The Man Who Was Sam

Started into my second round of “who is this character beneath what we see” tonight, with Sam Jones, my detective.

The man who was Sam shed his underpaid-cop life and went back to his real home tonight, to an old friend and bad news—as bad as the news that had him packing his identity in mothballs when last I wrote him.

It went well. Got 512 words. Would have stopped at 500, but I really needed to finish the thought I was working on.

And I’m set up well for tomorrow’s segment.

How did it go for you?

image_pdfDownload as PDFimage_printPrint Page

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

49 comments… add one
  • Michelle Sep 23, 2009 @ 22:39

    284 today, and it just flew. I should probably do more, but I made a library run today and have a few books begging to be picked up.

  • June Sep 23, 2009 @ 21:45

    Wow, great work, everyone.

    I got 680 today. About half of that was revision of some truely horrible exposition that, I think, now says what I intend it to. The other half are new words for Iliana’s scene. I’m about to completely burst her illusions about her father and the purpose of the war. Learned in the revision work today that she had a big hand in championing the war before it happened, so her stake in being deceived is greater than I thought.

    Will still be glad when this scene is finally finished. It’s been a hard one to write.

    –June

  • Jamie D. Sep 23, 2009 @ 16:15

    A whopping 1,200 words last night – but only because I got behind on Monday. I need 880 words per weeknight to finish by Nov. (NaNo), so that’s been my goal lately.

    In any case, I’ve recently had a huge breakthrough on my plot. I needed one more big situation/crisis to 1. clear up the problem that started it all, and 2. force my MC’s to acknowledge their feelings and do something about it. Monday night, the situation that will bring all that together just popped into the dialogue of a minor character, and that’s what enabled last night’s blitz.

    So now I know exactly where the story’s going, how everyone will get there, and roughly how the whole thing will probably work out. Most excellent. πŸ™‚

  • Red_dot Sep 23, 2009 @ 14:12

    CH7 is done. 625 words so far today.

  • Treelight Sep 23, 2009 @ 13:08

    I wrote 402 new words, which is rather amazing considering how little free time I had. After all I “had” to go to 2 movies in the cinema in a row: Timetraveller’s Wife and District 9. I had a very good time with both!

  • Sarah Sep 23, 2009 @ 12:24

    Got about 900 in my WIP, and finished an argument between my MC and Phillipia. But I think I need to rewrite how it ended. I’m not satisfied with him walking away…
    And got 1300 in a new short story. Thanks, mostly, to having a work environment that allows me to write in my downtime.

  • Tami Sep 23, 2009 @ 9:50

    No words for me (naughty!) but I did get a lot of programming done on a website for my husband!

    Sadly, web programming doesn’t really count as novel writing, so codecount != wordcount.

  • cjeffery Sep 23, 2009 @ 9:10

    A solid 350!

    • Patricia Sep 23, 2009 @ 9:42

      Great work! It’s good to be excited. πŸ˜€

  • Kait Nolan Sep 23, 2009 @ 9:02

    530 last night. I’m making slow but steady progress on this novella, and I am really enjoying seeing that % done climb. I may go ahead and finish this before starting on revisions for the WIP I put to bed last week.

  • Lisa R Sep 23, 2009 @ 8:59

    440 words. I was so tired. I am struggling with this next section of the book. It seems very boring and I am really not sure what I am trying to accomplish here.

    • Mark Sep 23, 2009 @ 18:37

      I hate those bits. It becomes so hard to keep writing.

  • Debora Sep 23, 2009 @ 8:35

    I had another good writing day, working my way through what happens the day after the Soldiers National Cemetery is dedicated. A very big day in the life of my characters, the climax of my WIP.

    Can’t say how many words, because yWriter does not keep track of word count when it comes to scene titles. But it was exciting to walk my way through this climactic series of events and have it feel right.

    Have to re-read the first chapter of Pickett’s Charge, by George R. Stewart, because one of my very best spies, the Gettysburg Discussion Group (an e-mail list service), is going to be discussing it, chapter by chapter.

    Doing my best to stay in the game.

  • Peggy Sep 23, 2009 @ 8:25

    474 words, and the scene now has more emotional impact.

    Today, I get to write Chase’s reaction when his partner, while playing back a video of the victim having sex, asks him if the victim still reminds him of his girlfriend…

    Should be fun!

    • Sarah Sep 23, 2009 @ 12:39

      That sounds awesome!

