Red-heads are ALWAYS trouble

My spontaneously-generating red-head from a few chapters back walked into my scene tonight, suddenly making perfect sense in the story, and dropped a bombshell.

Actually, she took a deep breath, I glance over at my word counter, and discovered that I’d hit 499 words.

So she’ll drop her bombshell tomorrow night. But in spite of being dog-tired and not EVEN in the mood to write tonight, I got the words, and once I got rolling, they were a hell of a lot of fun.

How ’bout you?

image_pdfDownload as PDFimage_printPrint Page

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

59 comments… add one
  • Michelle Sep 25, 2009 @ 23:12

    308 for me today. This is a long scene, but I love that I can let it roll around in my head all day, then sit down and add just a teeny bit, then let that roll around for another 24 hours….

    Hopefully it won’t turn out all disjointed. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • June Sep 25, 2009 @ 21:19

    Today was busy with life stuff. So, only about 100 words. But, the story is still working. –June

  • Dena C. Sep 25, 2009 @ 21:04

    I’m baaaack…:-) I’ve discovered that since I’ve spent the last two months writing at least five days a week, it’s become a habit. Since wrapping of the first draft of the book I was writing, I’ve spent the past couple of days at loose ends. So while that book is marinating in a drawer waiting for revisions, I have to find something to occupy my mind so I can get some distance from it. And what better way to do that then by starting another book! It’s one that’s been bubbling in the back of my brain for quite a while, so I did some character stuff (these particular characters were secondary characters in another book I wrote so they weren’t strangers to me) and I did a quick outline, and then a more detailed one using the notecard function on Scrivener. I find the plotting gets easier with every book I write, because I know that as I get writing what I had envisioned will most likely change as my characters take over, so I don’t sweat making it perfect. I just want to have a rough idea of the overall story and what scenes are going to be in it, and that seems to work for me. I got a start on the actual writing today and wrote 869 words. So I’ll be writing along with all of you again. Take care everyone.

  • Don Sep 25, 2009 @ 20:39

    Funny I have a red head she winds up on another Planet after driving out Grand Falls VA (Third wife of a State Department big wig) she winds up in a worm hole and poof. She’s not a major, but’s she’s critical leading to the ending, dies in the end too oh well. Did good today 898 words, might be back up to 40 thousand by the end of the week, and finishing by Thanksgiving is looking a little iffy.

  • Clare K. R. Miller Sep 25, 2009 @ 20:22

    Too much driving yesterday! I only got 265 words. At least I got some writing in.

  • Treelight Sep 25, 2009 @ 14:07

    In my new 330 words Larasse has decided it’s time to start the rescue of Cathrine. He magically talked a young boy into helping him, who would not be too happy if he knew there was a magic-user medding with his mind.

  • Rabia Sep 25, 2009 @ 13:52

    A little over 400 words last night. I’ve slowed down to a crawl because my RB is throwing in all this stuff that I never intended, like the Confession and now some kind of Flashback/Out of Body experience. I’m nervous about exploring these new avenues RB is unfolding before me, in case I end up in some kind of swamp, unable to find my way back out. It’s silly for me to be this tentative about my first draft, but the last time I gave RB its head, I ended up with a 90K novel with no ending. ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Sarah Sep 25, 2009 @ 13:14

    I got a little over 1700 on what I think is the most ambitious short story I’ve ever tackled, theme-wise. I don’t want to talk about it to much for fear I’ll talk all the fun out of it. No words on my main WIP, but I got about 500 in it night before last, so- progress!

  • Erin Kendall Sep 25, 2009 @ 12:19

    I haven’t written in about 2 weeks, due to severe stress and being blocked. But I decided last night that I’d write, even if it was a few hundred words.

    I got 1,058! Surprised the heck out of me. And it’s pretty good, too.

    Cheers,
    Erin K.

  • Peggy Sep 25, 2009 @ 11:57

    Well, the net word count for the day was MINUS 112. That said, it was still a successful writing day, because I smoothed out a part of the MC’s emotional arc, and I rearranged the order of a couple of clues.

    It’s all progress, right?

  • Jewel/Pink Ink Sep 25, 2009 @ 11:50

    I love troublemakers in my stories. They always seem to have the most fun.

    663 over the past three days. And I still have a couple of hours of writing to go.

    Have a great weekend!

