The butler did it

531 words tonight, a few more earlier in the week.

Jace has now met Quin, the butler.

Butlers in space. Who’d’a thunk?

Anyway. There was writing, I got words, and if I seem to me to be drifting a bit off track, I am acknowledging that this is first draft, and first draft always sucks to some degree.

I will joyfully embrace the revision when Help Wanted is done.

How are your words coming?

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

36 comments… add one
  • Jessica Dec 8, 2010 @ 11:30

    1687 more words since my last update a few days back. I’m already seeing a lack of detail within the pages. I’m fighting the urge to go back and revise. I’ve decided my first draft is going to just be a mess of thoughts throughout the pages. And my first revision is just going to be a large clean up and addition of a whole bunch of detail.

    The problem, I’m running with Demetra through the story. I’m seeing it all through her eyes, and her thoughts are all happening so quickly that I’m struggling just to get them all down on paper. She’ll be very upset with me once the revision stages come and I have to force her through the story again. I can already hear her nagging at the back of my head! For now, back to work!

    My muse is telling me a lovely tale, and I’d like to ask a couple of questions so that we can expand a bit.

  • Danzier Dec 7, 2010 @ 9:03

    I’m taking most of the next two weeks to focus on my school work. I have roughly 10-15k words worth of papers, including a finished script, all due in the next week and a half. Many, many thanks to everyone who took my survey. The paper for that class is due mid-January, and I’ll definitely let you all know how it goes. Oh, and for those of you writing scripts, be careful with Celtx; it reformats the script when you turn it into a pdf. You can’t fix the formatting and the script ends up looking very unprofessional. I don’t know if Celtx has a patch for it; I just gave up and I’m writing in a word processing program.

    I figured out the climax for SP and I’m 200 words into it. If I can get that written today or tommorow then I can put the project through Crash Revision and have it out before Christmas. Not that I’m ambitious or anything. πŸ™‚

  • WandersNowhere Dec 7, 2010 @ 3:01

    splitting my writing efforts between:

    ARC – my big series, 1st book done, revision in progress, 2nd book in planning / early writing stage. Epic fantasy.

    ITK – 50,000 word story submitted to Rebel Tales. I’m slowing everything else to leave room for editing this if it gets accepted. Jungle themed fantasy/romance.

    WMP – short vampire story, looking to be not so short, but still within doable length. Dark medieval horror/mystery.

    C&B – Fan-fiction written for Cat Tales. Mystery/drama with a dash of comedy.

    WMP is the only thing I am actively working on at present. When it and ITK and C&B are all officially wrapped, I will be turning back to ARC as my main project.

    Since C&B is on its second last chapter, WMP is about a third done, and ITK is finished, this is I think doable within the next few months.

  • Jessica Dec 6, 2010 @ 16:55

    Thanks to all of you that helped me out with my problems with the title of my book. I did decide on a temporary title, which I’m sure I’ll change in a few weeks. I do not like it at all, but I’ll get over it for now.

    1,485 words so far today. My muse is still whispering sweet words to me as well, so I’m sure I’m going to keep going until my hand says stop. For now, I’m off to write a few more scenes. Happy writing!

  • Sallie Dec 6, 2010 @ 11:12

    700 or so … on a new one … yeah …

  • WandersNowhere Dec 6, 2010 @ 8:16

    Jessica: Welcome aboard, and I’ll add to the previous very good advice that titles are a bane for me too. But I’m very fond with fantasy stories of just going for a single monolithic fantasy word (the name of the world, or the central character, or the magic, or whatever’s the most important thing).

    My reasoning is that with hundreds of fantasy books out there called The Sword of this and the Shadows of that and the Something of Darkness and Something Else of Fire and the Yet Another Thing of Dreams, and the EVERYTHING of Dragons, something like “Ithnaluk” is going to be memorable, because you look at that word and think ‘what on earth does THAT mean? Is it a person, a place? I’m intrigued. Let’s open this book.”

    Think of the pillars of gothic fiction as well, for everything called the Dark Shadowed House of Gloom and Terror On the Misty Midnight Moors Under the Moon, what do we remember?
    Books called “Frankenstein” and “Dracula”.