    • Gabriele Sep 23, 2009 @ 14:40

      Hi Peggy, so you and June snuck in when I wasn’t reading the comments for a few days. πŸ™‚

      OK, I’m game, too. My wordcounts will probably suck, but what the hell. I need to get back on some sort of schedule.

      Right now I’m rewriting some scenes from A Land Unconquered, the novel about the – futile – attempt of the Romans to turn all of Germania into a province. Finally figured out what the problem with that one story arc was; I had given it to the wrong character. One scene is done and it’s SO much better now. I’ll tackle the next one tonight.

      After sorting that out, I’ll probably go back to the mess that is Kings and Rebels, a big, epic Alternate Historical Fantasy.

      Yeah, I’m one of those who work on more than one project at the same time, write out of order and revise while going. I can’t go with little postits ‘rewrite scene with Horatius Veranius’; I need to DO it right here and then, or I’ll get stuck. Turns out it was the right decision, because the rewrite changed the scene in a way that will impact other scenes yet to be written.

      • June Sep 24, 2009 @ 6:44

        Hi Gabriele. Good to see you. So, we get another place to spur you on tot he finish! Good. (wink). –June

  • Larkk Sep 23, 2009 @ 8:03

    More transcribing from the notebook. It is quite difficult to leave the words alone and just transfer the whole thing, without wanting to trash parts or at least make it a little prettier. Already I’m thinking of new ways to make the story better, which would involve changing or cutting some of this stuff anyway. Just get it down, it’s practice, at the very least.
    The dialog needed to be fixed, though. It flowed when I wrote it but I want it to be clearer, more specific, and want to add more description, so there I go adding words. Oh heck, I’ll just fix it as I go. It’s more fun that way.
    I have no idea how many new or old words there were but got a total of 3924 typed.
    Breathe, I remind myself. This is “Pocketful” of words. I will finish this.

  • Jessica Sep 23, 2009 @ 7:46

    101 on the beginning of a flash back. Working my way back to daily writing is slow going but going nonetheless.

  • Greg Sep 23, 2009 @ 7:42

    D&D: 524 words and trouble in the sacred land.
    OFL: 1062 words and a couple of short scenes sketching in bits of character and conflict.
    RFW: 1008, and a slightly awkward bit of background monologue that might need work in revision!

  • HannaBelle Sep 23, 2009 @ 7:39

    In my second writing session I got 1294 words. That was almsot 2000 for the whole day. I finished the gossipy neighbors scene and wrote a long scene with my MC and her chambermaid the nicely sets up several characters, including them.

    I am tempted to read what I have written but not sure I want to yet. I am afraid reading might stop me if it sounds too lame OR it might great and spur me on.

  • Khena Sep 23, 2009 @ 7:35

    No words for me. I caught the bug my children had the last few days, and elected to read a book in bed instead. Good luck to everyone else!

  • Cat (from HtTS) Sep 23, 2009 @ 7:16

    This was a very successful morning although I had to go shopping. I write 2017 words on my WIP (leaving my MC to face the wrath of a Sphinx) and 1559 on my translation. I think I never wrote so much in one morning before. I’m feeling great (and a little tired).

  • Joyce Sep 23, 2009 @ 3:04

    1100 words to HoC. Kicked myself in the butt to get started. I feel like I’m doing a good job of slipping in the details of my world without any infobarf.

    I wrote longer than I intended so I could distract myself from the smell of smoke. I’m in Southern California and we’re burning up again. My home is in no danger, but I know some of the people in the fire’s path. It’s awful. More lives disrupted, more homes and ranches threatened, more firefighters risking themselves. Please, send a little prayer in our direction. We need all the help we can get.

  • T.C. Sep 23, 2009 @ 2:40

    Evening once again.

    So far I have kept with the program, 579 words tonight.

    I am anchoring the fear that Prius my main character is dead, also I am using this as a level to cast another main character into wickedness, he does not handle grief or power well and both fall upon him and so he crumbles. I wonder what will happen when he finds out Prius isn’t dead and that he seized his power wrongly, he won’t take it well, oddly, he loves his power above his brother, he is being cast further and further into the black abyss of darkness, poor Torthak.

  • Teri Sep 23, 2009 @ 2:13

    Started a new scene today, with 272 words. Not much action. Just Taskh calculating that at the pace the rebels are reduced to through the dense forest, Heidol should be able to get his army in place ahead of them in time. Then the orders are given to head out.

  • The Pencil Neck Sep 23, 2009 @ 2:06

    445 words.

