The Disappeared Friend

Short night tonight. 279 words while I explored my surprise discovery last night—than one of my male MC’s dear friends had vanished.

Because of who he discovered in town, and because of the horrible cases he’s recently been working, he fears the worst.

I kept it short because I promised I’d get some links posted for folks who’ve never done video, and need to know where to get inexpensive or free software, public domain or royalty-free images, and other goodies.

The contest, you know.

And since I want to spend the workday tomorrow finishing up Lesson 1, that means getting at least SOME more work done tonight.

So anyway…

How is your writing 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.

48 comments… add one
  • Read Homepage Sep 17, 2014 @ 19:31

    No going back _for mortals._ The Afterlife, I suspect, allows going back, going forward and all the paths along the way.

  • Beverly Sep 24, 2009 @ 23:44

    1936 words. It took forever but I finally made some progress.

  • Michelle Sep 24, 2009 @ 22:51

    260 for me today. Some nice internal dialogue stuff. Very happy with it!

  • Red_dot Sep 24, 2009 @ 19:59

    276 words today, I started back up with a character that I really didn’t know hot to parallel write as I go along with the main MC, but today they crossed paths, lightly without realizing it. My weekend starts now, not sure if I’ll write on my day off. I really need to start.

  • Don Sep 24, 2009 @ 19:48

    Did 882 yesterday did 375 today slowly comming along, it’s been chilly the last few days. Writers weather comming.

  • Cecelia Westrich Sep 24, 2009 @ 18:30

    Missed writing yesterday because of a headache and just general blah-ness. Made up for it today without really trying — 640 words! I’m moving along again finally. I felt like I was in quicksand, just struggling and only sinking. Now I feel like it is starting to come alive again. I’ve been trying to make my flashback, which is a vital and much-needed part of the story, as unobtrusive as possible, almost as if I felt like it was sort of inexcusable of me to interrupt the story with background. How impertinent of me. But I’m realizing that I have to address Kevin’s backstory and do it thoroughly or the reader will be lost. I started with a strong enough opening scene that I think I can maintain the momentum even with a break to say, ok, here’s how we got to this point. In fact, I’m so convinced, I’m not just dropping it in casually. I’m giving it a whole chapter.

  • Treelight Sep 24, 2009 @ 15:59

    Only 338 new words in which Cathrine convinces Gesem that she won’t scream anymore and the POV switches to Larasse.
    But I tried something new this time, because I now have a funny new kitchen-clock. I set it to 10 minutes, 3 times, to find out how much I can produce then. Definitely something I learned here and from Holly.
    I really need to improve my rate, or I will sit hours and hours to match the NaNo-wordcount in november.

    However I have a good excuse for not writing so much that day. After all I spend quite some time in doing research for part of my next NaNo-project and ended up with about 2 pages worth of notes.
    Since I’m not sure if my SciFi idea really will supply enough words, I decided on writing 2 stories and just add them up. The other part will be a classic fairy tail, for which I just got the inspiration. And I’m looking forward to follow the specific rules of that genre. Most likely I will write that one even in german.

    • esj Sep 24, 2009 @ 16:15

      each story will be as long as it needs to be. On other hand, it never hurts to get a second opinion from someone as creative as you. They may show you aspects of the story you haven’t explored yet.

      A great example of this is when I wrote a story about a love affair between a weretree and a werefox. The world was sufficiently hostile to weres of any kind and that they were both closeted and neither knew of the others true nature. Much wackiness ensued.

      I thought this was a great short story. Someone who read it said it was an outline for a novel. Now, a few years later, I look at the story and realized they were right. The story of Tom and Vicki is hilarious and sad tale of love and families. I may make them my first novel.

      • Treelight Sep 25, 2009 @ 16:58

        A “weretree”? That sound more than interesting!

  • Lisa R Sep 24, 2009 @ 13:36

    1228 words. I am so excited. I really struggled the day before because I knew where I wanted to end in this part of the book, but I couldn’t just go there. I had to build some scenes to add tention and a reason for the blow up in my next candy bar scene. So, I looked through the site map and found “Creat Your Professional Plot Outline” mini-course Holly had written up. (Than you, thank you, Holly). I started asking the right question and was able to really see what I wanted to accomplish. The process amazed me.

    Afterwards, I used a really nice scene to show the prejudices that the princess is promoting. It made the classroom scene much more interesting and worth writing and hopefully worth reading. It was an amazing night of discovery, getting past a plot block, and getting a good word count.