  • SCBrazil Sep 25, 2009 @ 11:09

    Seven days of no writing. The last three were stressful but I still managed to avoid that which I so wanted do. It was my longest absence since I started doing this.
    I wasn’t happy with today’s 301 but I’m overjoyed I did them and got myself back into my story.

    • Holly Lisle Sep 25, 2009 @ 11:21

      Welcome back. I know I feel better and sleep better if I get my words—even if I don’t get a lot. Guilt has no hold on me when I have written something.

      • SCBrazil Sep 25, 2009 @ 12:39

        Thank you Holly, it’s good to be back.
        You’re right: ‘guilt’ is the operative word. I felt heavy over the last week but couldn’t put my finger on why. Not writing is like getting the tiniest shard of glass in your foot. You can’t see what’s bothering you but certainly feel its annoying presence throughout your day.
        Nothing that a scalpel and a keyboard won’t put right.

  • cjeffery Sep 25, 2009 @ 9:58

    Only 300 or so- lots of interruptions from little monkeys!

  • Amy Sep 25, 2009 @ 9:50

    I haven’t been able to do much writing over the past couple of days, trying to focus more on getting my self a new job. I did have a writer’s group on wednesday, and they liked what i had read to them, saying my story was progressing nicely. That made me feel good, only because i had been wondering that my self.

    If i am able to, i’ll be doing some more writing tonight, but it really depends on how my day goes.

  • Jim Mitchel Sep 25, 2009 @ 9:37

    Wrapped up Chapter 10 today. I read through and edited the entire chapter, to get a better feeling on its direction, because I was feeling a little lost yesterday.

    In the edit I added over 200 words. Then I picked up where I left off yesterday, and added another 200 words.

    Iโ€™m very happy how this chapter turned out.

    Todayโ€™s word count: 400 +
    Yesterdayโ€™s word count: 407

  • Lisa R Sep 25, 2009 @ 8:49

    1510 words. It was a wonderful writing day. My plot outline is going to change a bit, but I like the changes. The pace seems to be going really well and I like the changes. This morning a wonderful scene came to me, but with all my company, I haven’t quite gotten there. I need to get rid of them all:-)

  • Tami Sep 25, 2009 @ 8:33

    This is the part where I say “Thank you for this community, Holly!”

    I’ve been struggling with the mindset (no matter how illogical) that if I can’t sit down and write seriously and make a good dent in what I’m doing, I may as well not write at all. (insert self-flagellation here)

    But! Last night, despite a bad mood, working late, yoga, piano practice, dinner, busted fuses, and a million other trivial pulls on my attention, I wrote. I snatched up my laptop, gave a mighty yelp (which may someday be a roar) and scuttled crab-like into the bedroom to get some writing done.

    250 words, not a single one as painful as I’d been dreading. This word count begins the next installment of Choose, my interactive webserial. My wealthy (and accidentally appropriately red-headed) heroine decides to take control of her current situation, even if that means telling an airship pirate captain that he needs to stop pouting.

    • Holly Lisle Sep 25, 2009 @ 11:19

      And here I do the “Embarrassing Dance of Joy, (Because I Can’t Dance).”

      Congratulations. You’ve discovered the secret.

  • Debora Sep 25, 2009 @ 8:27

    We’ve been living in a terrible limbo for the last three weeks, but it’s finally over. My daughter’s MRI was normal. She does not have MS. I was so frightened for her!

    Even today I find it hard to think about writing. I’ve been working ahead on plot issues, plugging scenes into yWriter along with a historical timeline of events. I am much more comfortable engaging in left-brained activities for the moment. I’m still afraid to think too much about anything, still in a now-unnecessary state of denial.

    Don’t know when I’ll be able to coax my muse out of hiding, but in the meantime I am making good progress with my outlining. Thinking through the events of the first day of the battle, which was a real roller-coaster ride for Gettyburg’s inhabitants. Everything was so chaotic, so unprecedented. Wounded soldiers everywhere, churches and public buildings turned into hospitals. And by the end of the day Confederates would occupy the town, the Union army having been routed back through the streets of town in complete disorder.

    Fun to think about in the abstract, but a terrible ordeal for the beleaguered townspeople.

    • Holly Lisle Sep 25, 2009 @ 11:18

      Oh, Debora, I’m SO GLAD. Congratulations on the good news! And hugs to you both.

