So Now I’m 49

Okay. This is doable.

I’ll be philosophical about it all later. For now, much birthday-ing yet remains.

How are your words coming along?

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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.

32 comments… add one
  • Lisam Oct 15, 2009 @ 12:59

    Happy Birthday, Holly!

  • May Oct 9, 2009 @ 16:30

    Happy Belated Birthday, Holly!

    Well, no words today, because I made a last-minute decision:

    I am a new student of How To Think Sideways.

    So now, I am determined to learn everything I can from this course. Right after this I am going to have my first lesson (I am SOO excited; I remember your blog when you were writing the course, Holly, and I don’t know why I never got this sooner). I will definitely be trying to improve my story from here on out, so expect me on here more often. πŸ™‚

  • Anthea Oct 9, 2009 @ 16:17

    Happy belated birthday!

  • Minze Oct 9, 2009 @ 16:03

    Happy birthday!

    960 words today, and I’ve realized my plot isn’t what it was supposed to become. My female lead was supposed to be an innocent bystander witnessing a crime, and this week I got to what was supposed to be a damsel-in-distress scene where she gets rescued by the male lead. Instead, HE’s turned out to be the innocent bystander, and she’s just arrived to rescue HIM. I like it better that way – the whole thing developed very gradually and naturally, and I like the people they’ve become and the things they ended up doing. It just feels right. But still: planning a plot and then having the two leads trade places – very weird.

  • kittiewan Oct 9, 2009 @ 14:39

    Happy birthday, Holly. For your birthday I read The Silver Door straight through. Loved it. Can’t wait for book 3.

  • Erin Kendall Oct 9, 2009 @ 12:31

    Happy Birthday Holly!

    I rewrote part of a scene yesterday but don’t have a wordcount. Still, it’s progress. πŸ˜€

    Cheers,
    Erin K.

  • Sandy Jensen Oct 9, 2009 @ 12:04

    Holly,
    I left my happy birthday for you yesterday,and my thoughts on the matter have not changed.
    1000 words for me this morning, and I am almost done with the introductory essay for my book “Special, Gifted, Divine.” This essay has stood like a stone mountain in front of me for twenty years–I just couldn’t figure out a way to do, yet a few hundred words at a time, I have knocked it out in one week. My Muse was ready!

    I’ll finish it tonight or in the morning. It’s all hand-written and will get better in the transcription.

    Then it will go out to be peer-reviewed by people whose history intersects with the material. Then it goes to the editorial board of the Communal Studies Association for another peer review board of another sort.

    All that seemed far away just last week, and now it’s comin’ right at me.

    I’m lovin’ this process!
    And to all the men and women on board this train–I look forward to your comments every morning. THANK YOU!

    Sandy

  • Jason Oct 9, 2009 @ 11:06

    No words, but a happy birthday from me!

  • Lisa R Oct 9, 2009 @ 10:45

    Happy, Happy, Birthday, Holly!!!

    785 words. My daughter has rehearsals and I am loving that. It gives me a great excuse to go to the library and work on the book without taking time from family life. So, the section of the book I am in right now is amazing. Everything seems to me falling into place. My muse and I are getting along really well. Oh, and Happy Friday everyone.

  • Kait Nolan Oct 9, 2009 @ 10:18

    Happy Birthday Holly!

    So I had 500 on the nose yesterday, which given the week I’ve been having is totally fine with me. I’m over 2k for the week (I can’t remember when I last reported–been very frazzled).

    I had what I think is a major break through regarding planned revisions for the WIP I finished last month. It means a lot of major changes, but I think it will really strengthen the story if I can work it out properly.

  • S. Megan Payne Oct 9, 2009 @ 9:55

    246 words begun on short story, “A Place of Light.” This is the first major piece of original fiction I’ve worked on in what feels like forever. It was a really good feeling. πŸ™‚

  • Gabby Oct 9, 2009 @ 9:53

    I was checking out Nano and I found “I won at Nano at the expense of a plot” (one person’s signature). Tricks to adding to your word count: give your characters double names, make your characters repeat themselves, never use contractions. I saw a lot of comments about people forcing themselves not to write anything until November.

    Since you don’t actually win anything, why do people take it so seriously? I like it here so much better because it’s all about the practice of writing at least a little bit every day. If you take a bad detour with your plot, taking the time to get yourself out of it (with as little editing as possible) so that you can move forward again in a good direction.

