WABWM — Jace and the Job

More words on HELP WANTED tonight. Again, I’ve not been able to work on this regularly. Because of the headaches, I’m at a creative low ebb…but tonight I got 554 words in a bit over 30 minutes, and this through the headache.

I figured out how Jace’s job works, which is a big deal, because she ends up with just about the most dangerous job in the universe.

Use this thread for WABWM for the next few days. I’ll do my best to write more this week, but I’ve been trying my best to get the site fixed up before I take the Christmas/ New Year holidays off to spend with family, and I don’t know that I’ll have the opportunity to work on it again before I come back next year.

January 10th is my “end of vacation” return date. I’ll be doing customer service during my vacation because I don’t want to shut down all the courses—but that’s it.

Anyway. How did your words go?

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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.

99 comments… add one
  • Danzier Apr 11, 2011 @ 21:17

    Soooo Holly is getting WABWM up and running again, according to the HTTS Walkthrough site. No timeline yet but I thought you guys would like to know.

    I had the first ten pages of Pipes shredded by my scriptwriting class today. The teacher was surprised that I pulled off a kick-a first draft when I’d had to ditch…3 or 4 ideas for scripts that couldn’t cut it and had to be ditched. Basically I wrote it in two weeks, and they loved it… so I’m on a bit of a high. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Hanna Apr 10, 2011 @ 10:37

    I got an idea yesterday about a structural problem in Bx2, while waiting for my cat at the vet. Who whoulda thought. Page full of notes, even a timeline, hope to get back to them this afternoon.

    • Danzier Apr 11, 2011 @ 21:12

      A. I hope your cat is ok!
      B. Congratulations on getting words in a wacky place!

  • Danzier Apr 4, 2011 @ 20:40

    You’re welcome, Hanna.

    I wrote a super-short script and three pages towards my 45-page goal. Despite all the prep work I’ve done in the past month or so, I hadn’t felt like I’d accomplished anything until now. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Danzier Apr 8, 2011 @ 22:37

      First ten pages of the script (rough) are done. I read it through and noticed a couple of formatting errors and some plot insecurities, so I’m going to go back and work through the plot cards for it. Monday it will be shredded by my classmates, so yay…

      Also, I did a short presentation about a documentary film I hope to make this summer. It really reminded me just how terrified I am of large groups of people.

  • Hanna Apr 4, 2011 @ 9:56

    Stuck, stuck, stuck. Not writers block, just stuck stuck stuck, wrote myself into a hole. 200 words today, still in the hole. I have a plan to get un-stuck … will let you know if i t works.

  • Hanna Apr 3, 2011 @ 13:03

    Thanks, Danzier, for pointing me back in the right direction for WABWM. I got sidetracked, mostly evil-day-job stuff. I am struggling with the timeline and narrator of Bx2, so just writing bits and pieces until the narrator reveals him/her self.

  • Jeanette Apr 1, 2011 @ 21:40

    I’ve been bad. Very bad. Only 1,000 words this week. It helps to come hear from other writers or pick up a Writer’s Digest at the library and get my brain back in gear.

  • Danzier Mar 25, 2011 @ 10:25

    Update time again…

    So I’m going through HTTS and building a story that will be a script at the type-in stage but has to actually be a story, first. So far it’s going well… about 50 words but they all count. My muse wants my MC to be named Persephone Jones, though… Not sure on that one.

  • WandersNowhere Mar 23, 2011 @ 3:14

    Peeking through HTWAS and having some small but potentially huge revelations; the international politics which I had just intended to be background, or to act as little bursts of plot-propulsion to push the characters where they needed to go (as opposed to, say, having some cliche wizard appear and tell them where to quest) has possibly grown into a plot tumor obscuring the main story.

    It’s the fault of one of my main villains, as he keeps using the political stuff to smokescreen the very very evil stuff he’s doing underneath. I think I need to make sure his smokescreen doesn’t BECOME the story, even if it means kicking his ass over it.

    • Danzier Mar 23, 2011 @ 23:27

      If you let the reader know that he’s using it as a smokescreen against other characters, but not against the reader, you can get a lot of politics into the story and it won’t kill it. (Then again, I’ve read 90% of Tom Clancy’s work with approval. I know it’s not the direction you want to take, but I’m sure you can make the politics work however they’re useful.)

  • Julian Adorney Mar 21, 2011 @ 5:26

    Haven’t posted in a while. I’ve written some stories since then, including a zombie-romance short short and a fun story about a flamboyantly gay ninja. The former was definitely the better of the two.

    Haven’t written anything not assigned for class, though, in a while. Tonight was the first night writing the story I want to write, a fun tale about a young treasure hunter, adventure, and opening up to love. Got 828 words. I doubt many of them are good, but it’s first draft and I’m rusty, so I’ll take it.

    I’ve got the core ideas down, just not the elegant prose. Rewriting will be fun.

  • WandersNowhere Mar 16, 2011 @ 23:25

    Hi Danzier,

    My part of Japan has not been affected at all so far, though that may change depending on the situation at the Fukushima nuclear plant. So far we are being assured that there’s no threat to this part of Japan from the radiation, but the situation is clearly deteriorating fast, international news and politicians are panicking like a bunch of electrocuted turkeys in a windstorm, and the people here are carrying on as normal, but closer to it – like Tokyo – everyone is deeply worried that the govt and TEPCO aren’t being honest. Doesn’t help that Americans have enforced twice the exclusion zone the Japanese have for their people and are refusing to go closer.

    Very hard to get any clear information, especially for foreigners, and a lot are fleeing Japan. I don’t want to leave because I love this country and her brave people. I had a holiday flight home booked for the 24th and I am intending to take it as planned, but not before, unless it becomes absolutely necessary.

    • WandersNowhere Mar 17, 2011 @ 22:01

      Update: there have been no further explosions or fires at the reactor, the radiation level while still high is dropping, and the water drops appear to have been partially successful. They have reconnected the power cable and should be online by Sunday. Restoring power is a huge step forward. Kami-sama willing, they’re starting to get things under control.

      But the media frenzy is stressing a lot of people, especially in Tokyo where there have been rolling blackouts to conserve power and panic buying has stripped the supermarkets and convenience stores. I used to be critical of the Japanese media’s downplaying of the nuclear accident but now I am understanding the effects of the opposite approach – foreign media shock jocks are milking this for all it’s worth and scaring the hell out of everyone at an emotional time.

      Foreigners are leaving Japan in droves because of fear sparked by overseas news. I can understand their fears, especially in the northeast where the rolling blackouts, supply shortages and transport disruptions must be creating an unsettling atmosphere to say the least. But I also think it reflects poorly on we foreign residents in comparison to the Japanese, who are bearing all of this with admirable strength. None of the foreign English teachers in my area are leaving, we are far outside the affected zone. All are concerned, though. Anything anyone is willing to do to help the people of Japan is enormously appreciated.

