Tomorrow, I’m going to hit 90,000 words.

I still have eight unwritten chapters outlined, and I still have one character who is locked inside some deep trouble, and one whose real identity has not yet been discovered, and I’m writing toward the ending that’s already finished so at least that won’t go haywire…

But SHORT AND TIGHT isn’t working out for me right now.

I’m pretty sure I’ll have some things I can cut severely in the revision.

Right now, I just have to make sure I don’t leave out the essentials in the first draft.

Good writing day, where I had a lot of fun (though my main character most definitely did not… Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!).

Now to hit the last items on my list.


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First, the compile error, because for a while, I thought I wasn’t going to have any way to show my wordcount for the day.

There are things you have to remember to do when using Scrivener that must be taken care of the moment you do them. 

Adding a new chapter file, for example, requires that you then go into your COMPILE section of the program and check the box noting that the chapter is to be compiled. Unchecked files are what keep all your background notes, worldbuilding crap, and other stuff that isn’t going to show up in the actual novel from being counted in your word count. Most days, because I’m worldbuilding as I go, I have a fair number of words that DON’T get counted because they aren’t actually part of the story.

If, however, you forget to check the box for something that is to be in the book itself, you lose your daily wordcount from showing up in your nifty little tracker, and while —  when you do suddenly realize that you’ve written a helluva lot of words without moving the bar one bit, and you go in and check the COMPILE box — you have fixed the problem, and the NEXT words you write will show up in the progress tracker (and your manuscript print-out), your daily words to that point will NOT show up in the tracker.

So I had to highlight today’s words from each of two chapters, and then copy the screenshots of today’s INTERREGNUM and MONSTERITY words to figure out when I was done.

1041 new words in INTERREGNUM.

361 new words in MONSTERITY.

Tired of renumbering chapters

Which are named rather than numbered, because I’m tired of renumbering chapters. When I have the thing done in first draft, then I’ll go back and renumber everything.

But I love what I got. I’m finally bringing together two people who met in the very early part of Book 1, because a big secret has finally come out.

Good writing day, in spite of my lapse in checking the right boxes BEFORE I started writing.


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There is no WAY I’m going to be able to wrap this book up in 90,000 words.

But I’m pretty sure I can keep it at around 100,000.

I did the replot last night (words I’m not counting) and today the story flew.

The words of the day are INTERREGNUM and MONSTERITY.

And my MC finds herself in a real “good news, bad news” situation.

I loved the way the book came together today. Sitting down last night and figuring out the primary issues yet to solve in the story, and building the new threads to blend in, gave me a great writing morning.

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Sometimes my job as a writer and my job as a writing-community owner conflict.

Today was one of those days — and it was ugly and infuriating. I lost one very nice member who has been with me for years because that writer’s work was attacked in an fashion by another member.

I’m doing my best to get that member back — I had to make amends to the writer who was attacked because I failed to understand the problem when she brought it to me initially. She chose to be polite about the person attacking her work, and did not name names.

My moderators discovered independently both the attack on the work (which is absolutely forbidden in my site Terms of Use), and the identity of the attacker.

I had to ban the attacker from the forum (temporarily, but probably permanently, because I don’t think the member who left will come back, and I’m not sure the banned member will be able to stay within the TOS).

And this mess was completely avoidable. I have terms of service up on the site. I expect all members to read them. I then expect them to follow them. 

And I expect to never be yanked away from my actual job of writing fiction because someone has decided to treat another member horribly, costing me a student. Possibly two.

For this, I lost a complete day of work.


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Today I just ended up cleaning up what I wrote yesterday — which left be a bit short of words. Except I wasn’t planning on getting any countable words today.

I had to clean up yesterday’s work and build on it today, though so that I could know I was building the last lines for scenes on solid ground.

I accomplished that. And I met the elves, from whom came the title of this post.

Tomorrow, I’m going to have to replot the final scenes and chapters of the book in 30-word lines per scene, to make sure I don’t overrun. 

I still have a lot to accomplish in this book, and only six more chapters in which to do it, and up to 13 scenes in which to do it.

