I do know where and with whom, and on what particular day the climactic scene of the book takes place, and I keep myself unerringly pointed in that direction, no matter how many digressions my narrator chooses to take. It’s her voice that is at the heart of this book. Falling in and out of her voice is, for the most part, astonishingly easy for me, probably because I bull-dozed my way through all the classics when I was a child.

    One day at a time.

  • megan Jul 18, 2009 @ 20:40

    As always love reading everyone elses posts! but Waahh, my notebook is officially dead, so who knows how I am going to write? Idont at the moment. Iknow there are outside polaces, but that isnt always convinient. ANyway I will be checking in here to see how you all are going.

  • Don Jul 18, 2009 @ 19:42

    Its Saturday got 811 words in I’m doing action scenes and it slow going they’ll get worked out in rewriting, it’s just getting those first thoughts on paper, I’ll have to look at Dean Koontz “How to write best selling fiction” again, has great stuff on action. I had to bring a character back from the dead and change her up a little, she’ll die just later

    • ceecee Jul 20, 2009 @ 12:04

      Don–I wondered if I was the only one around who still had a copy of Koontz’s book, which is now out of print. I think it’s one of the best writing books I’ve owned and still consult it.

  • Belle Jul 18, 2009 @ 16:49

    Though I am enjoying the research, I find myself missing the writing time. So, today I am not ready to write anymore on Bx so I went to an old short story for some writing time. Today I am re-notecarding the story and doing some writing on it. Will report writing word count later.

    Mikaela — if you did not see my response a few days ago, thanks for the link to the maps website.

  • Dena Jul 18, 2009 @ 14:30

    I have a poem out today…no word count on my stories in longer than I care to admit, but I am mainlining inspiration and kicking in to gear. So glad I found you 🙂 I will be back!


    • Dena C. Jul 18, 2009 @ 18:09

      Another Dena. Welcome.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 19, 2009 @ 23:37

      Welcome. I’m glad you’ve joined us.

  • Stormlyht Jul 18, 2009 @ 14:18

    Just jumping in now, I’ve wanted to do this ever since Holly posted this, and I haven’t because I had an overfull schedule. Since my boss decided I had to choose between work and my partner’s physical therapy, I’ve become unemployed. Time for writing to take off. So, forgot to post yesterday, and I did 1,101 words. Today I’m at 630. Woo!

    • Holly Lisle Jul 19, 2009 @ 23:36

      Congrats on the words, very sorry about the jerk boss, and welcome to this movable feast.

  • Blair Jul 18, 2009 @ 13:33

    I put myself back into the swing of things after a rather long week of work and travel and pumped out 453 words last night.

    A new character has reared his head. Sadly, I fear he’s not long for this world. Heh-heh-heh…

  • Brian Cansler Jul 18, 2009 @ 12:35

    The ideas flew like never before last night, and my evening ended at 4:30a. It was worth every second.

    I took a few minutes today to calculate how many words I got last night, and rang in at about 2,200! And best of all, I’m done with Ch. 7 of HTTS! (Holly, I love ya dearly, but that’s a long lesson! Once I started, though, it was MUCH less intimidating and WAY more fun.)

    I need to ask a question. I’ve realized that, although the ideas of my story are solid, I don’t have enough scenes to make this what I want.

    ———-How do you add more meaty scenes to the story?———–

    Not necessarily candy-bar scenes, just scenes in general? I had this problem with my last WIP, too. Do I just let my Muse play with it? Do I study the conflicts I’ve set up and build them up to be bigger?

    Thanks 🙂

    • JAPartridge Jul 18, 2009 @ 18:23

      I don’t know anything about what you’re working on, of course, so anything I might suggest has a good chance of being irrelevant, but I found that every time I add a significant character (someone who is going to hang around for more than one scene) the relationships and the plot get significantly more complicated.

      If you’re running through your main plot line too quickly, perhaps you need to throw another complication in your main character’s way and more characters can easily mean more problems for your MC..

    • The Pencil Neck Jul 18, 2009 @ 20:32

      First, I’d make sure the story wasn’t just the right size. Maybe not the size I wanted but a lean, fighting machine of a story. If it is, I’d be tempted to just leave it as is.

      But if the story felt incomplete to me, I’d do it all. And then add some more.

      I would look for more conflicts, more obstacles to place in the MC’s path, results of the MC’s actions that the MC (and you) didn’t expect, etc. I’d look for things my MC didn’t want to do and sacrifices my MC didn’t want to make and then I’d try to find ways to present those choices. I’d look at my opposition. Can the opposition work harder? Can they start smaller and go longer? Can there be levels of opposition? I would look at my “helping” characters and see which ones would be the least likely to betray my character, then I’d try to find a way to force them to do so.