    • SCBrazil Sep 25, 2009 @ 12:49

      Am relieved for you Debora. It must have been an awful three weeks. Kind of puts our ‘writer’s angst’ into perspective.

    • Michelle Sep 25, 2009 @ 23:09

      HOORAY. That is excellent news.

    • Debora Sep 26, 2009 @ 7:16

      Thanks to you all. It was an awful three weeks!

  • Jessica Sep 25, 2009 @ 8:07

    Nothing written but I did get a lot of cleaning done and had a long conversation in my head with the muse and main characters. I know what needs to be done, I’m just having trouble actually sitting down and writing it. I keep losing focus. This is frustrating.

    • Adam Sep 25, 2009 @ 9:50

      don’t get angry with yourself, just force yourself to sit down and write for 15 minutes the first day, and keep that up for a week. do ir right before bed, or on your lunch break, whenever you can fit it in. then make it for a longer period, like 30 minutes a day. soon, you’ll be setting aside larger time slots because your mind & body get in a rhythm to write.

    • Holly Lisle Sep 25, 2009 @ 11:17

      Adam’s on the nose with this. Me, I work in ten-minute bites. And if you get any new words at all for the day, you have successfully written.

      ANY new words.

      Think small.

    • Treelight Sep 25, 2009 @ 14:02

      I felt exactly the same way not long ago, and I’m sure I will feel like this again.

      Taking little steps really helped me.
      Try writing for 10 minutes.
      Then, if you’re up to it, write 10 minutes more.
      And perhaps another 10 minutes?

    • Michelle Sep 25, 2009 @ 23:09

      Yes, I third Adam and Holly! I just say to myself…”250 words. That’s it.” It’s so much easier to sit down to that, rather than 1000 words or a scene or a chapter. Couple of paragraphs and you’re done. You can do it, Jessica!!!

  • HannaBelle Sep 25, 2009 @ 7:58

    300 words yesterday. Book math really helps me keep going. I am ahead of my word count goal for the month and passed 10% completion. My writing is getting better. So far, so good.

    • Cat (from HtTS) Sep 25, 2009 @ 9:52

      That sounds good. Keep going. I’ll take the weekend off to make a movie – hihihi

  • Larkk Sep 25, 2009 @ 7:39

    698 words and ended up with dialogue to explain the situation, rather than just telling it. Nick and his sister are always fun together, once they get going.
    274 words of thoughts and ideas about the last scene, which gave me a new way to tie the very last scene in the book to the very first scene. It makes me happy that I was able do that, given the 120k words of questionable quality that lie between them:)

  • Greg Sep 25, 2009 @ 5:52

    D&D: 537
    OFL: 1075
    RFW: 1009

  • Cat (from HtTS) Sep 25, 2009 @ 5:18

    1429 words on my translation and 871 in my WIP. My main character just discovered that one of her comrades in arms is the Calif’s son. She’s quite stunned. She also managed to flee a labyrinth. It was fun to write that (I might add some more anxiety in revision about finding her way). I so love this story.

    Also, I brainstormed some ideas for a video for Holly’s contest. It might be fun…

  • Joyce Sep 25, 2009 @ 3:14

    606 for HoC. Wanted to do more, but I hit the end of the scene and midnight and faded fast. Got to know my supporting character a bit more. He’s figuring out how best to ruin Heather’s life as she knows it and make it impossible for her to stay where she is. And this is her friend. I can’t wait to see what her real enemies will do to her.

  • The Pencil Neck Sep 25, 2009 @ 2:37

    271 words.

    Rough day. I’ve been wiped out from the hours I’ve been working. And I’m kinduva gymrat and after my surgery a few months ago, it’s amazing to me how much strength I’ve lost. So I’ve been pushing my workouts to try to recover my strength faster. That’s been taking it out of me. And I’ve been rehearsing for a show in a couple of weeks and I haven’t really been playing out regularly for a while. So, I’m tired. I only had about 30 minutes to write.

    But… the scene tonight needed to be small and quick. This character was actually killed off earlier but I’m bringing her back into the story. And as such, I needed to write the scene that would end her storyline.

    The girl that the Thief had a crush on wakes up and it’s cold in her room. She wraps her blanket around herself and closes her window and starts to get dressed. She realizes she wouldn’t have left her window open. She looks around the room and sees the ruby necklace that she had admired and asked for at the beginning of the story and its laying on her nightstand. The Thief tried to give her this necklace earlier in the story and she threw it back into his face because she knew it was stolen. The necklace is laying on a receipt.

