Friday … The Rabbi Slept Late?

From the title of a series of murder mysteries I loved when I was a kid.

So anyway. I’m off. You’re writing.

How’s it going?

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

45 comments… add one
  • Amy Sep 20, 2009 @ 11:15

    I’m new here, and this just really caught my eye. I’ve been attempting to write for over a year now, but i find that each time i try to focus on a project i want to work on, my mind is overloaded with ideas that i just can’t fit into the current project, and i end up starting something new, and forget about all other projects. I suppose i’m wondering if there’s a way to maybe stop this from happening…because i’d really like to continue working on the project i have going.

    I also find that i can’t always write chapter by chapter. I find that sometimes i start with chapter 3 and then skip to chapter 15 (or what i think is chapter 15) instead of writing consecutive chapters. Is this normal for some writers?

    This weekend has been fairly busy for me, but i did manage to write 300 words yesterday. Today is still up in the air and we’ll see what i get around to doing (after a nice b-day celebration for my mom).

    • The Pencil Neck Sep 21, 2009 @ 11:44

      Some people write sequentially through their book and some people skip around and write scene’s non-sequentially. Some people concentrate on writing chapters and some people write scenes. Some people have everything planned out, some people have some things planned out but not everything, and some people have nothing planned out and just wing it.

      So, yeah. There are lots of people who write like you write.

  • Kait Nolan Sep 19, 2009 @ 22:41

    321 on the novella today. Not a lot, but I spent the day luxuriating and reading.

  • SCBrazil Sep 19, 2009 @ 18:46

    My brain switches off on weekends.
    Zero words. See you on Monday.

  • Lisa R Sep 19, 2009 @ 18:14

    0 words. I took the day off to travel 4 hours one way to watch my oldest’s football game. I had a ton of fun, but we didn’t get home until 2 in the morning. I am dragging!

  • Eileen Sep 19, 2009 @ 15:22

    I have been working on my first novel for a few months now.
    I reached a place where I began to question everything about it.
    It is written in third person, and I am now considering writing it in first person. I am also changing the protagonist. Maybe it will be a whole different novel in the end.
    Meanwhile, I am writing short stories. Did one last night, around 800 words. It’s been a nice break from the novel.

    • The Pencil Neck Sep 20, 2009 @ 0:32

      I’m working on the first novel that I was able to get a completed first draft on. Prior to that completed first draft, I wrote 20,000 words, started over and wrote 30,000 words, and then started over and wrote 50,000 words. After I let that first draft rest and I came back to it, I realized that it needed to be totally re-written. It was totally flawed. I’d learned so much between the time I started and the time that I finished it that I just couldn’t stand to let it stay the way it is. I ended up changing my MC, totally ditching the entire story line for my original MC and removing that character, totally changing the cultures involved, and really only re-using probably 10,000 or so words from the original 91,000 although several of the scenes remained.

      I could go back now and start from my original starting point from 3 years ago and write that story and it would be a totally different story than the one I”m working on. 🙂 (And I’m considering it because I like that original story idea.)

      From what I’ve been hearing, this isn’t unusual for first time novelists or even novelists who’ve written a few.

      So, welcome aboard!

  • Rabia Sep 19, 2009 @ 14:53

    No words for me. I took last evening off to read and enjoyed every minute of it.

  • Beverly Sep 19, 2009 @ 14:30

    1,553 words. Life does not go as planned. Writing does not go as planned. Geeze imagine that! 🙂
    My semi-fluff bunny story took a Clive Barker turn. I still sitting here with empty index cards trying to figure out what I’m going to do.

  • HannaBelle Sep 19, 2009 @ 14:28

    No words again yesterday. Maybe more today. I am anxious to work out the rest of the gossiping neighbors scene. I hope it will pan out to be able to give the backstory easily, complete with alternate theories and judgmental opinions.

  • Cat (from HtTS) Sep 19, 2009 @ 14:14

    no words but the long delayed birthday party for my youngest was a big success. Everybody is in bed now, hopefully sleeping and I am closing down my PC to work my way through a Mount Everest of clothes that need to be folded, sorted and put away. 🙁

    • Beverly Sep 19, 2009 @ 14:31

      If the words would hang around like the laundry lurks for me I would be a very happy camper.

  • Jim Mitchel Sep 19, 2009 @ 11:14

    Chapter 10 continues.

    The devilish creature tells our kidnapped king about some forgotten history. And then continues to praise, and even admits to admiring, the king because of all the slaughter and death caused under his reign.

    Word count: 528

  • bailish Sep 19, 2009 @ 10:33

    I wrote my 250 this evening by describing my FMC’s condo. She’s an interior designer so I needed to get it well-planned. Then I did the same for my MMC (she decorated his place, too).

  • Mark Sep 19, 2009 @ 10:07

    4500+ words today. I finished a chapter, started a new one, introduced a new character that at this point reminds me of David Tennant, and got to write my main character throwing a fit.

