Sweet-Spot Mapping TalysMana

My writing today hasn’t yet resulted in keeper words, but I’m zeroing in on what I want to have in the story.

And frankly, I’ve hit the tone I want, too. I want to do something with the same mix of humor and seriousness I did early in my career, with books like Sympathy for the Devil and Minerva Wakes.

I don’t have my Sentence yet, and without that I can’t get out the index cards and start doing Sentences Lite. But my ideas are taking shape.

Lots of words, then… but no words.

How about you?

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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.

19 comments… add one
  • Greg Nov 16, 2009 @ 5:06

    D&D:535
    OFL:1032
    RFW:1023

  • Gabby Nov 14, 2009 @ 11:03

    I have been thinking a lot about the HTTS course. (I am stuck, stuck, stuck.) I wish I had taken the class. I’ve tried to skip, tried to just write my scene and see if anything interesting happens between the characters. doesn’t seem to matter. I cannot get interested. So I guess I need to stop, [take a deep breath], write backstory and outline and conflicts and then proceed. I’m truly not a pantser. I am a plotter who doesn’t like to plot. The good news is I’ve been stuck like this before and managed to pull myself out of it. One thing about finally writing a book is that I am gradually getting confidence that I can do this/that I’ve been here before and ‘survived.’ Someday I will look back at THIS difficult chapter and be surprised at how it turned out and be so glad that I didn’t skip it because such and such a neat thing will have happened.

    So I’m off to learn about my characters and what trouble I can get them into on their boring journey…

  • Ame Nov 13, 2009 @ 21:47

    Hi, I’m new! Nice to meet you ^_^
    I’m already maybe 55,000 words in on my first novel… but i could really use this to keep me going. Thank you for doing this, Holly!
    Today, 313 words and the hero is reunited with his (previously) kidnapped nephew.

  • tjamesmichael Nov 13, 2009 @ 20:48

    I am excited about this “club” and it has inspired me to begin the re-write of my novel that I have avoided. I will keep you posted begining MONDAY. Thank You Holly

  • Tori Nov 13, 2009 @ 19:31

    Yesterday I hit 1700 and I plan on hitting the same amount today. Right now I have 1100, but the day is not yet done. I’m starting to leave the Week Two blues and am hopefully entering that place during Nano where the words just spill out. I really don’t want to have to write on Thanksgiving.

  • hannaBelle Nov 13, 2009 @ 18:09

    I am oddly glad to see you switching projects this week, and why. All my flexible and free time has been taken away by a new job. I was considering a different project for a while, too.

    No words.

  • Leigh Nov 13, 2009 @ 17:49

    I’ve gotten my “35 note-carded scenes” in order with a good plot (this took several days) and have just persevered through the first scene.

    I’m wondering if you have any tips on how many scenes to a chapter- or do you not think about chapters until the end? And any advice on cliffhangers? There are plenty of “mystery/cliff-hangery” opportunities in my story (An suspense-romance set in a ski town where hidden corruption and greed result in a tragedy that not only destroys everything my heroine Violet wants, it endangers her small town and everyone in it!). I like the way Dan Brown leaves the ends of his chapters with the reader rabid to continue… any advice?

  • Rabia Nov 13, 2009 @ 15:49

    I finished a short story last night and sent it to a friend to beta-read it for me. She confirmed my feeling that it really needs to be longer (novella-sized). Which means there is no way it’s going to be ready to submit to an anthology closing on Sunday. Bummer.

  • S. Megan Payne Nov 13, 2009 @ 11:21

    No words that I can count, but I had a nice long viewing of Salorý, my main character and wrote out something to help me capture her and the world she’s a part of. I’ve had to dig into her because she goes through so many stages, but I think I’ve finally got her, and I’m roughing out my structure and storyplan.

  • Gary Townsend Nov 13, 2009 @ 9:56

    Wrote another 1274 words yesterday in that short story I’m writing. A total of 2527, so I’m now about 1/3d done.

    Learned about a new online science fiction/fantasy publisher I didn’t know about before, Clarkesworld Magazine, and read through their submission guidelines. My current story will be too long for them. Their lengths are 1000-4000 words, but given that they pay 10¢ per word, that’s pretty damned good. Qualifies them as a professional market in SFWA‘s eyes. Will have to keep them in mind for future stories.