    • HannaBelle Sep 25, 2009 @ 8:04

      Pencil Neck,
      I know this has come up a few times but it is hard to find the threads on it. I understand you use Liquid Story Binder. Did you ever try Writers Cafe? If so, thoughts on it?
      Hanna Belle

  • T.C. Sep 25, 2009 @ 1:29

    Well,

    You might think that the word count would go up the more “in the mood” you are, or the more you are enjoying it, but that isn’t really true today. Because, all afternoon I struggled and bled and worked and hated and got frustrated, but it produced 4026 words.

    This perhaps needs a bit more explanation, it wasn’t really the writing I was hating, I was hating the fact that I was writing something I had already written but I had lost due to my wonderful and reliable computer, so only about 500 of those word were new, hence the frustrating part. However I think the rewritten version is much better.

    I will need to go back and revise and read this section many time because I am experimenting with a dictation software to enhance my writing speed, I want to see if my thoughts flow the same though, because if I purchase speed at the cost of quality, I’m throwing it out, and though I hate to say it I WILL rewrite all 4000 of those words if I don’t like them.

    Well, I hope others had happier days.

    • HannaBelle Sep 25, 2009 @ 8:01

      Sorry you lost so much work. You will surely get it all rewritten. Was it enough work to justify taking your computer to a repair shop and see if they can recover the lost file?

      Reminds me to run a back up today.

    • Holly Lisle Sep 25, 2009 @ 11:14

      Hugs. Losing work sucks.

      And good luck with the writing software. I’ve considered it, but the way I think and the way I speak run in different channels. My fingers are much more closely connected to my brain than my mouth.

      I don’t EVEN want to consider what that means.

      But I know I wouldn’t be comfortable working that way.

  • Adam Sep 25, 2009 @ 1:23

    Distraction was the name of my night. Son needed help with homework, friend stopped by, dog was going crazy. stayed up late and got my words, and i like the direction that things are heading. moved into a new scene, only two more to finish the chapter.

    did some editing of the first chapter, following some suggestions that i got from a crit group and am starting to get comfortable revising, well, at least know a few things i need to watch for.

    980 words tonight.

    • Holly Lisle Sep 25, 2009 @ 11:12

      Distraction. And you STILL kicked ass. Way to go!

    • Rabia Sep 25, 2009 @ 13:43

      What Holly said. With all that distraction, getting 98 words would’ve been good. 980 is great! Good for you.

  • Ieva Sep 25, 2009 @ 1:23

    600+ words. I wrote all the words I needed for my weekly writegoal and stopped. My muse doesn’t like to overexert herself. Argh. I’ll try to bribe her this morning though.

    Other than that, the ending *seems* to come together.

  • Teri Sep 25, 2009 @ 0:57

    416 words yesterday, which cover the three-day march Taskh makes with the scouts. The rebel army will take about as long again to catch up, so Taskh has that long to contact his employer and set up an ambush for the rebels to walk into.

  • Patricia Sep 25, 2009 @ 0:54

    952 words tonight, and I’m desperately trying to resist the urge to go back to the beginning and rewrite the whole thing, because I realized a major flaw in my story. It’s not realistic. Let me clarify…The entire story sounds like the person who is writing it doesn’t really know the meaning of the word “hardship”. Survival is an abstract term, and since the writer has never really known what it is to be in a life or death struggle, the only thing she knows about it is through books or movies or otherwise third party sources. And it shows in the writing. I don’t want this, I don’t want this at all.

    I need the reader to feel Ryan’s pain, sorrow, the desperation of trying to survive this ordeal, because really it’s a matter of survival. The creatures are too soft, the environment almost gentle. In short, it’s like Ryan is recounting these events as if they happened years in the past. There is no urgency, there is no real pain, and everything feels as if it is some distant memory.

    I need it to be harsh, brutal, because that is the way life is, especially in this world that Ryan is now forced to live in. Can you believe I actually thought his master had some remorse over righteously punishing him for trying to escape? I laugh at myself at how ridiculous this sounds to me now. Ryan is a slave, a mere object to the one who owns him, not a pet or servant, and it seems I keep forgetting that. People don’t usually care if their things break, sometimes a person will try to fix whatever broke, but usually they just toss it and get a new one. Same principle goes for a slave.