At this point, writing while staying inside the bounds of the planned wordcount (which is what I have to hit in order to also hit my five-book deadline) becomes a lot like writing a sonnet. It’s structured, but it can’t feel structured. It hits specific story beats, but the beats cannot be either predictable or ordinary.

Its… well… a lot of fun. 

Getting it right becomes both an adventure and a game I get to play that is challenging and entertaining and very, very difficult.

So. Today went well. Everything I’ve now written fits with everything else.

Tomorrow I will the three hours (and possibly more) writing three-hundred ninety words (at most), that will give the last six chapters and up to thirteen scenes of the book a compelling momentum, and an exciting, complete ending.

And a few hints toward Book 4.

If I can do that in just three hours, I’ll be thrilled. If not, I’ll carry it over to Friday. Wish me luck.


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I left myself in a good place yesterday to pick up the story today, and it went well. At this point, I’m having to keep reminding myself not to over-build the world… but the characters I met today are going to become some fun points of conflict in the final two books in the series.

Tomorrow, however, I have to shift back into the big core conflict of the entire five-book series, and I’m really looking forward to that.

Also, I had amiable company today — Sheldon — reminding me with occasional pats on the leg that All Work and No Play Means Cats Aren’t Getting Enough Snacks.

Sheldon 2021 06 22 1200


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Today brought a LOT of worldbuilding into the story — and since this is first draft, some of it may come out in the revision (when I read it for the second time, and perhaps see that I got a bit carried away).

But I loved the character interaction between my main character and the very special construction guy who added a new room to her attic. 

And I had a blast giving her little snippets and warnings about some as-yet-unmet employees she’s taking on. She never wanted employees, but one of her bigger problems in this novel (though not even remotely the biggest — lots of people and things trying to kill her is the biggest) has been making enough money to keep herself fed and to keep her inherited business running.

She’s acquired the means now to a very good source of revenue.

And some ENORMOUS liabilities. 

I got to laugh wickedly while writing, to cackle evilly, and in the end, to set into motion a time bomb that I have to set off by book five.

God, I love this job.


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Today I introduced a solution to one problem my MC is facing that is going to be the creator of many more problems.

And made myself laugh a couple of times while I did it, and enjoyed building out the new location that will be the source of these problems.

It was a delightful writing day (and starting in the wee small hours of the morning did not hurt, either). Got my three hours in and a better-than-necessary word-count and it’s only about ten-thirty AM as I write this.

I stopped at the logical stopping point so that I’ll be able to pick back up on Monday and not wonder What the hell am I supposed to do with this?

And I started today’s words out with negative numbers, because I had junk in yesterday’s words that I had to remove. Not a lot.Ohio 3 negative start 2021 06 18 at 8 29 19 AMJust 121.

But as Fridays go, this one was better than usual.

AND now I have fewer than 10,000 words to go to finish the novel. (In theory. The other two ran long, and this one probably will, too — but if I can, I’ll wrap at 90K.)

I’m going to have to rework the ending of the outline to make that work.  THAT I’ll do next Monday

Have a wonderful weekend!


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I’m getting close to the end of the third book.

At the moment, things are going right for my main character… and days like that are fun to write.

However, all the rightness is leading up to things going wrong for my main character in ways she cannot yet even imagine.

I have a grin on my face typing this, because I can imagine… 

And she’s about to take on a whole horde of the most difficult employees in history. 

They are the stuff of legend — and so are their moments of … impossible-ness.

And I get watch them in action while I write them.

I’m so happy.


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It took the whole three hours and change, but I got my words. Met a charming not-even-remotely-human guy who is doing my MC a favor for a pretty decent price, and I’m using him and the work he’s doing for her to bring in my main character’s biggest-ever headache.

She has no clue what’s in store for her. But I do… — but either tomorrow or Friday (still have to rethink the PACT sentences for those two scenes) — she’s going to find her life changing in some incredibly inconvenient ways.

And I am already chuckling an evil chuckle and waiting with anticipation for my next writing session.

Now, though, on to all the other work for the day.


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