      • Danzier Mar 18, 2011 @ 9:04

        Just as a quick note: my radio this morning said there’s at least one 747 full of supplies headed your way. I presume about a 12-hour flight and I heard it at 7:30 AM, so (after doing math) it should reach you around … noon tomorrow, your time.

        • WandersNowhere Mar 22, 2011 @ 0:27

          Thank you ๐Ÿ˜€
          The outpouring of support from overseas has been very touching. The most urgent business is not the reactor, but clearing the debris enough to get critical supplies through to the evacuees, to relocate those stranded and rendered homeless by the quake and to get those who need medical treatment to hospitals. 450,000 people are in need of care.

          Things seem to be looking up at the reactors, but ever since things started to stabilise it’s been hard to find updated news. It vanished off the front pages of most news sites I went to. Guess if it isn’t going to be a nuclear apocalypse after all they think Charlie Sheen and Knut the Dead Polar Bear are more worth reporting. Disgusting. :/

  • Danzier Mar 16, 2011 @ 2:01

    Hey Wanders! Good to know you’re ok and found a working internet point. Prayers and hopeful thoughts for you, your students, and Japan in general. If there’s anything we can do to help you know how to reach us.

    (schroe29@uwosh.edu; that’s me.)

  • WandersNowhere Mar 16, 2011 @ 1:46

    Hey everyone.

    Sorry for being slow. I’m keen to keep up with Holly’s courses and keep sharing WABWM stories but recent events in Japan where I’m living have pretty much killed my writing for now.

    Let you all know how it pans out. Love & Peace,

    Wanders

  • Danzier Mar 11, 2011 @ 9:15

    Now that’s the kind of villain I wish I could write. Mine tend to look like the bad guys on Power Rangers–overdressed, blatent, with a 15-cent budget and they couldn’t have an original idea if it fell out of the sky and knocked their styrofoam heads off. (Erm, I was going to say “no offence” but…well, I really can’t. I don’t think the PR bad guys have been anything different since the show started some 15 years ago, and I thought they were stupid bad guys even then.)

    How necessary is it for the good guys to figure out all of Senior Arch-Villain’s plotting? Do they need to see every domino that fell, or will the dead elephant overshadow some dominos? Sometimes I’ll see the hero get things seriously wrong, only to use their wrong bits to discover the real truth, and because they were wrong I’d give it more credance.

    Meanwhile…
    I couldn’t stop hating FE. I tried. So I went in and had a long talk with my teacher. I will be starting over with a new story…but I will probably try to include some of the things that I liked from FE. I just got week 6 of HTTS, and since I’m writing for class at this point, I will save it and go back through the first 5 weeks’ lessons again. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Danzier Mar 7, 2011 @ 13:57

    *Is stomping on the crickets.

    • WandersNowhere Mar 8, 2011 @ 1:51

      Hi Danzier ๐Ÿ˜€

      World war steampunk dragon zombie mutants may have gotten ‘burn points’ but it sounds right up my alley. I confess a deep and abiding love for cheese so cheesy you have to scrape it off your plate as long as it’s done with a sense of fun! Maybe that’s the key to your script, keeping it tongue in cheek?

      As for me, I’ve been sick and sad and working on some insane SL projects for the hell of it, mainly trying to burn out my ongoing and inexplicable Dracula kick. It did, however, give me the incentive to finish the Capes & Bats story for Cat Tales, which is currently on the last few paragraphs of its epilogue. It’s turned out novel length, and taken me years, which probably proves I should NOT write fanfic, but it’s been a gas to write and I’ve made a good writer friend through it. And I actually think it’s a pretty good story.

      I’ve put all other writing projects on hold until C&B is done, not because it’s more important than they are but because I want to finish it, wrap it, and clear it from my headspace before I tackle them again.

      Next will be finishing Wampyr if my vampire kick lasts long enough, and then…and then…

      Resuming ARC’s long-paused revision, and this time, I’m breaking out the big guns. The really big guns. I’m going to hit that story not just with HTRYN, but with everything I’m about to learn from HTWAS, plus Holly’s clinics and all the other materials I’ve bought from her.

      This is not because I think the book I’ve already written is bad, but because I can finally see what it COULD be. And that’s giving me chills of nigh-religious awe. But to pull it off I’ll need to be the best writer I can be and I’ll need to plan ahead even further than I already have. This is Luke-aiming-at-the-Death-Star-exhaust-port kinda stuff.

      I get one last shot at this monster. Wish me luck.

      • Danzier Mar 8, 2011 @ 17:59

        Good Luck!!

        I finally saved up enough to take HTTS, and I’m five weeks deep into it. I’m beginning to see how the Sideways lessons can turn a sad joke of a story (AJCTA, my real main story) into something worth reading at three in the morning. ๐Ÿ™‚ I really want to see how ARC turns out, and I’m certain that when it’s the way you want it, it’ll be blowing socks off feet the world around.

        I’ve just barely gotten off my vampire kick–possibly seeing “Twilight” related stuff everywhere may have had something to do with it. I still have a vampire story I want to tell, but it can wait.

        I actually hadn’t considered making the script (code FE) into a comedy. I’m not sure I can write comedy–mostly because I haven’t tried and I have an off-kilter sense of humor. I’ve been looking at it from as many points of view as I can, and it keeps looking wrong. As a drama it’s too cliche; as a horror it’s too mild; sci-fi is too fantasy and vice versa. I couldn’t find anything comedic about the story at first, and since I’ve taken the same elements and worked out at least four different plotlines, that’s a lot of non-comedy. I’ll have to think on it a bit and see if I can turn drama into comedy.

        In other news, my teachers very kindly gave me extensions since I have so much writing to do. So, classes not failed. Graduation likely next December. Yay!

        • WandersNowhere Mar 8, 2011 @ 22:11

          Re: comedy – I don’t think it has to be laugh-out-loud-funny, but something with the components you described has to be either played deadpan (but stuffed to the brim full of Awesome) or not take itself seriously in order to work. Take an example; there’s an upcoming Finnish movie I want to see called Iron Skies. It’s about space Nazis from the Moon invading Earth in 2018. No, not making this up; the teaser trailer looks ice-cold awesome; eerie neo-1930’s ‘love song’ played over an ominous scene of the moon-Nazis arming their grimy cyberpunk spaceships in preparation for the invasion. It looks like it’s actually taking its subject matter dead seriously….until the end of the trailer when a pigeon lands on the giant Iron Eagle and poops on its head. Yes, it’s a comedy. No, I am -still- not making any of that up.

          So, if you wanna keep your dragons, zombies, dragon zombies, civil war, world war, spies, steampunk airplanes, ancient curses, and genetic experiments gone wrong, I’m just saying, consider NOT trying to make it Oscar material, why not embrace that implausible Pirate Robot Ninja Zombie kitchen sink craziness and MILK it, make it the selling point? ๐Ÿ˜€ What’s wrong with an off-kilter sense of humor? ^.- you don’t really have to *try* to make that funny, just let it play naturally but keep a self-awareness about it. Give your audience a stage wink now and then. I can see it rocking.

