The Howling Redo of Despair and Agony

By Holly Lisle

It was an interesting night.

First off and totally unexpectedly, I got 287 words of actual draft. So HAH! Happy about that.

Second, I got out one of these neato little pre-ring-bound index card thingees I’ve had sitting in my office for the last few months after I found it at Office Depot—because I am a total office supplies ho, so I bought it even though I didn’t have a use for it at the time.

The thingee has about a hundred index cards in it, spiffy little plastic covers front and back, and dividers to separate it into three sections.

Dug out a Uni-Ball Vision Needle pen. (Look. This shit matters. When all that stands between your sanity and the Infinite Abyss of Screwed-Up Noveldom are office supplies, you want to have some nifty ones on hand. These are +7 Nifty, with a serious Anti-Abyss buff.)

Wrote my title on the front page: The Howling Redo of Despair and Agony: A.K.A. DTD, Section 2 — Fall.

Seriously. Those are the exact words on the cover card. Never let the Infinite Abyss think you take it seriously.

Drew my pen, aimed it at the notebook, and as quickly as I could keep the pen moving, ten very good scene sentences poured themselves onto the paper. Cardstock. Whatever.

So it was, in fact, a damn fine writing night. I’ll shoot for another ten scene sentences tomorrow night, and that will cover (PLUS three) my existing problem scenes. And, with my fingers in contact with the real—pen and paper, NOT pixels—my mind offered up a solution that will allow me to use a whole lot more of the words I’ve already written than I thought possible last night.

Sometimes, tapping the damn keys is no substitute for the physical act of writing. If this computer had a return bar I could slam from here to Newark every time I needed a carriage return, it might be different. That’s physical writing, too.

But anyway…

How are YOUR words coming along?

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