      But, that’s just me and what I think I’d do.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 19, 2009 @ 23:35

      Yeah. 7 is a big, big lesson. Considered doing it as two, realized you need to have all that stuff at once (but you don’t have to do it all in one day, or one week), and let it stand.

      You add more meaty scenes by finding more conflict. Look at your characters, and if you’ve already figured out what’s going wrong in their personal lives, start digging into their work lives, their pasts, their dreams and needs, their hopes. Look at friends who don’t want them to change, and enemies who want them to change in wrong ways. Look for family members who object to what they’re doing, look for ex-lovers, ex-friends…

      And always ask yourself, “What is going on between these two people that I have not yet seen?”

  • Scarlett Jul 18, 2009 @ 12:15

    No writing Friday as I had to accompany a school trip. Not sure now how it’s all going to go as the school holidays start and I will have less time. Will just have to see. If you have small children how do you cope in the holidays? Do you manage to write or just give up? Any helpful hints welcome!

    • Khena Jul 18, 2009 @ 13:18

      I have small children, but I think my children are smaller than yours since yours are going to school. I do most of my writing after my kids go to bed. I take an hour or two while they are sleeping. I also try to keep a small notebook with me to take notes or write a little of they are very occupied at the park or something. Just getting a few sentances here and there when you have a moment can help out a lot when you have a real quiet moment to write.

    • Sarah Collins Jul 18, 2009 @ 14:40

      I have five children – ages 11, 8, 6, 3, and 1 – and I homeschool them. THEY NEVER GO AWAY! LOL. I give myself “office hours” – until 10am, from 3-5pm, and after 8pm – and I’ve perfected “The Look” to ensure that the kids respect my time. In turn, I stop working when I say I’ll stop working and immediately spend promised time with them. We had a bumpy “figuring out” period, but as long as I stop when I say I will, they leave me alone for the duration. There’s one exception: I am open for questions during the 3-5pm shift as they finish up worksheets and projects for the day. Education comes first!

      My favorite time to write fiction is at night. During the day I’m usually working for my clients (nonfiction) so it’s a real treat to sink back into the little world I created. =c)

      • Dena Jul 18, 2009 @ 18:03

        My daughter is nine. I’m fortunate that when I have to work in the summer she spends time at my mother’s house during the week. When she’s home, I get up before she does and write. If she’s up I tell her that I want to write and give her a time frame where I don’t want to be disturbed unless it’s an absolute emergency and then I usually tell her that if I have that block of time we’ll do something fun together afterward. When she was really small (before she started school) I got up at 4:30 every morning so I could write undisturbed before I had to get ready for work and get her ready for daycare. I’m a morning person, so getting up that early never bothered me, and I usually went to bed when she did. Basically you just have take what time you can get. You can also look at any dead time you have in schedule too, where you can write even for a few minutes. Small periods of time through out the day will add to your word count.

        • Scarlett Jul 19, 2009 @ 13:49

          thanks for your comments, it’s always great to hear you’re not alone with what you’re trying to do. I think like Dena getting up early will be the answer for me this summer as at least I will be able to guarantee peace and quiet then, although not sure about 4.30 – maybe that’s a bit too early for me!

  • Sarah Collins Jul 18, 2009 @ 12:13

    I took the day off. I hadn’t planned on it, but an impromptu drink with hubby and a funny movie on TV convinced me pretty darn fast!

  • Faith Jul 18, 2009 @ 10:37

    I felt like crap yesterday, and struggled with motivation for multiple things. My husband eventually forced me out of the house, sending me off to the coffee shop with one of my finished (ie. first draft) WIPs saying “it would help me feel better” (which was true!)… so while I didn’t write anything on the new story, I had a relaxing few hours editing 15 or so pages on my previous work.

  • Dawn Jul 18, 2009 @ 8:45

    Was sulking over the cliffhanger and didn’t write yesterday. I feel silly now, because with a few additions to the end of it, no more than 50 words, it strikes me as pretty good. So, no words yesterday but today I wrote 2,221. I’m on my way again. Poor N’tal is dealing with a very sick Mailen and Tsaya, when all he wants is one good excuse to kick them out of the camp. Too bad he can’t find one. 😉

  • Ieva Jul 18, 2009 @ 5:03

    Wow 🙂 Two hours… That’s something!

    I did nothing yesterday.

  • Clare K. R. Miller Jul 18, 2009 @ 1:45

    599 words today. Things are definitely coming together for the MC, though she hasn’t figured out the crux of it all yet. I think next she’s going to do some eavesdropping, despite that being what got her into this mess. She is awfully good at it.