          ARC is giving me a few stage winks of its own, ironing out its own plot holes in my brain. For example, before I had a massive problem with the assassination subplot; if the demon cult has agents -in the goddamned castle-, why does it need a foreign king to hire mercenaries, smuggle them into the country, and have them infiltrate the castle in order to pull off the assassination?

          Answer: Because in the new draft, the human world has been on hostile terms with the Elders, the original inhabitants of the planet they’re on, for centuries. The heroes’ homeland is one of the few members of the Empire that exists in relative peace with them. The elders are enemies of the demons the cult serves.

          And the assassins the cult indirectly hired are renegade Elders.

          So A + B + C = if the princess is murdered by an Elder, not only does it trigger a diplomatic crisis between the two countries involved but it also casts doubt on the motives of the King (since his country tolerates the Elders) and causes the King to mistrust the Elders (weakening the trust there as well)…
          …which is exactly the kind of ludicrously convoluted, kill-fifteen-birds-and-an-elephant-in-a-domino-effect-with-one-stone-that-you-tricked-someone-else-into-throwing kind of plot the arch-villain orchestrating this one revels in.

          I love him for his villainy, but his penchant for convoluted deceptions (Xanatos Roulettes, for the TVtropers among us) causes me serious pain, because he very rarely lets the heroes be in any position to figure them out. Which, as the heroes, they obviously need to.

  • Danzier Feb 16, 2011 @ 19:31

    My comment is awaiting moderation.

    How’s everyone doing?

  • Danzier Feb 16, 2011 @ 19:30

    Hi everyone!
    It’s been a couple of weeks since there’s been much activity here. After a solid year of (trying to) “write 250 words a day” it’s kind of depressing to see that. I know y’all are still writing; how’s it going for you? Happy days? Problems? Wierd stuff? …Still breathing?

    Well, here’s my update, anyway. Under the heading, “I have to graduate so I don’t die of college debt!” is nearly all my writing so far this year. I’m going to be writing a semi-documentary about a state park (as the focus script for preproduction), 45 pages of film script for scriptwriting, and a good eight to ten papers on various film-related topics.

    I pulled a fast one on myself with that 45-page script, though. I was on the spot. Rather than develop a new idea, I pitched a reworking of a failed novel…and it passed, so now I have to do it. So…dragons, zombies, dragon zombies, civil war, world war, spies, steampunk airplanes, ancient curses, and genetic experiments gone wrong… It got something like 12 points in Holly’s “Burn it, bury it, let it live” test, which meant break out the matches. And I’ve doomed myself to fixing it in two months.

    Maybe I should have my head examined. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Jessica Feb 1, 2011 @ 15:12

    Back in November I decided I wanted to write a book. This is not the first time I’ve decided to do this. Since I was about 11, I’ve started countless books. Now, after 9 years of quitting and never finishing a project. I have finished a first draft, and typing that gave me chills. I know I still have a very long way to go until my book is done. But I have got through the hardest part of the process for myself.

    I even flew through the middle, where I typically flounder and fail. I mostly thank Holly and her Create a Plot Clinic, but a lot of people have helped me here as well. So I have to thank everybody for being here for advice and encouragement when I needed it. I’m definately going to be around throughout the revision process and my next novel as well. But I’m going to be swamped for a while, and I didn’t want to forget to give thanks to everybody who has helped me get to where I am right now.

  • Alexa Jan 28, 2011 @ 9:52

    I just want to say what an inspiring bunch of people there are on the Holly site – reading through everyones trials and tribulations and seeing how supportive everyone is I’m feeling a lot more optimistic about my own struggles.

    Lost my way with a novel I’ve started so bought Holly’s Plot course a few days ago – and I’ve already come up with more ideas than I have in the last two months! Haven’t been writing many actual words but still feel like I’m making progress because of it.

    And from what I’ve read I will definitely be making a much more concerted effort to just write and not edit as I go. Anyone else find that it’s more of a problem when you’re typing then when you write long hand? Shame I can’t read my hand wriiting, otherwise I might take to just doing first drafts with pen and paper!

  • Danzier Jan 28, 2011 @ 5:48

    Aw drat, Wanders, now I want to read that RIGHT NOW! ๐Ÿ˜€

    … So… The script I started clear back in September and was supposed to finish in December? Kicked my butt. I hit more blocks and ticked off characters who wouldn’t talk to me in that script than I ever have. And I just yesterday figured out what was wrong, and now I have about 24 hours to rewrite the whole thing. And finish it. Or I fail the class.

    … And the English class that, clear back when around September, I asked the WABWM board if I could use some of your posts for my class…anyone remember that? Well, in this same 24 hours, I have to finish that. Two papers left, 12 pages/3000 words. Or I fail the class.

    …If that’s not enough, I have to get in to the college’s film editing lab, ask one of our Better Than Batman engineers to transfer my 16mm to Beta tape, edit the project, and turn it in. Or… yeah, same deal.

    I really suck at this college thing.

    Oh, and SP is still not done.

    Does anyone else miss the WABWM/Talysmana boards?

    • WandersNowhere Jan 31, 2011 @ 2:01

      *raises hand* I do!

    • Gabby Mar 10, 2011 @ 14:23

      I was just thinking that too. I really miss the daily updates everyone used to do

  • WandersNowhere Jan 26, 2011 @ 20:30

    Got the C&B chapter done and posted. One more and the epilogue and I’m done with it for good. I wouldn’t have persisted this long with it, I don’t think, if it wasn’t for the support and enthusiasm of the writer of CT, who’s become my writing correspondant and friend through this.

    After this I’ll get back to Wampyr and milk the most out of my vampire kick while it lasts. Then, most likely, back to ARC, with prodigious jotting of notes and test scenes for the enormous changes that little Eureka moment I mentioned promises for the revised 1st book.

    Stronger climax. New villain. More focused action. And a revitalised setting.

    The heart of the revelation being; when the Cosmic McGuffin starts calling to the heroes in their dreams, instead of ‘We keep getting overwhelming visions of this big…glowing..ball…orb…thing…’ they’ll actually know WHAT and WHERE it is.

    And since ‘where’ is ‘the heart of the empire that rules the known world’ and ‘what’ is ‘the source of all the empire’s power’ their response, rather than complete befuddlement, will be more along the lines of ‘….Oh, shit.’

  • Julian Adorney Jan 22, 2011 @ 2:44

    Had an epiphany. The moment I think: ‘this is the best story idea I’ve ever come up with; I can sell it for like $.10/word!’, the moment I think: ‘I don’t have time to revise this, I have to get it right the first time’…those are the moments that sap my writing of any joy. I simply cannot write with those unrealistic expectations hanging over my head, and expect to enjoy writing.

    I don’t enjoy revising, or selling stories for less than $.5/word, but both those things are here to stay. If I set out to write the perfect, bestselling, first draft, than the only result will be to turn writing into torture.