    Also, I struggled with an ungodly amount of exposition, but hopefully I can do something about that when it’s time for the second draft.

  • Minze Sep 19, 2009 @ 9:39

    No words today, or yesterday, but I made some progress and got a few scenes plotted out. It was a pain in the neck. To get at those scenes, I had to know where and when the book is set, and to find that out, I had to change the book’s genre. I’m still not sure if I’ve made the right decision, or if I’ve made any decision at all and didn’t just confuse things still more… but I’ve got my new scenes, and on Monday I’m going to start writing them.

  • cjeffery Sep 19, 2009 @ 9:30

    600! Wow! I just sat down and the words flew.

  • June Sep 19, 2009 @ 8:17

    No words, but I realized that I didn’t have a strong enough sense of the landscape where all this is taking place. I know in a vague way what I want — jungle with plateaus and such. But, it wasn’t clear enough for me to figure out things like ‘how would you fight a battle here’. So, I spent the day looking at pictures and remembering the few times and places I experienced mountain jungles. So a day of getting this straight in my mind. I still call it work.

    –June

  • Khena Sep 19, 2009 @ 8:05

    1300 ish words for me. I was shooting for 1500 hundred, but my eyes were just too tired so I gave up. All I wanted to do yesterday was sleep, my eyes were just driving me crazy! I really hope it’s not something I have to look forward to today.

    My characters had a really crappy day yesterday, too. Poor Nathalan’s not much of a horseman, so when his horse got spooked and they decided to let the horses run, he broke his nose and cracked or broke one of his ribs when it reared and he fell off. Then the patrol of guards who was stalking them caught them and hauled them before their commander, who is ‘questioning’ them.

    They might escape today, or maybe the next day. Not sure how much I want to terrorize them yet … =>

  • Debora Sep 19, 2009 @ 7:25

    I have an unexpected day off, and my husband and I are going to drive to the beach, which is something we have been meaning to do all summer. But the summer got away from us!

    There are two places in the world where I feel the most at peace. One is at the beach, within sight and sound of the ocean, and the other is just about anywhere on the Gettysburg battlefield. I am still trying to figure out how a landscape that played host to such horror now feels like a holy place to me. The three-day battle resulted in 51,000 casualties (dead, wounded, captured, or missing). Just imagine! Walt Whitman wrote “the real war will never get in the books,” but that is exactly what I am trying to do in my WIP, as best I can across the centuries. From battlefield to sacred ground, and everything in between.

    Referring back to the chapter I’ve been reluctant to leave, I realize my muse pitched me two ideas/possible recurring motifs I dutifully plugged into yWriter but did not expand upon. Want to explore both, if just in a stand-alone paragraph and not a full scene, before I move on.

    Looking forward to a soul-healing day at the beach.

    • Holly Lisle Sep 21, 2009 @ 11:28

      Fascinating post. Hope the beach gives you some serenity.

  • Teri Sep 19, 2009 @ 6:40

    I got 324 words today.

    Taskh finally managed to sneak away from Bernvalt and is looking for his contact so he can get a message to his boss about what the rebels are doing.

  • Ieva Sep 19, 2009 @ 6:23

    I was a bad, bad girl and worked on a short story instead of my novel. (Did ~500 words and need to do more, argh.)
    Now, Vega is calling. I know why I’ve been slacking, it’s one of those moments that I can barely *read*, where the protagonist is making a terrible, terrible mistake. If there was any way to read with my eyes shut, that’s what I would be doing.

    Come to think of it, technically, I can *write* with my eyes shut. If it gets too scary and sad, I might just do it. 😉

  • Helen David Sep 19, 2009 @ 5:55

    Editing a first draft. Decided to scrap over 3/4 of my prologue because there was way too much meaningless dialogue.

  • Greg Sep 19, 2009 @ 4:19

    D&D: 618 and a trapped child.
    OFL: 1065 and a teenager being led astray, hinting at his downfall.
    RFW:1009 and a father-son chat developing character and facilitating a decision that shapes the rest of the story.

  • Julian Adorney Sep 19, 2009 @ 3:58

    No words tonight. Long story.

    • Holly Lisle Sep 21, 2009 @ 11:27

      But a short post. 😀

      • Julian Adorney Sep 21, 2009 @ 15:36

        Well if I didn’t have the time/energy to write (long story simplified), I couldn’t very well justify a long post now could I? 😀

  • Treelight Sep 19, 2009 @ 3:10

    A friend decided rather spontanous to visit me over the weekend. That’s fine, for I’m sure I would not write much more without him here.
    After all he usually falls asleep before me … and that left me the time to write 401 new words.
    Honestly, I should have written more and my visitor is no excuse that I didn’t.
    Problem was, I did not know anymore what to do with Larasse in that scene. In the end I settled on a bit of backstory that might be useful one day.

    • Holly Lisle Sep 21, 2009 @ 11:26

      You got words on a day when you could have given yourself an excuse not to. You’re ahead of the game. Congrats.