  • Gabriele Sep 24, 2009 @ 11:56

    I’m the same, Peggy. I tend to get blocked when I know there’s some major fix to be made – better deal with the infected toes before the whole leg gets septic, to stay with Holly’s metaphor.

    For small things like, “mention somewhere that Veranius rides a Batavian horse,” I can do fine with notes.

    But I can see that it may kill the forward momentum for some writers, and there’s the danger of not only fixing the infected toes but doing a few word-level editing nose jobs on the whole thing as well, and that can become a Revision Loop (been there, done that, know the symptoms and have the vaccine, lol)

    • Peggy Sep 24, 2009 @ 16:32

      Right — if this were small things, I’d do notes like that. But this is the entire emotional arc for the main character and a major character. That’s big enough that, for me, it has to be right before I go on.

      • Gabriele Sep 24, 2009 @ 17:03

        It’s the same here. Exchanging an important character will have an impact to the emotions of a scene because Veranius feels differently than Merenda did. And in the next scene he’ll even act differently. The overall outcome of that plotline within the several that form the Varus battle will be the same, but the way there takes a turn left and then right now.

        What I love is that Veranius’ emotion in the first scene triggered a stronger reaction from Varus, too. He really had been too calm considering the fact he had treated Arminius as friend, almost as a son.

        No new words today (or last night, I’ve no idea which day to count since I live on the other side of the ocean). I took a long, hard stare at the second scene and realised it needs more work than the first. A rewrite from omniscient to Veranius’ POV, a changed emotional layer (he’s witnessed the suicide of Varus and most of the staff but decided he had to try and get out of the trap and save as many of his men as possible, though he deep inside knows it is madness) a subtle mirroring of a scene from another plotline, a restructuring of the action and some horse acrobatics. πŸ™‚

        Work for tomorrow at least, probably two nights.

        • Gabriele Sep 24, 2009 @ 17:54

          OK, here’s a bit. Varus ,with three legions, several auxialiry cohorts and the train, some 20,000 men, is on the way to the winter quarters at the Rhine when Arminius warns him there’s an insurrection of one of the Germanic tribes and it might a a good idea to show them how badass three Roman legions look. On their way through difficult tearrain, the rear part of the column is attacked. Varus gives some orders and continues to ride on with his staff. Then the death cry of a man …

          Varus spun his horse. Veranius knelt in the mud and supported a man in whose throat a quivering arrow stuck. Beside him stood Lucius Eggius, holding the pole with eagle and decorations of the Eighteenth. Raindrops rang down on the bronze, the sound mixed with the harsh, laboured breath of the dying man. It seemed unreal. Varus shook himself out of his stupor and noticed the lion skin that had fallen off the bloodied head. Fulvius Vespillo, the aquilifer? Oh no!

          Fulvius cramped, blood spurting from his mouth and over Veranius’ bare arm. With a hacked, wet cough, he fell back dead. Veranius drew the arrow from the wound and held it out to the general. “This was not fired by a Bructeri. It’s a Cheruscian arrow.” He swallowed. “Arminius fletches them like this.”

          “Iupiter Greatest, are you sure?”

          “Arminius lent me his bow once.” Veranius rose. “May I?” He retook the arrow from Varus and wiped the blood off the point with his scarf, his fingers trembling. “I was right,” he said in a choked voice. “See, there’s a flying crane engraved. Gods, what drove him to this?”

          “Arminius,” Varus whispered. Arminius, the man he had called friend, the man whom he had trusted as advisor, whom he always had considered to be a Roman. He looked into the faces of the officers surrounding him and the fallen aquilifer, eyes cold and lips set between the steel frames of their helmets in silent judgement.

          “Infamous traitor,” Eggius murmured.

          Veranius looked up from the arrow at which he had been staring. Yes, a traitor. He wanted this to be an error, wanted for someone else to have taken Arminius’ bow and fired that arrow, wanted to find a reason for the unbelievable. But in his heart he knew the truth; Arminius had led them into this trap. The arrow was a warning not to wait for the Cheruscian horse to return; a last act of honour his fellow officers would not understand.

          “The column is stretched for leagues in those damn woods and bogs.” Lentulus voiced their all concern. “If this is an insurrection by several Germanic tribes ….”

          “… we’ll be outnumbered. Badly.” Eggius said.

  • Peggy Sep 24, 2009 @ 11:08

    Only a hundred or so yesterday, filled in Chase’s reaction to his partner’s question, and realized that if the emotional arcs are going to work properly, I don’t have a choice but to go back and rework about half the scenes from the beginning.