    Well, I’m getting into the denoument phase of the story and I’ve got to figure out some ways to tie up some of the loose ends.

    With the Mage dead, The Mentor is released from her spell and she questions the Sheriff about what happened and she finds out that the Thief took the Tear and fled. The Sheriff begs her to go before the Mage gets back and the Mentor finds out that the Sheriff is the Thief’s father. But a smell is bothering her so instead of leaving to go find the Thief and Mage, she finds a secret door way and opens it.

    • HannaBelle Sep 23, 2009 @ 10:37

      I know this has come up before but the threads are hard to find. Sorry if I am repeating questions. You mentioned in another post that you use Liquid Story Binder and have used yWriter. Did you ever use or look at Writers Cafe? Just curious what you think of it.

      • The Pencil Neck Sep 24, 2009 @ 2:27

        I started off writing in Microsoft Word and then migrated to simple text files in Notepad++ (which I use every day to write code in ). This allowed me to use the tools I use for work, like CVS for version control and WinMerge to do Diffs and things like that. But then I decided to try out some of these writer oriented packages.

        I glanced at Writer’s Cafe at about the time I first tried things out. At that time, I felt like yWriter gave me more things that I’d use. WC has a lot of nice features but yWriter just seemed to flow to me like I wanted. When I used yWriter, I supplemented it by using Microsoft Vizio to create and arrange my scene cards and to do my mind maps.

        I still prefer Vizio for doing my scene cards although I actually feel even more comfortable creating/ordering the scenes using more of an outline format. It works in my brain better.

        LSB provides a bunch of tools and then lets you figure out how to incorporate them to your workflow. With yWriter and WC, they both seem to take more of a “follow this workflow” approach that probably reflects the workflow used by the person who designed the software.

        Of the three, I think WC is probably has the better gadgets and more intuitive interface but for me, it’s got a ton of bells and whistles I’m just not interested in. yWriter is the more scaled down of the three and for simply writing a scene and moving it around, it’s probably the easiest for me to use.

        And LSB is the least intuitive but also the most flexible of the three. I can configure LSB to really help me with my process by incorporating the HtTS prompts into some of the objects so that at different points, it asks me the things I need asked. LSB isn’t really set up for people who approach things in a scene oriented (non-Chapter) way… but the objects are flexible enough that if you’re creative with them, you can get it to work really well that way.

        • The Pencil Neck Sep 24, 2009 @ 2:27

          Sorry for the novel response… πŸ™

          • Debora Sep 24, 2009 @ 8:07

            No apology needed! A very helpful response. I tried Writer’s Cafe, but found it too distracting. Too many bells and whistles, just as you said. LSB is too complicated for me. I lose track of where I’ve put stuff. I also found it weirdly claustrophobic, on a gut emotional level. I love yWriter as a working environment, precisely because it is scaled down. But that’s just me.

          • The Pencil Neck Sep 24, 2009 @ 13:19

            That was why I initially went with yWriter. It was simple and easy and fit in with my approach to writing pretty well.

            LSB is just not intuitive and it’s missing some things that both WC and yWriter have… but once I got into it, I really got into it.

  • Patricia Sep 23, 2009 @ 1:05

    Only 445 words today, and I must confess that I was thoroughly distracted by an amazing book. How I wish I could write like that. πŸ˜€ Kidding, with those kinds of thoughts I’ll never get anywhere. Anyway, ceremony is over, and Ryan is waiting for his ally to show up so they can hightail it out of the place. She’s taking an awful long time…he’s starting to get worried.

    • HannaBelle Sep 23, 2009 @ 7:41

      Which book? I am looking for a new one to read.

      • Patricia Sep 23, 2009 @ 9:40

        Ever heard of the Inkheart series? Definitely a book for anyone who loves books or writing. πŸ™‚ I just finished the last one in the trilogy yesterday…oh, how I hate series even though I absolutely love them, because when they’re over you don’t want to leave. I’ve become far too attached to the characters. (I hope my own books turn out that way *grin*)

        • HannaBelle Sep 23, 2009 @ 10:20

          I will check it out, probably today. Series and thick books are hard for me to pick up, because I know myself, I get so wrapped up in them I can’t stop reading. Same goes for TV series, I have to limit what I start watching because I am a story junkie, and will binge on them. I kind of like that I can watch them online or on DVD, but then again, I don’t, it can kill a whole weekend.