  • Joyce Sep 19, 2009 @ 2:59

    1037 words. Half are for my upcoming blog column. I cut some of the planned material for it before it turned into a small novel. It also gives me some more breathing room in the tight schedule I’ve set for myself.

    The other half are Sentences Lite for House of Cats. I’ve got the first three episodes worked out and so far things feel really solid. I am keeping an eye out for passive behavior from my fMC, which is one of my big weak points. I’m getting some nice twisty conflicts showing up though. I love talking animal stories and my muse is bringing out all her best toys for me.

  • Caitlin Sep 19, 2009 @ 2:27

    Shiny new page one…

    764 words.

    I am happy with the content of the first scene. I thought about it a great deal and could not seem to strike the right balance between staging the characters and the conflict and giving enough background as to orient the reader. I think I found it. At least the one I am happy with for this draft.

    A lot of the middle is written, I just had not gotten around to writing the first scene in this draft. It is one of the reasons why I decided to join in on this project. It’ll keep me focused on producing a complete draft.

  • The Pencil Neck Sep 19, 2009 @ 2:09

    250 words.

    Ah, this week is almost over. Tonight I was a bit short of time because we had a rehearsal dinner for a friend’s wedding. Afterwards, I was able to plot out my ending. I have about 5-6 scenes from earlier in the story that I could write but I think everything feels complete without them. Although, I’m going to end up short on words, I think I’ll be able to find quite a few words in my revision. A lot of this was written really tight.

    The Mage, wounded after the fight with The Thief, collects his breath and questions The Sheriff’s motivations… because it was revealed in the fight that The Thief may be The Sheriff’s son. The Mage decides to let the Sheriff live at least until the end of the Ritual he’s trying to finish.

  • Adam Sep 19, 2009 @ 1:43

    did more of ch 14. not as many as the past couple of nights, but still moved a scene forward. also did alot of tweaking on my outline to drop a subplot to cut some words from the overall volume. hopefully this will let me stay in the 120-110k words when all said and done.

    750 words

  • esj Sep 18, 2009 @ 23:38

    551. Of course, I realized this morning everything I’d written for the past two days was back story. Normally I’m pretty good at pulling together a plot line for a short (i.e. under 20,000 word) story or so my conceit says but this story is difficult.

    You see, this is one of a small number of very personal stories I’ve written. I have a friend with MS. She also has COPD and is starting to suffer serious secondary problems to the point where she is having conversations with hospice. The one I’m working on now “sight unseen” is marking the death of one of her daughters. A few years ago, one of her daughters committed suicide and every year I spend time with her on the phone listening to her mourn the passage of that daughter because for her it made no sense. The only reason it made sense to me is because I live with the same darkness as her daughter and I knew enough to call for help when it happened to me.

    So as you can imagine, this is a difficult story on many levels. I’m giving myself some distance from the topic by making it in a science-fiction context but no matter how I write it, I need to write it and I’m going to do it, 250 words at a time.

    • Debora Sep 19, 2009 @ 7:02

      Ouch.

    • Holly Lisle Sep 21, 2009 @ 11:25

      Hugs. Personal stories are tough. They’re also worth getting through (personal experience speaking.) You’ll come out the other end with some closure. Hang in.

      • esj Sep 21, 2009 @ 14:07

        I’m sure of it. I don’t know if others experience this but when I get close to something it feels like the truth, I cry. This is not something most men do very often but, it’s just wells up and says “this is the piece you’re supposed to write.” I was thinking about posting a very short (three sentence) story fragment illustrating what I mean but comment probably wouldn’t mean anything out of context.

  • Tori Sep 18, 2009 @ 23:08

    When I went over my plot cards it hit me that I had the wrong scene planned to go next…and so I just sat down and asked myself what happened next. And the words flew. But, um, again…not very many. I wrote for ten minutes and ended with a page and a half more to add to my Secret Project.

    numer of words: 301. At least it was more than yesterday.

    Holly- Should I be worried my first two scenes have been around two pages long each? Am I leaving too much out? Or do I just write really tightly? Or should I just continue writing and not worry at all about the scene length?

    • SCBrazil Sep 19, 2009 @ 18:44

      Amongst others, I have had the same doubts.
      I’m a first timer so I’m still figuring out my own process and what works for me.

      My instinct so far has been to forge ahead no matter what. I want to get the whole thing down on paper regardless of how brutish or rough it feels.

      One thing I have discovered is that what works in my head does not necessarily work on paper and vice versa. More and more I’m beginning to look at this first draft as ‘elaborate and very detailed planning.’

      Sorry, this was less of a direct reply to your question and more of a description of how I confront and deal with any and all of my doubts.

    • Holly Lisle Sep 21, 2009 @ 11:23

      In first draft, don’t worry at all.

      When you come back for the revision, you’ll decide whether you have enough in there, or whether more needs to be added.

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