    Doesn’t Nano leave you with an uneditable mess that you end up hiding in your bottom drawer? I understand that you create something that you didn’t have before but it seems like such a sacrifice of quality over quantity. And they’d ‘lose’ a whole month that could have moved their story forward in a thoughtful–albeit slower–direction. I get that the community of writers is a cool thing but it doesn’t look like they kick you out if you haven’t written your 1600 words for the day.

    Honestly I’d love to join in (so I’m sorry if I sound defensive) but I just know I’d have to rewrite it all. Anyway else feel that way?

    • Larkk Oct 9, 2009 @ 11:40

      My feeling is that, since quality words are still mostly out of my grasp, quantity of words will have to suffice for now. Of course I am not talking about padding, that seems pointless, other than as a way to keep the fingers moving until something better comes along to write about. I agree with you, that “pocketful of words” is a great way to get in the habit of writing every day, and because it is a long term commitment, is in many ways superior to a one month word sprint. However, since the long term commitment is already there for me, taking a month to try something else shouldn’t make much of a difference in my pursuit of better writing. Even if it is a total loss in terms of story creation.

      I don’t think that the concept of the “win” is overemphasized at NaNo. The FAQ assures me that I rock for even trying, which is what I intend to do, and will be happy with whatever I learn from it. Personally, if I get 30,000 reasonably coherent words, that will constitute a win for me. Also, I have come to realize that there is a HUGE amount of editing necessary to transform a gory mess of a first draft into a novel, so the name national novel writing month might actually be a bit misleading, but is still a fun way to look at it.
      And, who hasn’t wanted to try writing at that pace, just once, to see what it would be like?

    • Gabby Oct 9, 2009 @ 13:30

      I’m sorry–it’s so obvious to me now. Somewhere along the way I’ve forgotten that you don’t just write to get published. You can also write to explore your creativity, challenge yourself, allow your muse to totally kill your inner editor once and for all, to prove you can do it. etc, etc. That was pretty stupid of me. I guess I just got caught up in the whole padding words post and then built up a whole argument in my head against nano based on that.

  • HannaBelle Oct 9, 2009 @ 9:49

    No words on Pedestal, but lots of words on other stuff.

    I am working on scene sentences and an overall paragraph or tagline for my novel. Since I am having issues with the tabline, it tells me that I need to be able to define it better.

    Boy1 meets girl. Boy2 meets girl and gets obsessed. ???
    OR
    Countryside overrun with claims of miracles
    OR
    Is it true or is it …. ?
    OR
    Betrayal, confusion, social change, verification or claims
    OR
    personal lives, made and ruined as society changes

    -aarrgghh ….

  • Dawn K. Oct 9, 2009 @ 9:27

    I’ve been writing pretty heavily on my alt project and not posting here lately. Just thought I’d drop by with the word count from yesterday, 4360. It was an exceptional writing day. I hope everyone else is doing well. I’ll be continuing to write heavily while I still can as I see a time consuming edit looming in the future. I’ve always thought the writing was the easy part. Editing is what I dread most. It’s the real work of writing to me.

  • Khena Oct 9, 2009 @ 8:56

    300 words for me, just having a horrible time staying focused on anything lately it seems like. Or it may just seem like that since I have so much going on. Progress, though, is progress I guess. I feel like I have been mired in this scene forever, with no end in sight!

    My posts will be somewhat irregular for the next week or so, since my internet is flipping out. If there’s one complaint I have about living in the middle of nowhere, it’s the internet. Oh well. Trees > internet.

  • Peggy Oct 9, 2009 @ 8:33

    Happy birthday, Holly!

    On the writing front, I didn’t get any words Thursday (at least, none that are worth keeping). I was just tired and barely able to focus on much of anything.

    Back in the saddle again!

  • Jeff Oct 9, 2009 @ 8:09

    No words to speak of… I really don’t like counting the extra stuff I write for myself that may or may not appear in the book. Just filing it away in my “the little things” folder for safe keeping. But it was fun stuff to write. Character memories mostly.

    I also bought a map of Detroit and have mapped out my story there as well. I know the city well enough, but I don’t want to be one of those writers. I’m not going to say my character lives in a nice little apartment on Vernon and Clark if there is a bad club in the wrong part of town at that corner.

    p.s. anyone else read “The Dresden Files” by Butcher. Found it not to long ago and am kind of hooked.