    So, on to tonight’s writing, with the understanding that it IS first draft, I am NOT Isaac Asimov, and I do NOT have to make $500 from this story to pay my bills. I’m doing this for fun, and (up until I finish the story and send it to my publisher) ONLY for fun.

  • Tori Jan 20, 2011 @ 6:06

    @Wanders-

    You know what’s funny? I was just wondering about whether or not you’d heard back from Rebel Tales yet. I know it’s probably killing you to wait…but I’d suggest focusing on your other projects. If I was you I certainly would want to keep myself busy!

    Thanks to all of you I’ve bitten the bullet and have continued with HTRYN, even though I’ve felt like complete crap for weeks regarding my writing. And the funny thing is, whereas my first read-through I felt like there is nothing I can save…this time through, moving through this Lesson I am seeing where I did things right, or at least good enough that I’m not cringing!

    This revision is showing me where I went lazy with research I should have done. Next time around this isn’t something I will take lightly. Instead of waiting til that scene to do a quick search, or worse yet, the revision I’m going to take my time to figure things out much earlier in the process. Like maybe while planning:/

    • WandersNowhere Jan 20, 2011 @ 19:33

      @Tori –
      Oh, I get you on the planning thing, when you’re fired up and you just had this great idea it’s so easy to just leap into it and not think about any kind of planning until later. I tend to do things seat-of-my-pants and whee it’s fun, but it sure creates headaches later when you’re trying to make the thing make, you know, sense >.>

      Very glad to hear you’re feeling more confident about your work. You’ve had a lot of negative stuff to say about it so far but I have this feeling it’s nowhere near as bad as you think. There’s something in you that sees something worth continuing to work on or you wouldn’t be. Just keep that in focus and keep your chin up and you’ll be fine!

  • WandersNowhere Jan 19, 2011 @ 20:24

    Progress on the fanfic thing, it’s almost done. One more chapter and an unusual epilogue to go. Then back to my original stuff. I’d like to finish Wampyr and then potentially dig into the revision of my big story’s Book I.

    I’ll confess, though, I’ve just been killing time while waiting to hear about Rebel Tales. I know that I should just put it to the back of my head and keep writing, but subconsciously I’ve been trying to keep my plate clear, I think, in case I get accepted and then suddenly have to make any required editor’s changes to Ithnaluk.

    Going to keep writing though. Had a HUGE revelation about ARC: There’s a country that gets mentioned a couple of times, a kind of economic superpower connected to the Cosmic MacGuffin at the heart of the story. The revelation was, what if this country wasn’t some distant half-known entity, but the Capital of an empire that rules half the known world, including the heroes’ homeland?

    This seems like an arbitrary change, but it would shuffle and simplify so much, which I’ll explain more on my tumblr later for the interested. I think it’s a win win win situation for me.

  • Jeanette Raleigh Jan 14, 2011 @ 14:47

    Holly’s latest course email is very timely. (Either she’s reading the posts or psychic!!!) Anyway, After I build up the subplot, I will listen as a good student should and go back to see if I can combine the new character with an old one. (Which I’m sure is a resounding yes.)

  • Jeanette Raleigh Jan 11, 2011 @ 23:36

    I like it when the evil foreshadowing commences…:) I also like the whole 250 words and don’t flog yourself thing. I had a very unproductive day. I added a sentence to one of my stories. Yes, that is all I did today…well, that and several rousing games of spider solitaire.. (Somewhat embarrassing to admit, since I generally like better games, but I actually can get bored playing spider solitaire, so it’s a good ‘work’ game.) I’ll try to get my 250 in before bedtime, though.

  • WandersNowhere Jan 10, 2011 @ 22:05

    Had a bit of a rough new year, not much writing done aside from the bat thing.

    Wampyr-wise I’m up to the bit where the protag comes home from the fields to discover his young wife has picked up a stray child and wants to look after him. Protag refuses and takes the kid to town to see whose boy this is. He discovers everyone acting rather oddly…evil foreshadowing commences.

  • Jeanette Raleigh Jan 8, 2011 @ 20:46

    Thanks Gabby. As a matter of fact, a similar thing happened to me today. I met up with a writer friend today and talked about my story. My problem stemmed from the fact that I had already written myself into a corner. We discussed what could happen and suddenly I have a new subplot and character.

    • Gabby Jan 9, 2011 @ 16:05

      Yay! I love it when that happens- eureka moment ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Jeanette Raleigh Jan 8, 2011 @ 12:12

    Oh, speaking of working on multiple stories, I strongly suggest trying it if you get stuck or want to be more prolific. When I wear out on one story, sometimes I’ll still have energy for another one. I think I’m out of juice, but switching gears and working on something else re-energizes my creativity and I can usually get the same number of pages on both stories that I normally only would have gotten on one.

  • Jeanette Raleigh Jan 8, 2011 @ 12:07

    My first day of the 250 words a day. Actually, I’m really trying for 2,000 (I’ve been writing for a while and have worked up to it), but on the days when I’m burnt out, I’ll say at LEAST 250. I’m terribly stuck on my murder mystery. The main plot was great, lots of candy bar scenes, but the red herring subplot is deeply mired in something akin to tidal mud.

    I’ve decided to commit the 250 words to resolving the BIG PLOT PROBLEM. And the other 1750 to playing with the new story I’m writing while the first one kicks loose.

    • Gabby Jan 8, 2011 @ 15:15

      Just throwing this out there in case it works for you…
      I get stuck alot. For some reason, when I type my question out in this blog–trying to explain the situation to people who aren’t familiar at all with the story–an answer will occur to me. (It’s just something about writing it all out). I don’t even end up posting the question. I’ll usually just post a “thank you for WABWM” post. LOL
      This is not always the case but it feels like magic when it does work.

    • Gabby Jan 8, 2011 @ 16:28

      Hah! darn worldbuilding. Stuck, stuck, stuck ๐Ÿ™

      I’m trying to figure out the magical technology in my world. Ugh, so much to think about/decide.

  • Larkk Jan 7, 2011 @ 22:12

    I donโ€™t know how to call down lightning yet, but I do have a ray of creative sunshine to report.
    Dragons, the muse kept nudging me. I want to write about dragons.
    But dragons have been done to death. Thereโ€™s A Game of Thrones, thereโ€™s that horrid Eragon book, and of course, How to Train your Dragon, and probably others I havenโ€™t even read.
    โ€ฆAs if commercially viable is even within my grasp. Iโ€™m still just practicing.
    So dragons it is. In modern times, in our world.
    What if?
    I had a dragon of my own, that one no one knew about, a little a bit of magic that no one else has? I think I know what that would feel like, being a writer, yโ€™know. It could be a story about convictions, about staying true to your beliefs, keeping the magic in your life. And I could write a female protag, when I despaired ever finding someone of my own gender deserving of the lead role.
    But when I thought I might consign this idea to sit in the corner and wait patiently until, in between my revision and critiquing, I had the time to write it, the muse tossed me the opening line.
    โ€œKarma usually waited until the third date to talk about her dragonโ€ฆโ€

  • Julian Adorney Jan 6, 2011 @ 2:50

    612 words tonight.