          I like to think I am contributing to the other side of writing being the audience, the reader, the listener, the watcher. 😎

          • Mark Sep 23, 2009 @ 18:18

            Binge reading became a big issue for me as a kid. I’d start a book in the afternoon, finish it in the early hours of the morning and then go to school. not a good idea.

            I thought I got out of that habit… but then I started reading Harry Potter. When you find a good series, I swear it’s impossible to stop.

            I don’t watch anything online. I try to limit my internet to research only, otherwise I wouldn’t get any writing done at all (especially if i visit wikipedia).

  • Ieva Sep 23, 2009 @ 0:54

    1000+ words again, and yay me! I finished that tricky scene. How I love writing those scenes that begin with two determined people and end with two determined people but in a different mood, different goals, because slowly, they changed..or realized who they really are. I love it when I get it just right. This time, I have (I think).
    Another tricky scene ahead, but this time the trick is somewhere else.

  • Clare K. R. Miller Sep 23, 2009 @ 0:05

    No writing yesterday, but 510 words last night. The humans think the elf is crazy for her theory that the gun shoots light or fire, not projectiles. The elf has pointed out that the humans just aren’t following the right laws.

  • Yese Sep 23, 2009 @ 0:02

    Wow. You guys are real writers and I admire that. I am a beginning writer who has aspired to be one since I was a kid! But it was not until a few weeks ago that I really sat down and decided I was going to write the book that is in my heart.

    It is hard. I respect you guys.

    I am struggling with plot right now even though I have done some prewriting and have started the actual thing. I sincerely think that I can do this. So I’m not giving up. πŸ™‚

    Reading your progress is a daily encouragement.

    • Joyce Sep 23, 2009 @ 2:48

      Stick with it. We were all in the same place once, with a big dream and a healthy dose of determination. And real writers are the ones who do the work of writing. So welcome to our ranks. πŸ˜‰

    • HannaBelle Sep 23, 2009 @ 7:45

      I have been a writer wannabe since I was a child too, but couldn’t get going. Following this WABWM thread is the first time I have ever written on a regular basis, other than for work. Rest assured you are not the only newbie here. Glad you won’t give up.

  • Adam Sep 22, 2009 @ 23:41

    got through the monologue, and now it is just the group hanging out at the tavern until they go home. going to have the MC talk to one of the humans who are sitting at a table, and they are going to join in the quest the main group has undertaken. good thing too, they’re going to need all the help they can get. (thats where i start back up after closing this one gap).

    still have to get the MC uncomfortable… might need to make that scene a new chapter in order to do it justice, but it will complicate life for the MC even more, and really lead to the confusion he feels in the next section.

    1200 words, so hit my goal and was pretty successful. good luck to you all.

  • Shannon Sep 22, 2009 @ 23:33

    After an unplanned, week long break (everybody in the house has been sick, and not all at the same time) I finally got back to it and got 621 words tonight. It was really hard, too. I find that taking more than a couple of days off from writing makes it hard to get back into the groove. Tonight was mostly dialogue between the two MCs. It’s really awkward in places and most of it will probably get cut out eventually, but I had to write something. I figure tomorrow morning I’ll feel better about 621 words of crappy dialogue than I would about another wasted night of no writing.

  • Sarah Collins Sep 22, 2009 @ 23:32

    1862 words today and the end of chapter 4. Well over the 15k word mark!

  • Red_dot Sep 22, 2009 @ 23:21

    400 more words today still on CH7 hit the 25K mark.

  • Mark Sep 22, 2009 @ 23:19

    I got 794 words last night (not including the many pages I wrote and deleted). It’s the first time I’ve written in a few evenings, as I bumped into a rather annoying plot hole. Since then I’ve been pacing the room and talking to myself, trying to figure out how to fix it. My only conclusion: One of the characters must go.

    I hate being put in the position of having to choose, not to mention the characters are really different, so combining them (other than in superficial ways) is quite out of the question. Of course it’s more than just picking the character I like the most. It has to be the character that will make the group dynamic most interesting… And this decision will last till the end of the book (and into the next one), so I want to get it right.

    Le sigh.

    However, I finsihed Chocky. I liked it so much, I’m going to have to buy it, which also means I’m going to need a new bookcase.

  • Rabia Sep 22, 2009 @ 23:11

    Just got 615 words. It’s a slow scene, keeping vigil over a dead body. Most of the candles were just snuffed out as part of the ritual, and I’m curious to know why RB threw that in there. What’s going to happen in this mostly-darkness? I’ll have to wait till tomorrow to find out. πŸ™‚

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.