    I know that some people say to just make a note and keep writing, and fix it in revision, but for me every change has ripples throughout the rest of the story. Making the changes NOW, when I only have about 32K done, will be lots less troublesome than tracking all those ripples through 100K or more.

    Onward, slowly, while treading water a bit.

  • Rabia Sep 24, 2009 @ 8:20

    485 words, and an unexpected confession (the dark is good for bringing out those things). Now I have to figure out where to go from here.

    Also need to figure out why no one has sent an assassin after MC yet. She’s been back on her world for almost a whole day! πŸ˜›

  • Jessica Sep 24, 2009 @ 8:13

    250 – more on the flashback and some on redoing the soldiers’ scene. Neither of these scenes were pre-plotted so I could fall off the map again but I’m clutching the compass and hoping to make it back to the road.

    The clutter piling up in my apartment is not helping either. I find that when my living space is cluttered so is my mind. Time for some fall cleaning – I’ve got to get the winter stuff out anyways. That’s something else too; cold, dark, grey weather is not muse friendly.

  • Larkk Sep 24, 2009 @ 7:58

    522 words on the next to last scene. Even with one sentence to tell me where to go with it, it took off on its own. It’s okay, I still got what I wanted.
    Discovered Pandora. I was dubious because songs are so precious to me, and I thought if I heard one I liked I would stop writing to hunt it down. Ah, but there’s a button for that ! And they even apologized for playing a bad song! Entirely unnecessary, since its free and works right out of the box on my Mac. So much great writing stuff out there πŸ™‚

  • Khena Sep 24, 2009 @ 7:55

    About 200 for me. Still not feeling very well and coughing horribly, but hopefully it’s getting better now. Didn’t feel much like writing, but at least I got something down. So now I have two scenes started in chapter 20, and I’m going to try and finish at least one of them today =)

  • HannaBelle Sep 24, 2009 @ 7:54

    I had 504 yesterday. Still a newbie to regular writing, I think my writing is getting better each day. And I feel less bothered by the fear that I might be getting it wrong that I am not revising as I go. However, I have found that I do better if I start the writing session revising the last page or paragraphs of the chapter before, at least when I have been writing in order. A couple times I just retyped the last paragraph, to get me going.

  • Minze Sep 24, 2009 @ 6:34

    510 words today. My writing still feels clunky, and I’m not entirely sure what direction my plot’s going to take, but I’ve decided to write on regardless. Elegant writing and a predictable plot make my conscious mind feel safe, that’s all.

    As of today, my first draft is more than 33,000 words long, so I’m a third of the way done. (I hope.)

  • Greg Sep 24, 2009 @ 6:04

    D&D: 580
    OFL: 1024
    RFW: 1055
    I’m starting to get a bit more of a feel for the characters in RFW, now that I’ve got a few words down. I also know, broadly-speaking, how it’s going to end now, which is giving me a bit more impetus for that particular project.

  • Cat (from HtTS) Sep 24, 2009 @ 5:17

    I managed 1699 words on my translation and exactly 500 on my WIP. I’m well pleased, and though I have about 1 more hour in which I could write I’m too tired to do so. So I’ll call it quits.
    Tomorrow I will start the scene where my MC is attacked by the assassin again and discovers her beloved half-dead. That’s gonna be fun…

  • Joyce Sep 24, 2009 @ 3:36

    1078 for HoC episode 1. I got sucked into a chunk of dialogue. I know I have to go back and fix it up because it’s all talking heads right now, but that’s the best way I know to get into a scene the first time around. And I’m right on track to get things done in time to edit before Sunday.

  • The Pencil Neck Sep 24, 2009 @ 2:40

    220 words.

    Again with the late conference call right in the middle of my normal writing time. It’s going to happen again tomorow night. I ended up only getting a few minutes to write.

    The Mentor discovered two corpses inside the secret room. A woman and a child. Both vampires*. She heard the Sheriff gagging and went out to see him dying on the table. She leaned down to his ear and asked if he wanted to live forever. He shook his head. She stared at him for a moment and then bared her fangs. “Are you sure?”

    * This was The Mage’s wife and child and the reason he hates vampires so badly. But I didn’t really communicate that well. I’ve got to figure out a way to re-tell this, I think. The story behind why he’s hunting vampires is something I never really found a way to work into the story and it HAS to be there.