    I’ve been writing pretty consistently (well, more consistently than I used to) since late December, working on this story about treasure hunters. But up until now, it just wouldn’t flow; everything I wrote felt dead in the water.

    And then, of course, I visited this website and managed to find EXACTLY the article I needed to get things moving again: Using Your Life. I tore up most of what I’d written and started again. This new draft’s by no means perfect, but it’s a hell of a lot better than the last draft. And more importantly, I’m having loads more fun writing it.

    So: 612 fun, meaningful, hopefully good words. Thanks for your help, Holly ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Danzier Jan 6, 2011 @ 1:12

    Haha! I wrote something!

    Yeah. I really needed that vacation. Now I’m hard up against deadlines and finally, finally, able to sit down and power through the story. I figured out what I was hung up on in both the script and SP. I won’t be able to fix SP the way it needs to be fixed, but in the script I just changed the setting and bam, instant conflict and plot motion. Who’d have thought an audience for a fight would make that much difference? (You guys would have ๐Ÿ™‚ ) 346 words on the script so far.

    In other news, my daughter got a pet hermit crab for Christmas. His name is Herman.

  • WandersNowhere Dec 28, 2010 @ 20:16

    I decided to give Wampyr a break and go back to my OTHER vampire-related fiction; the episodic fanfic I had promised to finish for my friend. For those unfamiliar, it’s a Batman vs Dracula fic set in the Cat Tales ‘verse. If you don’t know what Cat Tales is, you should probably google it or ask me, lol. For those of you who read it, my contribution’s called ‘Capes and Bats’ and can be found in the Spinoffs section.

    This chapter was giving me trouble, because it’s completely insane. I’d ended the last chapter on one of those ‘uh oh’ moments. Something involving Catwoman trying to protect a ballroom full of hapless rich sops from vampiric versions of Harley, Ivy, and Joker, with the Count intent on adding her to his new brood. Oh, and giggling Joker zombies. Don’t ask.

    So to actually get Selina out of this mess, I had to give Team Bat and Cat an unexpected ally in Jimmy T. the hotel valet, stuffed in an air vent and terrified out of his wits…

    It may seem a little silly, but general fun is the idea, and I think it’s to be found. A mix of mystery, romance, action and humor is what my friend’s project and my contribution to it is all about.

  • Jessica Dec 28, 2010 @ 12:54

    I wrote my first candy bar scene yesterday. It wasn’t as sweet as I thought it would be. I guess when I’m excited about every chapter and every scene of the book… The candy bar scenes lose their pizazz. It sounds beautiful, and I had fun writing it, but I was expecting to want to take longer on it. The scene came and went rather quickly.

    Now I’m at my halfway point in my first draft. The furthest I’ve ever gotten, and it’s only been a month since I started. I refuse to go back through and read anything I’ve written until I’m finished, and it’s really helping me push forward. Thank gosh for Holly! If I had never discovered her, I would never have gotten this close to my dream! I’d say I have about 30,000 words for the first draft so far. So the book will probably end up being much longer then I originally planned (I add lots of detail during revisions) but I’m really excited about the project.

    I’m off to start my second candy bar scene, I’ve already got goosebumps just thinking about it! Happy writing and Happy Holidays everyone!

  • Danzier Dec 26, 2010 @ 1:58

    I’m stuck up against two endings. For some reason that’s the hardest part of the story for me to write. I get to the point where, in a 3-act format, the 2nd act is closing and the third act should start, and I can’t get there. There’s a line in one of my favorite books where the author says a particular topic change is like jumping from a speeding train into a wall of half-set jello (“Flying Dutch” by Tom Holt). That’s how my endings feel…I’m stopped dead in my tracks and flummoxed to boot.

    Do any of you guys run into this? Any advice?

    • Jessica Dec 28, 2010 @ 13:00

      I have had theat problem, many times. When I first started my current project I had decided that I was going to end it in a way that would throw everybody off the tracks but when I talked to my main character about it, she told me I was insane and that she would never be so stupid. My best advice would be to put yourself in your main character’s shoes. Think like they do, what would they do?

      If that doesn’t work, I would suggest Holly’s Create a Plot Clinic it’s cheap and fantastic for getting yourself out of a deep rut. There’s great advice in there regarding strangling the right words out of your muse.

  • Hanna Dec 22, 2010 @ 17:35

    Most every morning, I am still trying to get typed my handwritten story. I wrote more by hand than I realized. Trying not to add or elaborate, but sometimes I can’t be stopped. It could take me a few weeks to get it all entered and printed.

    • Hanna Jan 3, 2011 @ 12:20

      Still typing, almost done with the first notebook. Luckily, the second is not even half the notebook. AND, getting a new computer any day now. That will help A LOT, since my other one is limping. I am considering switching into Scrivener or Writers Cafe along with my first revision. any suggestions to do or not do this at that time?

  • Gabby Dec 22, 2010 @ 10:42

    Still working my way through the worldbuilding in the 2YN course. Trying to get to the outlining section by Fri (8 lessons away/~3 lessons per day) so that I can work on updating my outline to fit all the new stuff while doing my holiday travelling. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I love the holidays.

    • Gabby Dec 23, 2010 @ 10:07

      1 lesson down… 7 to go.

    • Gabby Jan 5, 2011 @ 16:46

      Another lesson down… 6 to go

      • Gabby Jan 5, 2011 @ 17:38

        oh contraire… actually 5 to go :))

        • Danzier Jan 6, 2011 @ 1:03

          Wow, Gabby, you’re really rockin’!

        • Gabby Jan 6, 2011 @ 10:18

          thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Gabby Jan 8, 2011 @ 15:08

      At long last, another lesson down. 4 worldbuilding lessons left.

    • Gabby Jan 9, 2011 @ 16:03

      Still in worldbuilding hell… I’ve determined that worldbuilding is a lot like dealing with a 3 year old:
      Why does that guy wear mismatched socks?
      because he is superstitious about wearing matching socks of friday
      but why does he care about fridays
      because his mother died on friday two years ago.
      but two hours ago you said he was an orphan and never knew his parents.
      crap! [reviews previous pages…]

      “because I said so” is such a tempting answer right now.

      Currently I’m building a magic system and there are just these niggling pieces that refuse to fall into place for me. Still the progress is very exciting. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Gabby Jan 15, 2011 @ 17:16

      Yup, still working away. I had to put aside the hanging bits of my magic and technology sections and move on. I am now on Week 25–the final worldbuilding lesson. Hurray. And then back to Week 22 to finish out the important magic stuff I skipped.
      (And then finally building out my new and improved outline)

    • Gabby Jan 15, 2011 @ 18:02

      I guess I should have waited to post. Finished week 25. yay. Now back to work out the remaining magic/technology pieces from week 22.