    Also less likely to end up being too similar to someone else’s title ^^ but I think I remember Holly said once, “What’s a good title? Any title of a good book.” I’ll concur with that. Good luck!

  • The Pencil Neck Dec 6, 2010 @ 2:48

    5039 words typed in on Gartan’s Book.

    I’m going back through and typing in the stuff that I had written by hand. I’m 12908 words into it so far.

    As I had thought, my early stuff in here was just really poorly written. I was writing very, very tight with almost no description, no objects, no wallpaper, nothing. It really is poorly realized crap. The last couple of scenes I’ve typed in actually weren’t as bad because this was when I realized how tight I had been writing and started to throw more stuff in.

    But I see a lot of stuff that can be improved and I like the story itself. So that’s good.

  • Robert Eilers Dec 4, 2010 @ 18:44

    @Jessica The Pencil Neck is right on, just pick something. Don’t stress over it. Here is a simple exercise to help you out:

    1. Think of a title that best describes you book. Maybe use a character’s name like Ben’s Great Day. Or maybe something that happens like A Murderer’s Revenge. Something simple.

    2. Now write down the first thing that came to you.

    3. Exercise is done. You have your working title.

    You can now concentrate on the important part of writing the book. Have fun.

  • Jessica Dec 4, 2010 @ 17:10

    I’m still in the beginning phases of my book, and I’ve got myself stuck in a pretty tight jam. I’ve tried (and failed) to write many books before. The book I’m currently working through is credit of my fiance, who told me I should just suck up my fears of sucking and write a book like I’ve always dreamed of doing. I just went through the Create A Plot Clinic, and it helped me immensely in forming my book. I know where I’m going, what I’m doing, and what’s coming next. I have everything planned from beginning to end (Even the middle! Who would have guessed?)

    Except for one tiny detail. My book has no title. I can’t think of anything I would want to name it. It’s far to epic to put into words. And all I can think is that without a title, it’s just going to be my worst work ever. Is it okay to have no title all the way through the planning process and part of the way through the writing process? I worry that without a title, I’m just going no where. It really is my worries that have me stuck, and unable to proceed past my first scene. Anybody have some words of encouragement for a fellow writer in need?

    • The Pencil Neck Dec 4, 2010 @ 18:13

      First off, Jessica, Welcome!

      But, really, it almost doesn’t really matter what the title of the book is. From everything I’ve heard, the title that the author gives the book is frequently not the title that the book eventually gets published with anyway.

      And a lot of authors change the title multiple times during the writing of the book. So even if you came up with an awesome name, you’d probably change it later, anyway.

      So, just write and the title will come to you at some point or another.

      • Jessica Dec 4, 2010 @ 18:47

        Thanks so much Pencil Neck! I’m just hoping that your words with push me to finish my first chapter once I get home from work. I appreciate it. Congrats on hitting 50,000 words! That is a HUGE feat! Good job! And good luck with your revising and finishing.

  • Robert Eilers Dec 3, 2010 @ 8:32

    I’m currently working on a short story to submit for possible inclusion in an anthology called American Horrific. It’s been slow going. I mostly write during my breaks at work so short spurts of words is my forte right now. I really want to get it done so I can move on though.

  • DasteRoad Dec 3, 2010 @ 5:08

    Resumed the manuscript assessment phase on Dec 2nd with around 6K words (oh, and the evil exams went well!).

    There are a couple of really muddled scenes in this phase of the novel, but I think I know more or less what it will take to fix them (mainly filling a couple of gaping, frightening worldbuilding holes). The scene with the whole β€œkiss of blood” ritual between Faurel and Lizthel is still fun, but it also gives me an idea of how much I rushed the closure of the romantic subplot at the end of the book. This is a big, big issue that I’m not sure how I’m going to solve yet.

    • hanna Dec 3, 2010 @ 7:57

      to dasteroad — glad you are able to start revising. Keep it going, you will figure out these issues, I am sure.