  • Larkk Oct 9, 2009 @ 7:55

    Made up a few scene cards. I will need twenty of them for a 50000 word novel, at 2500 words per scene. Hmmm…this might actually work, except that I have thirty days to do it in.
    And 620 words about β€œhis ghost.”

  • Debora Oct 9, 2009 @ 6:49

    Happy birthday, Holly! Staring down the big 5-0 was worrisome, er, frightening!, for me, too, but I survived it. Guess I have longevity on my side, but consider this the second half of my life, with much to accomplish.

    Like getting this book written. Got no words yesterday. Lots of distractions. Hope to do better today.

  • Greg Oct 9, 2009 @ 5:26

    D&D: 552, and a stricken hero will be left behind.
    OFL: 1007, and some short scenes establishing conflict for main characters.
    RFW: 1024, and a perilous trip to the (black) market.

  • Clare Oct 9, 2009 @ 3:14

    I was wrong about Wednesday’s word count, I must have forgotten to update my spreadsheet (I’m a spreadsheet geek). I actually wrote 1,448 words, which is just as well as I only managed 432 words yesterday; the day was fairly manic and I was struggling with the scene I was writing. I’m not sure it works at all right now. I do have some time to think about it, as I have a 6 hour drive ahead of me today, so I can go to my brother’s wedding tomorrow. Probably no writing until Monday now.

  • Joyce Oct 9, 2009 @ 2:28

    Many happy returns, Holly. Hope you’re having lots of fun.

    2,007 words for HoC over the past two days. Almost done with episode 2, but I’m looking at heavy edits to get it into shape to post. What ever made me think that a serial was a good idea? By the time it finishes in June, I’m going to be a zombie.

  • The Pencil Neck Oct 9, 2009 @ 1:56

    457 words – Development.

    Working on the plot cards.

    I think I’m going to write this one like I wrote the last one. I’m going to write out the main character’s story line first (The Princess), then go through the other POV characters in some random order yet to be determined (The Bodyguard, The Queen, The Usurper, The Admiral and then miscellaneous scenes.) Hopefully, I’ll be writing within a week.

    • The Pencil Neck Oct 9, 2009 @ 1:58

      Oh, yeah, and happy 49th! I’ll be there in 76 days.

  • zette Oct 9, 2009 @ 1:53

    Happy birthday! I don’t know why I never seem to remember! Ugh! Hope you have a good day!

    Oh, and my writing today? Not so good…. But I’ll get back to the fun stuff soon.

  • Patricia Oct 9, 2009 @ 1:38

    Happy Birthday, and I wish all the best!

    No words on the actual book I’m afraid, but my day was still productive. I’ve been working on HTTSW, and in the process my muse tossed in some things I could throw into my current project and the books after it. I also did research on various different cultures (to have a better perspective on my own) and determined the roles of different castes amongst my little vampyres. I should have done it earlier since it is so fundamental to the book. Ryan is, after all, in the lowest caste, so how he is forced to behave, the trouble he gets into, and his daily life directly depends on his position in society. Meh, at least I had a general idea before, I just needed to write things down and get it organized so it doesn’t turn out sloppy in the end. πŸ™‚

    I also wrote a short story that takes a small trip to the past, and I discovered more about the kind of man Ryan was before all this mess happened. I also discovered more about his wife, which was interesting. Happy writing everyone! πŸ™‚

  • Ieva Oct 9, 2009 @ 1:27

    900+ words. For a moment, it was really hard writing because Vega actually fell to temptation, and now it’s up to her mentor and her wannabe-lover to drag her back to reality. I feel so sick about how twisted her mind has become (and I’m really looking forward to untwisting it).

  • Teri Oct 9, 2009 @ 1:18

    Not so much for me today. 112 words to get Taskh is on his way to talk to the commander of the rebel army.

  • Michelle Oct 9, 2009 @ 0:20

    Yay, hope it was a great one!

    936 for me…couldn’t get my hands to stop. πŸ™‚

  • Clare K. R. Miller Oct 8, 2009 @ 23:36

    Happy birthday!!

    580 words for me today. Not as good as the last few days, but I was in kind of a hurry. The characters are sneaking about.

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