    • Gabby Jan 18, 2011 @ 11:48

      Worked at my updated outline yesterday-struggled, that is. I’ll be doing more of that today, probably for the rest of the week. [plotting is hard] ๐Ÿ˜€

      • Nicki Savantes Jan 18, 2011 @ 15:12

        Hey Gabby,
        I’ve been getting the comments in my inbox, and I’m impressed. Congratulations on sticking with it and keeping those updates posted! Look what progress you made since december 22, or even just in the last 10 days, that’s pretty damn good! You’re gonna crack this nut if you keep this up, you know? And I’m sure you will (we’re all cheering for you ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Gabby Jan 19, 2011 @ 16:53

      Hi Nikki,
      Thank you so much for the encouragement! Sometimes it feels like treading water in quicksand or something. The worldbuilding definitely helped; I feel on much more solid footing with the world.

      I was just going to post my latest update…

      struggling/struggling… which, I suppose, is to be expected when plotting.

      My big 3 issues:
      * I can’t seem to get myself to cut scenes that no longer work. I keep trying to save all the conflicting, pretty ideas. [working on that]
      * I can’t keep track of everyone’s motivations and conflicting needs. [my questions/answers just raise new questions/answers. does it ever end?]
      * my new “solutions” keep breaking previous solutions for other unrelated stuff. [gah!!]

      *** My brain is going to explode. *** ๐Ÿ™‚
      Why must EVERY idea be just as pretty and valid as every other idea?

      I’m going to keep plugging away at it as I know I’m making it more difficult than it is. Need to find some way to get perspective on the plot throughline.

      • Nicki Savantes Jan 19, 2011 @ 19:00

        One of the most important things I learnt from Holly was to keep the writing and the editing separate. Now, when I write, I write. I go with the flow of my muse. I let it come any which way. Doesn’t tie in logically with what went before? No problem!

        Imho all the problems you mention are solved in the revision Holly’s way (which is a mammoth undertaking in itself mind you, but it does mean first draft is that much easier)

    • Gabby Jan 20, 2011 @ 11:21

      Nicki,
      You make a really good point. I really need to think about it.

      On the pro side: maybe I could actually finish and it’s a lot easier to take stock once I have the whole thing in front of me.
      On the con side: revision nightmare ๐Ÿ™‚

      My inner critic is really resisting the idea of going back to winging it. Although I suppose some of the best twists have already come out of the previous 80K mess. […thinking, thinking…]

      • Nicki Savantes Jan 20, 2011 @ 17:07

        Hi there, Gabby!
        Nobody will deny a revision is a lot of work. But editing 50+ times as you write must be worse, no? And where is all the “fun in writing” you’re supposed to be having going, when you keep bringing on your inner editor?
        At least you don’t have to figure the revision out from scratch; you will be having a trustworthy guide and step by step guidelines to take you through it, so the process stays manageable. Just saying…

      • Gabby Feb 9, 2011 @ 14:06

        Wow! It’s been a month of procrastinating. Every time I sit down to write or to plan the remaining scenes for my story, I can’t decide what to do next. I panic and switch to doing something else.

        In the schedule I built for myself, I gave myself until Saturday to create the outline and time is certainly slipping away from me.

        I figure at least 20 scenes left until the end. I’m sure I will need more to make them link together properly (I’ll just worry about storylength later so I’ll certainly create as many extra scenes as I need.)
        This means I need to think up at least 5 scenes/day (just outline form, not actually write).
        Then my schedule gives me until April 1st to write out the scenes to “The End”.
        So as a goal, I’ll give myself until Mar 17th to write the 20 or so scenes. And then from Mar 18th to Apr 1st to update the beginning (add in missing scenes and bits to match the ending). And then I let it rest until Sept to do real revision.

        OK, so on to outlining. ๐Ÿ™‚ And I will definitely try to leave the worrying and editing til September! This should be fun and I certainly feel energized by the plan. …Just 5 scenes a day for the rest of the week. thanks Nicki!

  • Tori Dec 20, 2010 @ 14:38

    @Wanders-

    When I get through my revision and Iove to send you a little snippet of my work:) Be warned though…its not fantasy or sci fi or anything like that. It’s about your everyday teenager getting into really crappy problems. I’m starting to itch for more…some sci fi/fantasy thing in a next project, but don’t really know how to write one. Thanks for your comment about burning the forest down:) It’s what I needed to hear and I think I can get editing again.

    @Danzier-

    That makes perfect sense! I think that would take a lot of pressure of to tell myself just focus on this one chapter, this page, this character. I’m working through Holly’s Lessons and they are so complex but I feel like if I don’t finish them right away I’m failing somehow….I’m trying to not think like that anymore and just focus on doing what I can do. Like you said, one easy thing at a time, maybe working up to the harder stuff…Thanks:)

    @Gabby-

    I have to agree with you that if I focused more on what I want my story to be and not what everyone else wants it to be I’d probably be having a better time with this. I’m going to start doing that. But: What if I don’t know what I want? What if I’m wandering aimlessly and have no idea how to reach the end? I mean…I have this collection of words and scenes, but I’m not sure if its anything close to what I WOULD want, yet I dont KNOW what I want. It’s a tough situation to be in!

    @Nicki-

    I am listening to you and taking baby steps and am finding this a little more managable. Yes, I’m still not liking my project, yes I can see all its many ugly flaws….but I can see where the inspiration hit to write it anyway. I can see those moments that tell me I can save it. I’m just hoping I can stick with this to the end this time.

    I think the thing that has been bothering me the most is I have TWO projects that need to be revised, one that is on Lesson 2 of Holly’s course, one I haven’t even started. So…I’m freaking myself out wondering how to get past revision. Should I revise one project, then the other? Could I revise both at the same time? What do you guys do when you have two projects waiting to be revised?

    • Nicki Savantes Dec 23, 2010 @ 18:55

      Hi Tori,

      For what advice from someone else not in your situation is worth…

      A revision Holly’s way, certainly the first time around, takes enough effort by itself that you don’t need to go adding a second revision. Please give yourself a break, girl. You will see the light at the end of the tunnel faster if you do ONE revision. Come back and shout to everyone whenever you worked through another lesson, or even when you applied the current lesson to just one chapter of your novel. Every small victory counts, and have a round of champaign when you’re through the whole thing, we’ll be celebrating with you!
      Also you will learn a LOT from your one revision. Knowledge that you will already diligently be applying to revision number 2.
      Holly has a special “Streamlining the Revision Process” section at the end of HTRYN on how to go through it better (and faster) each time around. I was going to quote her from it here, but I don’t think that’s allowed under the copyright notice, so I’m not, after all. But since you’re getting the course, you’ll get it too. It’s part of lesson 22.
      Hang in there. You can do this!

    • WandersNowhere Dec 24, 2010 @ 2:35

      Tori ^^ I’m game, fantasy or not. It doesn’t have to be long, either.