    Ryan’s master is not going to care if he dies because the punishment is so harsh. If he does die that will just mean the slave was weak and not worth keeping in the first place. He is definitely not going to ask the healer to take care of the slave until he gets better. It’s just too much trouble that way, and it’s so much easier just to get another one, especially in this society where everything is survival of the fittest.

    How can I make something I have never experienced feel real?

    • Patricia Sep 25, 2009 @ 1:19

      On a happier note I had fun researching wilderness survival skills. ๐Ÿ˜€ Good luck on your words everyone. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Jessica Sep 25, 2009 @ 8:19

        I think you’re on the right track. I’m probably not the best person to say anything on this but I do come across the same problem and this is what I do: visualize.

        Getting real experience, say at rock climbing or camping, is great but some things can’t be easily experienced authentically – like slavery. What I do is research a thing first, then find a dark, quiet place and sit. I play it out like a movie in my head – just a small scene – build up the world, the weather, the buildings, then the people. I give them a simple conflict and imagine how they might react. It’s sort of like meditation. Sometimes it’s only a few minutes, sometimes longer. Most times this works for me – I’m a very visual person.

        I also talk to other people about a subject, find out what their opinions are (in context with their personal background). You have to be careful who you talk to about what though depending on the subject.

        HTH.

    • Holly Lisle Sep 25, 2009 @ 11:12

      You imagine yourself in the same situation, and you pull anything you can from your past into it:

      • things you have felt that were like this;
      • things you almost got hit with that could have been like this;
      • the most powerful emotions you have ever felt that weren’t like this at all, but that you can borrow so that you can give what your character is going through concrete detail.

      To be a writer, you have to be an actor, too. You have to draw from yourself to create every character you write.

      • Patricia Sep 25, 2009 @ 13:26

        Thank you Holly and Jessica, I’ll definitely keep that in mind when I write tonight. I’ll start from where I left off last night as if I have written the entire book the way I wanted it. The middle is as good a place as any to get things right. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Rabia Sep 25, 2009 @ 13:41

      Patricia, I struggle with the same issue. A lot of my characters experience these hard hard things that I have no personal experience with. What I try to do in some of those situations is to extrapolate. I’ve never been frostbitten, but I have been very very cold and I have felt pain. I’ve never been hunted down, but I have been in situations were I have felt emotionally, if not physically, trapped. I’ve never killed anyone, but I have felt fear and I have felt rage, all emotions that might cause a character to kill.

      I also like to get first-person accounts of people who have lived through some of these things. An Everest climbing expedition gone wrong. Being trapped in a totalitarian country. Biographies of historical figures.

      • Patricia Sep 25, 2009 @ 13:51

        That is an interesting idea. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve been reading survival accounts and watching programs like The Colony in order to get at least some secondhand experience. I have also done some research on what exactly happens to a person in such a situation, psychologically anyway, and it was actually while doing this research yesterday that I realized I was downplaying what my character would feel. I have the basics right, now I just need to add my own heart and soul to the mix in order to get life. ๐Ÿ˜€

        • Rabia Sep 25, 2009 @ 14:16

          Sounds like you’re on the right track, though. Don’t be afraid to mine your own past and your own feelings for depth and intensity, even if the experience is painful. It’ll bring your writing to life.

          (This, btw, is easier said than done. I’m still struggling to take my own advice!).

        • The Pencil Neck Sep 25, 2009 @ 14:32

          There’s a book called “Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors” and it’s all about this. It’s all about searching through your life to find similar situations and using them. It also has techniques for getting under the skin of your characters and trying to find that “truth” of the situation, body language, unspoken cues, things like that.

          I really enjoyed that book. The techniques are good.

  • Mark Sep 25, 2009 @ 0:36

    A little over one thousand words last night. All of it was still rewriting material that needed fixing after the plot hole I discovered. Good news is, next time I write, it’ll be new material! It was a hard slog though. The first time I wrote the scene the character that carried most of the exposition was a very forthcoming character, but he no longer exists. This time I had the exposition carried by a character that keeps things close, telling only what is needed. She frustrated me because I had to wring all the vital information out of her.

    Still, by the end of it my MC decided to do something very stupid to gain the approval of his parents. Can’t wait till tonight.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.