  • Teri Sep 24, 2009 @ 2:08

    No words today. Instead I did a bit of outlining for the next project. I want to have both outline and current WIP finished by the end of October, so I can start the next one for Nano.

    • Cat (from HtTS) Sep 24, 2009 @ 2:49

      Like me. I have to wrap up my translation and my WIP (each at 30.000 words to go). I also did some pre-planning for my next novel which will be an Urban Fantasy Mystery and I might write in English again. I think its going to be fun. Now, I’ll start work.

  • Ieva Sep 24, 2009 @ 1:53

    700+ words yesterday. Finished a chapter and didn’t push further. The End Is Near – only three more chapters, and I’ll have to do it through the strange contraption I just built for my protagonist/narrator. That’ll be weird, challenging and I think fun too. πŸ™‚

  • T.C. Sep 24, 2009 @ 0:52

    Another beautiful day in author land,

    Well, today had been wonderful for writing, with a sparkling 1326 words all in the past half hour. My head and eyes hurt and I want to write more but I am falling asleep at the computer.

    I stopped almost mid sentence which is odd but I am in the midst of an intense battle sequence and this chapter eight is turning out to be monstrous in length but I do not think I care too much. I am also getting ready to introduce a new character; Sir Richard Blakney, a handsome but eccentric fellow with a huge sense of chivalry and honor, not to mention a large ax to enforce both with.

    I hope everyone else is enjoying their writing as much as I am mine.

  • Patricia Sep 24, 2009 @ 0:37

    918 words tonight, and Ryan is feeling absolutely wretched about having to leave behind the person he promised he would help escape with him. Not to mention he’s completely covered in cattle dung and feeling righteously disgusted with himself for that, but what choice does he have? How many ways are there to hide from creatures who can track you down with your scent? Cover it up of course, if only he had a more pleasant choice of cologne… πŸ™‚

    I’m so excited! I wish I could write more, but I’m falling asleep and I promised myself I would take care of my health. Which includes getting to sleep at a decent hour. πŸ™‚ Good luck with your writing everyone!

  • Mark Sep 24, 2009 @ 0:32

    977 words last night. A male character became a female character, and I think she’s much stronger now. I have to go through and fix a large chunk of exposition I wrote last week because since my plot hole, it has been rendered gibberish. The scene has taken on a much darker tone, which seems oddly appropriate now. As usual, whenever a spanner gets thrown into the works it seems to be for the best, no matter how much moaning and complaining from me.

    It’s funny. With my first book, I wrote the first chapter and when I finished I thought, “this book will be about 80,000 words” and it was almost exactly that. This one seems to demand so much more. The material I’m writing in chapter six what was meant for chapter four. I think I’ve underestimated how big this book is going to be.

  • Red_dot Sep 24, 2009 @ 0:30

    Second session of writing today. I started on CH8 and have 26K now.

  • Tori Sep 24, 2009 @ 0:19

    Came down with the flu and yesterday I felt like I’d been hit by a mack truck, so I stayed in bed all day. Didn’t write at all.
    Today, however, I felt a little better and managed 322 words. Better than nothing. As long as I’m writing I’m happy.
    Something I noticed: There are some scenes I missed, scenes that are probably very important, but I don’t know what they are. Should I take some time to figure this out, or just keep writing and deal with that at a later time?

    • June Sep 24, 2009 @ 6:37

      I know this problem. I think the answer depends on the individual writer.

      For me personally, going back, figuring it all out, and adding in everything I need is the right answer. I need to be as complete as I can be before moving on. I’ve learned from hard experience that I can’t leave it all for the revision. After I finish the first draft my energy for the story is low, and that energy doesn’t rebound if I put the manuscript in a drawer for six months. As a result, if I don’t fix as much as I can when I notice problems in the first draft, the revision work is so overwhelming that I never do it at all.

      That said, there are many, many writers (it seems) for whom stopping and fixing things in the first draft becomes a huge trap. They get bogged down in making it all right and never finish.

      So, if you don’t know which way is best for you, I would suggest choosing one course of action or the other and trying it. If it fails, try the other approach. If, for example, you choose to try to fix the story now, pay close attention to your forward progress and, if you find yourself being bogged down, stop changing things and begin saving them for later.

      If you do choose to fix now, I’ve learned one trick that helps me avoid the bogging down problem. I restrict the amount of story I am allowed to go back and fix to whatever is in my active document — I do a separate file for each chapter (or sometimes couple chapters). Once I call that file ‘done’, I fold those scenes into a master document and I’m not allowed to touch them again until revision.