      As for how to write fantasy or sci fi, I find those to be liberating genres because with anything set in a pre-existing place and time, you really have to do your research. You really do need to know about the customs, culture, names of places and people, history of the area, etc, of the place and time you’re writing in, even if it’s your own. It’s often considerably more work than writing the story itself.

      With fantasy or science fiction you have the freedom to invent your world wholecloth. I find that prospect incredibly exciting. Some might consider it to be harder work, because you certainly do have to have an attention to detail – but I’d argue it’s actually LESS work than picking a real world setting especially one you aren’t native to (like medieval Wallachia for my last story) and then needing to research the hell out of it so you’re working from a respectably informed place instead of the shallow collection of stereotypes most of us accumulate about the fuzzy places on the map we haven’t physically been to or are separated from by years or centuries.

      With a fantasy world you reaaaally get to play in your own sandbox. You still benefit enormously from researching SIMILAR time periods to the one you’re setting in, but since it’s not our world, you make the rules. As long as you stick with them consistently once you’ve established them, you’re good to go.

    • Gabby Jan 8, 2011 @ 16:13

      Hi Tori,
      The biggest challenge and surprise for me in writing is how many decisions I have to make. Not sure if this makes sense but, all the time, I have two equally valid choices for a story that lead in completely opposite directions but still both make it to an end. Which is better? Ugh, I hate that question. It’s a paralyzing feeling. Cause what if I chose wrong… wah ๐Ÿ™

      And actually, yeah, I already have a whole sub-plot that just isn’t going to work. And I have to take it out now. And oh the lost words/work. Plus I still LIKE it, I just can’t make it work/make sense anymore. Hindsight is so 20/20… grrr… especially with writing.

  • WandersNowhere Dec 19, 2010 @ 19:31

    Cleaning my apt in the buildup to the Christmas craziness I really haven’t achieved anything that could be termed ‘writing’. I am mildly stuck on Wampyr, though I am finally up to the turning point that will get this slow-building story rolling to its climax. I hope it will be as scary in the final product as it was in the outline.

    However I’m not going anywhere for the Christmas holidays, but most of my friends are. So as soon as the main event is over and everyone runs off to Tokyo I’ll dig in for some hardcore writing. I’m too tired and grumpy to go through the travel stress anyway so I’m better off playing Scrooge this year to get some work done. HUMBUG. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • WandersNowhere Dec 21, 2010 @ 21:56

      Some slow but steady progress on Wampyr. This story is taking almost as long to write as a novel would even though it’s about a tenth of the length. My scenes range from a couple of paragraphs to a couple of pages rather than the 10-20 page chapters of my novels, and they still take as long to write. And for some reason they feel disjointed and I’m having a rough time connecting them, when pacing and flow of action from A->B is usually the very least of my writing troubles.

      I think I identified why this story is really nothing like anything else I’ve ever written.

      – I’m writing a SHORT STORY, not my usual waffly novels.
      – I’m writing an older protagonist, and I’m writing outside of his head and letting his actions speak for his thoughts rather than giving any internal dialogue like I usually do.
      – I’m writing a protagonist who is a fairly realistic medieval person and operates by different ethical standards to myself and my usual idealistic young heroes. He is not a vile or evil character (since I excised his dark deeds subplot anyway), especially not compared to many around him, but he’s done questionable things.
      – I’m writing a real world location and historical setting, unlike the outlandish fantasy worlds I usually write.
      – I’m writing somewhat subdued, unemotional people who don’t talk much and deal with hardship in a quiet, let’s-get-on-with-it kind of way rather than my usual cast of passionate, driven and occasionally ham-tastic heroes and villains.
      – I’m dealing with a short story detailing an extended period of time, rather than a novel that may take place over about a week. So most of the transitions involve fast forwarding an entire season, (‘by late Spring, Ioan had finished the repairs on the house…’) meaning almost none of the scenes immediately follow the last.
      – I’m dealing with a story in which a happy ending is not only unlikely, but impossible; it would be extremely jarring with the bleak death-soaked atmosphere I’ve been carefully cultivating since the beginning. I usually write stories about heroes triumphing over the odds. This isn’t one of them.

      Now make no mistake, this is still a story I believe in and want to write. But its purpose is to be scary, sad and unnerving and give a taste of what rural Europe at the close of the middle ages might have been like if there really were outbreaks of the undead on top of the people’s existing woes. I believe the protag is sympathetic, as while he’s not the naive and compassionate sort I usually write about, he’s a man doing his best to try to defend his new family from an evil from his past.

      It’s just…difficult. lol. A challenge. Something different. I’ll go back to my epic heroic fantasies when this is done. But it does want to be done.

      • Nicki Savantes Dec 23, 2010 @ 18:20

        Hi Wanders…
        Going *that* far out of your comfort zone is bound to have some consequences, LOL. You’re very courageous to take on so many changes at once, I’m flabbergasted, and you keep your good cheer, that’s fantastic. Wishing you a breakthrough or at the very least steady progress for the holidays, but I can see you can hold your own even then. What’s that saying? When the writing gets tough the tough get writing… ;-D

        • WandersNowhere Dec 24, 2010 @ 18:56

          Thank you!
          That IS a good saying! And you’re right that it’s a big change, I just don’t think that’s a bad thing. Writing my jungle story was a big step forward for me, because it was the first major project that is NOT my main series that I’ve been able to work on, finish, revise, and be ready for. I was so happy that I had written something that was Not ARC. I love my series…but it can’t be the only thing I’m able to write.

          Cheerio!

  • Hanna Dec 19, 2010 @ 8:57

    Holly, I am so sorry to hear the headaches continue. I hope you are starting to look beyond the original diagnosis to see if they missed anything. I have had live devolving headaches all my life, still do, but at a different level. Gettign past my own “productive denial ” was, and still is, a problem. I just keep going, like the energizer bunny with one bad battery. Write to me off list, I have a few doctor suggestions to at least rule out something that is obscure and grossly misunderstood by most doctors.

    WABWM. I am still getting my myriad locatoiions of Bx2 into one place and printed. In addition to two notebooks, two computers and one thumb drive, I findally found the countless index cards, research notes and drawings. But, I am still ahead of my original schedule to get it rounded up and start revision this holiday. I still need to be a librarian to help me, a trip abroad and MORE research, but I am getting there. I never set out to write historical fiction, but it looks like that is where I am.

    Happy Holidays Holly and everyone.
    Hanna

  • Glynis Smy Dec 19, 2010 @ 5:17

    Wishing you a healthier New Year and a peaceful Christmas.

    Writing going great this end, up to neck in edits but loving the challenge.

  • Jessica Dec 18, 2010 @ 21:34

    I find myself constantly writing while doing my job that’s paying for my writing habits. When I started my book, I had every intention of finishing it. I told myself the day I started that I was GOING to finish my project… For once. I know I can do it, I love the story. I love Demetra. I even love that she has decided to veer slightly off the path I had originally chosen for her and stuffed herself into a cute little twist.