  • The Pencil Neck Dec 2, 2010 @ 14:32

    A couple of things I don’t like about this new format:

    1. It doesn’t indent the replies. So you can’t tell which reply is in response to which post.
    2. It doesn’t save your name/e-mail address so you have to type it in manually each time.

    Other than that, I really like the new template.

    • hanna Dec 3, 2010 @ 7:56

      what he said (pencil neck)…. ditto on the replies not indenting and name stuff, Also, if you forget the name, etc., write a post, then get prompted to enter name, the words in the post get deleted.

  • The Pencil Neck Dec 2, 2010 @ 14:31

    Since completing Nano, I’ve taken a few days off to recharge some batteries. I’ve been going at this non-stop (well, a couple of minor stops here and there) for a few months now. I haven’t completed the Princess’ story but my goal is to get through my revision and get that book totally completed. So I’m going to begin typing the story in.

  • Hanna Dec 2, 2010 @ 13:25

    Additional note. Since starting this project that has become a first draft, I have hit a lot of obstacles, from not being able to physically write (thumb troubles) to having two computers that won’t print. But, I am determined this weekend to print the whole first draft and get to step 2 of week 1, HTRYN.

    • The Pencil Neck Dec 2, 2010 @ 14:28

      Rock on!

  • Teri Dec 1, 2010 @ 8:03

    164 words for the last of November in which the captain of the royal guard notices Zhaer in the crowd around the palace gates and wonders what he’s up to. The captain does not at all trust Zhaer.


  • Danzier Dec 1, 2010 @ 2:59

    168 words today. Not much, but I’m fighting off a bad flu and I’m glad to get anything. I’m sure the scene I started will need some work (the characters walk past a bloody mess in the hall in under 40 words). Ah well.

  • Danzier Nov 30, 2010 @ 11:35

    Hanna! I remember you! As I recall, you were printing your manuscript from two notebooks, a computer, and a jump drive. πŸ˜€

    Congrats on starting HTRYN! Having a story done is great. If it’s cohesive enough to hold you through four manuscript locations, it’s got to be a good one.

  • Hanna Nov 30, 2010 @ 9:38

    So, is this the write a book with me link? I was still posting on another post … Nov. 14 or something like that.

    Holly, if you are reading this — and remember me — I am one who struggled for years just to get started. I hope this won’t be hard to believe, but I am on week 1 of HTRYN on my first book!! What a challenge it was to get to this point but once I got on the right track, it was easier than I thought. Between HTTS, WABWM and a coach/mentor whose help I enlisted, I can’t believe I got so much done.

    But, I know there is a lot of revising. In fact, I stopped at 80% complete because I knew that the next step of writing would require a full read to identify the gaps, so I decided to start HTRYN. Just trying to print what I have written will take a week or so. I have pieces in two notebooks, on one computer and on a thumb drive.

    I hope you are feeling better.

  • Julian Adorney Nov 30, 2010 @ 5:32

    693 words.

    My screenwriting professor also gave me several good reasons my current screenplay’s crap, so I’ll be spending the next few days rewriting instead of producing new words.

  • WandersNowhere Nov 30, 2010 @ 2:35

    For some reason it’s waiting for my comments to be moderated at random. Huh.

  • WandersNowhere Nov 30, 2010 @ 0:24

    Wrote another two scenes for the vampire story. The protag finds one of his sheep dead by unusual and unsettling causes. The next day he goes to town to buy a sheepdog and catches sight of a young girl dancing alone, and goes home with her in his thoughts and starts to think that he might sleep better if he had a wife beside him.

    He’s thirty two and she’s sixteen, but this is medieval europe, so if she was closer to his age she’d be an ageing spinster by their standards. lol. I am having to put my brain into some rough cultural viewpoints for this story.

  • Danzier Nov 29, 2010 @ 22:19

    Wow! I like this new look for the background on your site, Holly!

  • WandersNowhere Nov 29, 2010 @ 7:23

    Wheee, good luck with it! Been quiet around these parts withoutcha πŸ˜€

  • DasteRoad Nov 29, 2010 @ 4:53

    Hi everybody. I’m still alive and kicking, but I have to take two exams on tomorrow on boring stuff that’s mandatory for my phd. Groan. So I’m putting all creativity on hold until I take care of this crap, um, I mean, of these oh so very interesting subjects that enrich me as a human being and a scientist instead of being a total waste of time I could use to work on my dissertation/the revision for PoB/generally having a life.
    Ok. Rant over.