  • Jessica Jul 18, 2009 @ 1:01

    I hit 1000 on the nose! I’m really happy with it, threw in a lot of red herrings and tie-ins for later. Slowly working my way up to the 10K mark. I’ve been improving daily word counts since this started because I’ve been writing something every day. Finally seem to have found a plotting technique that keeps me on track too. Yay!

  • The Pencil Neck Jul 18, 2009 @ 0:58


    The scene kinda went askew on me. And now I’ve got to add in another scene. My MC wasn’t able to escape from the temple the way I expected. And now he’s going to have some extra stress getting away from the Sheriff.

  • Treelight Jul 18, 2009 @ 0:18

    I finally caught up with a scene I had already sketched out roughly before. That gave me a total of 493 words for my fifth writing-day of this week.

    It might be for the best that I’m going on vacation now for a week, because I’m not sure how to continue from where Jeremy and Cathrine are now.
    All the info I wanted to reveal at that point is out now, and I have a rather long pre-written scene to show me where they are heading. But I can’t decide on what or how much should be/happen inbetween.

  • JAPartridge Jul 18, 2009 @ 0:18

    I got a whopping 72 words in today during my lunch break. Not much, I know, but I was able to find an appropriate ending to a transitional scene for which I had difficulty getting the right tone, so those 72 words were kind of important. I’m hoping to finish chapter 3 over the weekend in between guests and a gallon of home-made ice cream. (If all goes well.)

  • Eve Jul 17, 2009 @ 23:55

    I think the scene where Ursus comes down and hears voices is much better now. I still have the problem that given the current dire state of his illness he can’t be too recovered right away. So I’m going to have to write something that will make things better temporarily.
    Anyway, got 841 words today and I’m over the 50,000 mark.

  • Khena Jul 17, 2009 @ 23:52

    I hit 2087 words today. I’m afraid my word count is going to plummet unless I skip the next chapter entirely. I don’t want to write it, but I think it needs to happen. So, I just made up my mind to skip a chapter and work from there. Funny how writing it out made it make sense all of a sudden.

    On a side note, I got all my scene notes into Ywriter. It’s working well for me, I have a word count issue, since I tend to rabidly check it when I have a little lag in writing and Ywriter keeps track for me at the bottom of the screen. It helps keeps my distraction down.

    • Suzanne Jul 18, 2009 @ 11:27

      So glad yWriter is working for you. Sounds like you are being very productive.

  • Brian Cansler Jul 17, 2009 @ 23:52

    Today was an excellent pre-plotting night that still isn’t over, and I’m thrilled out of my mind.

    Great plot tweaks, and a great backstory for my MC that details why he’s a pyrophobe. My blog has more details. :]

  • Red_dot Jul 17, 2009 @ 23:41

    Spent all day putting in an engineered wood floor. Taught Mrs how to use a miter saw. Woman + power tools = sexy. A little left to do tomorrow.

  • Beckie Jul 17, 2009 @ 23:34

    I’ve been mia most of this week since a couple activities I volunteer for happened to be scheduled this week. I did get a rough scene list of my new project done which has the basic beginning, middle and end, so I do feel good about that. I will have time to write this weekend.

  • Nancy Jul 17, 2009 @ 23:26

    1351 for the day. I wanted to get a little bit more, but time just ran out on me. Maybe I’ll get a few words tomorrow, although weekends are hard, what with family things and so on.

    At least today was fun. The MC thinks she’s killed the second tier villain. Little does she know, he’s not dead. Heh heh heh.

    Hope everyone has a great weekend.

  • Noel Lynne Figart Jul 17, 2009 @ 22:52


    I was having fun, but did stop before I finished the scene. Kind of a yeast starter thing.

    Trying to figure out how NOT to turn this into the boy meets girl, girl hates boy, boy wins girl through date rape so usual to a romance novel (it’s science fiction rather than romance, but it’s grown-up, so people do have SEX for pity’s sake). It’ll make the female character come across as a pretty icy-hearted, but being icy hearted might be a better example for our next generation of girls.

  • Suzanne Jul 17, 2009 @ 22:45

    Another day of dance camp, another two hours of lovely uninterrupted writing time while waiting for my daughter. This time, though, I drove to a nearby park, sat under a shade tree, and typed away with my little portable computer. I have to admit I’ll be sad to see dance camp come to an end tomorrow. Let’s see, for word count, I’m guessing at least 1200, maybe more toward 1300. Truthfully, I forgot to notice when I really finished the writing.

  • Emily Jul 17, 2009 @ 22:43

    I had a successful bit of editing and planning out my rewrite. Until I found out that PayPal messed up my Think Sideways subscription. It took half an hour out of my writing time!

  • Dena Jul 17, 2009 @ 22:21

    I had intended to take today off from writing, but I took the day off from the day job instead. I wrote 920 words, all done first thing this morning. Spent the rest of the day relaxing with my daughter.

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