  • EJ Nov 13, 2009 @ 9:52

    Press on, Holly! SFTD and Minerva Wakes are two of my favorite Holly books.

  • Peggy Nov 13, 2009 @ 9:52

    1183 on DG Thursday, and this would be a longer note if we weren’t heading out to the airport.

    Good writing over the weekend, all!

  • Khena Nov 13, 2009 @ 8:53

    A little over 2k for me today. I’m just over 20k in on my NaNo, and my MC has just found out the specifics of her powers. She never realized there were different kinds of Seers, what with the ban on them and all, and now she finds out she is the most rare kind of them all: the most important kind, the Catalyst, those who don’t always live through what the gods had planned for them. She so upset now, and it’s just going to get worse…

  • Larkk Nov 13, 2009 @ 8:35

    I’ve never killed a character in my limited novel writing experience, but a drunk ex-boyfriend with a knife is no match for seventy years of martial arts training in the body of an eighteen year old…
    So that will be coming up soon, in a burst of new scenes that played out after my MC stole something from the back seat of the heroine’s car. 921 (non novel) words outlining all those new parts took away from my novel writing time, but I’m not complaining. I was real glad to get all this new stuff.
    Then 2499 words filling in a scene that came out of these new developments and proceeding onward to the aforementioned character killing.

  • Teri Nov 13, 2009 @ 6:19

    1,012 words.

    Mainly just finishing up the last scene, and starting the next, transitional, scene. Princess Laena is preparing for her visit to her sister. The last such visit she’ll be able to make without the whole court tagging along behind her.

  • DasteRoad Nov 13, 2009 @ 5:06

    Took a pause on the 12th to just look over the previous day’s writing for a light revision. Getting cool ideas for next scene too.

  • Jessica Nov 13, 2009 @ 3:15

    3869 over Wednesday and Thursday. Cait convinced the agents and the antagonist that she will cooperate with them. Then as soon as they lift off the silver restraining her, she builds a portal that brings the building down and crosses worlds.

    James, however, is stuck in traffic trying to get to her rescue, and once again comes in just late enough to find the ruins on fire. He searches through the rubble for her, finding mostly useless dead bodies of agents who can’t tell him where Cait is, then he finds the antagonist – alive and pinned. The antagonist assures him that Cait is either dead from the explosion or from physics (of the portal). James (surprisingly) snaps the antagonist’s neck – he is a mercenary after all – but without Cait he has no way home, and no more allies.

    Flipping back to Cait, she does make it through the portal, narrowly landing alive but is arrested on the spot by someone who recognizes her powers. She briefly makes a connection with two of James’ old patrol buddies but it’s hard to know who or what to trust on this strange other world.

    And now I’m going back to fill in some skipped scenes – since I jumped about 10K in the plan – starting with a funeral that’s more political than personal.

  • The Pencil Neck Nov 13, 2009 @ 3:10

    503 words.

    The Queen sits on the front seat of a bus full of prisoners released by rebels. She tries to engage the rebels in conversation and then realizes they’re foreign and when they speak among themselves, she knows where they’re from. After being let off in the middle of a rioting town with the rest of her fellow prisoners, she finds a phone and calls an old friend.

    This scene really does move the story forward although it may not seem like it from my summary. I already know that I need to fluff it up some more by giving more information about her fellow prisoners. I don’t give any detail about them right now and they’re really inconsequential. Gotta fix that. But now the Queen is out of prison and re-establishing her power.

  • Patricia Nov 13, 2009 @ 1:40

    Not very many *words* in the past few days I’m afraid, though I’ve been getting plenty of words down, and a few artistic projects along the side. Some ideas for the book following this one have also been popping up, and the excitement for that one is growing. I’m having a little difficulty focusing on the current book actually, because I want to get to the other one. It’s late, but I’m going to try to get at least a hundred words before going to sleep. Some exciting scenes I’ve been wanting to write since I started this book are coming up soon, and I don’t want to delay it any further! 😀

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