    Please people think happy thoughts about me on tomorrow ?

    • DasteRoad Nov 29, 2010 @ 6:56

      Um, that question mark at the end was supposed to be a little heart symbol (because I’m an almost-30 chemical engineer about to get a phd on materials science, but I never stopped being a 9-years-old little girl deep inside). Oh well.

  • thepencilneck Nov 29, 2010 @ 3:32

    2175 words.

    Scene 1: The Governor orders all of the Imperial warships out to protect the convoy that’s under attack but the Admiral insists on leaving a couple of destroyers.

    Scene 2: The Bodyguard goes to a meeting with a couple of other guerilla leaders to plan an attack to steal a bunch of weapons when the door explodes as the Imperials attack.

    Scene 3: The Governor gets notification that a rebel fleet has jumped into space and is coming in to attack and he’s able to call back the Admiral and his battle group for defense.

    Scene 4: The Princess’ Lieutenant is with the attack fleet and gets the scan of the system and realizes that the Admiral and his ships haven’t left yet and that they started their attack too soon.

    And with that, I’m a WINNER! I’ve got 50007 words. And my football team won! What a glorious day! Yeah, baby, that’s what I’m talking about!

  • Danzier Nov 29, 2010 @ 3:08

    Ok, I got some words. Finally. 848, rewrote the beginning of my script. The class had trouble understanding what was going on with it, so I sort of info-dumped and I think it’s much more straightforward and MUCH worse. There’s no mystery to the mystery any more. I’ll probably un-fix it later, but for now I have pages to turn in.

    Speaking of turning in, it’s 1 in the morning and I’m about to fall asleep on my keyboard. Have a good one, everyone! πŸ˜€

  • WandersNowhere Nov 28, 2010 @ 23:41

    Nothing, planning for the revision of ARC Book I and II.

    I’m realising I will need to rewrite the few thousand words I’ve written of Book II because the change in the ending of Book I may render them obsolete…Though it certainly would give the King a much better reason to have a rather frayed temper at the start of Book II.

    I also toyed with the idea of the beast-assassin guys more or less incidentally killing the best friend’s lover during their infiltration of the castle (they snuff a couple of guards and a nameless servant girl who accidentally sees them in the first draft, I could easily have changed it to be Rosalie)…but I probably won’t, because A) I don’t want to ‘fridge’ her just to make her boyfriend sad, B) while revenge would motivate the best friend to tag along with the heroes, I don’t want him to be angsty and grieving the whole damn way, and I prefer the tension of their escalating quest taking him further and further away from the woman he loves, and C) I have something special in mind for this girl that may be both sad and heartwarming.

    It’s funny how when you’re writing sometimes you can consider changes like this and where they might take the story and extrapolate their consequences even multiple books ahead. With a project as long and complicated as the ARC series, changing any one thing (like killing someone’s girlfriend off or um, adding a new villain) can have explosive consequences down the track.

    As a result of the new villain the first book will end with the heroes and one of the king’s offsiders having agreed to quietly bury a secret of monumental and titanic importance to their country. The hero’s stiff honor doesn’t agree with the deception, but he will have accepted that in this case his honor has to bend to save the lives and liberties of his people.

    In exchange the offsider agrees to keep his knowledge of the heroes’ mysterious powers, which he has seen in action twice, to himself.

    The heroes will also have a much clearer idea of the larger threat and will quite likely (especially the heroine, who is a sharper tack than the hero) have figured out the connection between the cult and the assassination plot.

    • WandersNowhere Nov 29, 2010 @ 1:52

      geez I write too much.
      sorry guys.

      Ok, I got a few hundred words and the next scene of the vampire short story. The protag fixes his house, hunts some rabbits, is haunted by dead women watching him sleep. Then he goes to town and buys some sheep.

    • thepencilneck Nov 29, 2010 @ 3:33

      This is why writing is so entertaining.

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