      –June

    • esj Sep 24, 2009 @ 9:24

      I always go back and fill in then smooth out the edges a bit. The reason I do is because it builds a new image of the story and puts in the back of my mind detail or motivation that I hadn’t consciously realized. I do this also because, I have a really crappy memory and I won’t remember the detail I wanted to fill in unless, as my wife sometimes says, you remember it again for the first time.

    • Khena Sep 24, 2009 @ 10:20

      If I have a good idea of the scene that is missing, I’ll go back and throw it in. Otherwise, I just write myself a note for when I finish. Since I haven’t finished the story yet, I don’t really know if it’s necessary or not, and getting into the habit of constantly revising what you have written and not moving forward is too easy.

      From what you said, it’s just a feeling you have right now, so just make a note of it, and keep writing =) (in my not so important opinion anyway…)

  • Beverly Sep 24, 2009 @ 0:14

    Finally getting back into the flow of things. 1193 words.

  • Clare K. R. Miller Sep 24, 2009 @ 0:10

    I had a bit of a slow start–starting a new scene–but then got into the groove and managed to get 654 words! Jack is feeling better, after plenty of sleep and bacon, and Cricket has taken the opportunity to explain to him her suspicions about the elf. Then the others walked in on them… talking alone in his room. Cricket’s going to get a lecture from her cousin later. Not sure when, as they won’t really have a chance to be alone for a while, but she will.

  • esj Sep 23, 2009 @ 23:50

    oh I forgot to add that I finally told my wife about the 250 word challenge and now she asks me at her bedtime “are you going to write the 250 words or are you going to go to bed now?”

  • Shannon Sep 23, 2009 @ 23:50

    The writing started off slow and kind of stiff tonight, but I decided to press on and finish the scene in progress. When I was done and looked up I had 1144 words!

    • Patricia Sep 24, 2009 @ 0:25

      I love it when that happens. It’s those days when you feel awful and somehow magic happens when you least expect it that I really love this craft, it never happens anywhere else for me, not even for drawing.

  • esj Sep 23, 2009 @ 23:49

    sight unseen: something like 300 words between edits and new text.

    I have been struggling and struggling with how to want to find the “threat” Julia that would keep her from making the trip to Mars. You’re a bad guy post of a few entries ago really helped but I didn’t know how the bad guy would manifest. EC, an overwhelming bad guy has a superpower or a really good support organization that lends him power by proxy. But sheer brute force power is not as interesting on the page as it is in video therefore, a more subtle expression of power and, evil, is more chilling. The most chilling form is when evil pushes the good guys buttons making it possible for the good guy to do bad things and think he’s doing good things. By warping the sense of values, the filters that separate right from wrong, bad guys can be so evil they are almost indistinguishable from your parents. (was that TMI? πŸ™‚

    • The Pencil Neck Sep 24, 2009 @ 2:30

      No.

      That’s not TMI.

      πŸ™‚

  • Sarah Collins Sep 23, 2009 @ 23:43

    310 words for me today. Wish I could do more, but I’m falling asleep. With my luck, I’ll drool on the keyboard and short circuit the thing so I think I have to call it a night. =cP

  • Andre C. Sep 23, 2009 @ 23:32

    I’ve been sort of lurking here because I keep planning to start writing and never doing it.

    Anyway, tonight I started working on a short story. I’ve had the idea in my mind for a long time, but it’s kind of about a difficult time in my life so I’ve been reluctant to start working on it.

    But I figured: 250 words a day–that isn’t that hard. So, I started working and got 742 words done.

    I have a deadline, too. I want to enter it into a short story contest in November, so I’m hoping to finish in a week or two and then have a bunch of time to edit. Anyway, tonight was a good night. I’m actually shaking–kind of nervous and excited to be writing again.

    Thanks Holly!

    • The Pencil Neck Sep 24, 2009 @ 2:29

      Rock on! And welcome to the group!

  • Adam Sep 23, 2009 @ 23:28

    words did not flow tonight. got 500 more towards finishing off ch 10, and wrapped up most of the main points. have a couple more scenes that i want to add, and then i have to get the brothers home. got a feeling this chapter is going to be long, but i can always split it up later i suppose. need to think about the interaction that i want between two of the characters, and how the MC gets caught in the middle, as i want the night to leave the MC spinning a bit as he goes into the next section.

    its been odd connecting this stray end with the chunk i’ve got after it, wasn’t as easy as the other stray loose ends i’ve had to tie up… progress is progress though.

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