    I got so lost in my story while writing today, that I did not want to stop. Now what would have been my greatest accomplishment has become my biggest fear. I don’t want to finish this book, and I do not want to be away from this story. Sure, I’ll have months of revision ahead of me after I finish the first draft… But I still don’t believe I’ll be able to part with Demetra when the time comes. She has become a part of me.

    The words are still coming beautifully but I’m afraid I’ve fallen madly in love with my story. I’m very clingy, and don’t like losing the things I love more then most others. Demetra is my best friend. When I’m feeling down, I put myself in her world and see what she’s doing for the day. No one cheers me up more then she does. Maybe all of this sounds really pathetic, but I needed to vent my sudden problem to people that would understand.

    The rest of the world I live in does not understand my writing problems. No need to reply, I will get back to work on the story. I just needed to speak of my problems before continuing on. I feel so much better now that I have everything off my chest! Have a happy holiday everyone, and happy writing as well :]

    • Danzier Dec 19, 2010 @ 1:36

      That doesn’t sound pathetic. It sounds beautiful. If you love your story that much, then what comes out on the page will reflect it, and it will sing.

    • WandersNowhere Dec 19, 2010 @ 3:45

      Hmmm, if you love your character so much you don’t want to finish her story…why not make plans for a sequel? ๐Ÿ˜€

      • Jessica Dec 21, 2010 @ 11:26

        During the planning process, I told myself I didn’t want to push it too far because I’ve never finished a project before. I decided to end the book in a way that would leave no room for a sequel.

        I’m sure future books will have characters much like my Demetra though. She’s so easy to get along with ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Tori Dec 16, 2010 @ 15:14

    I’ve got two first drafts finished (one since July and the other since Nano) and I’ll admit it: I have not really had the courage to take them through Holly’s revision course. The first one…well, I started on it. I’m on Lesson 2…but because its the very first thing I’ve finished I became depressed with the amount of work that will be needed to get that thing out the door. And that’s IF it will EVER reach a place that I’d feel comfortable with others seeing it. The second book I have not even taken a second glance at, mostly because I’m afraid it will have the same fate. That I failed myself and my readers by writing something that is nothing but crap….Oy, dear writers and friends. But I am having a heck of a time trying to deal with these problems.

    Here’s the thing: In don’t want to be that writer that can only finish a rough draft and can’t take their story to the next level because they don’t believe in it anymore. I want to be the writer that at least TRIES to revise their work, even if everything comes back, even if agents say I have a long way to go….I feel like if I don’t give myself this chance to revise my work I am failing myself even more than if I never wrote to begin with.

    Has anyone here been in my position? What did you do to fight it? I’m in Holly’s courses, so one would think I would not experience these problems…but I couldn’t believe the depth of revision needed to fix my first story. It basically needs to be rewritten, with maybe only the main character and certain vauge problems remaining.

    As poor and pitiful as it sounds…I don’t feel like I am worthy of the writers here. I don’t feel like my writing is good enough. I read about all your characters and your worlds and all I can think is “if THAT person can’t find an agent, what makes me think I even have a CHANCE?” I know, this ISN’T the mentality I should have, and most days I don’t. Most days I focus on myself and what I can do and that is it. But today is not one of those days. Today…well, I feel like I have made a wrong turn.

    And I don’t know how to get out of this forest, or if there is even a way out anymore.

    • Danzier Dec 17, 2010 @ 0:10

      Hey, Tori…
      I’m in that same place almost every day. I write things that I think sound good but look at them later and they’re total garbage. My characters are flat and my scenery wouldn’t stand up at a kindergarten play and I start sentances with character names ad nauseum. I’m second-guessing myself at every turn; I wonder if I’ve made the choice every time I make one and especially every time it ends badly. I’m scared that I’ll never make it and I’ll wind up in first round layoffs at the local cardboard factory…if I’m ever lucky enough to get a job there in the first place. I worry about everything. It’s a bad place to be.

      Getting out of that soup and writing again (let alone getting anything else done) is rough. I haven’t beaten it yet. Most often it’s a matter of saying, “Well, I’ll just do this one little thing, because it’s small and easy and can’t hurt.” One small thing leads to one more small thing, and by the end of the day I feel like maybe I did ok for today.

    • Gabby Dec 17, 2010 @ 11:45

      Wow, talk about a familiar feeling. I know just what you mean. I have psyched myself out of even finishing the rough draft! So I write this comment to myself mostly!! I think this is all a matter of getting ahead of yourself. Even in the revision stage (and certainly in my rough draft everything-should-be-crap stage), I believe we should still just focus on creating the story we originally envisioned in our head. It shouldn’t yet be about what other people/the readers will think of it and maybe that will take the pressure off. Plus it’s all a learning experience. And going through the revision and making the story what you envisioned and cutting out all the boring stuff, will make your skills for the next story that much better. Plus finishing a story creates good habits. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Nicki Savantes Dec 17, 2010 @ 15:21

      Hi Tori,

      I think looking at “the revision” as a whole discourages because it is too big, and all anyone can think of is the insane amount of work and time it’s going to take. But an insane amount of time and effort is also involved in writing a book, or raising a kid, or saving for a house, or going to school for 12 years, or…

      The trick is to forget about the whole, and only ask “what is the next thing that needs doing?” A novel gets written one word at a time, a road walked one step at a time, and it’s the same for everything: Take babysteps in the right direction, don’t think about the totality, just continue, and before you know it, the big work will be done!

      All the best,

    • WandersNowhere Dec 17, 2010 @ 20:35

      ‘And I donโ€™t know how to get out of this forest, or if there is even a way out anymore.’

      Tori, burn the forest down ๐Ÿ™‚

      I’m not being sarcastic there – you’ve thought yourself into this box, you can think outside of it. We have ALL felt like this. There are days when I love my work and days when I can’t believe I didn’t see it was cheesy crap. The next day, I’ll love it again. It’s a matter of self esteem and self confidence. I had a big blowout recently when I showed a friend a summary of my master work and they compared its messy complexity to the project they’d written and abandoned as unfixably broken. But then when I looked at it again, I realised that for a series of its length and scope it is no more complex than Harry Potter or your average epic fantasy novel. And my discussion with said friend helped me to realise how to bring it back into focus and restore the central theme I didn’t know I had.

      The answer you seek lies in thinking in a way you’ve never thought before. Don’t be afraid to explore every possible avenue. If you really think your writing’s terrible, send me a snippet and I’ll see if I have any useful input.

      arcanosaeterna-at-hotmail-dot-com.

      Do what you love and love what you do ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Teri Dec 16, 2010 @ 6:50

    443 words for Wednesday, and the riot is beginning to get out of control.

  • queenscarlet88 Dec 15, 2010 @ 14:15

    4500 words of fiction today. My first time writing like this since the summer of ’08.

  • WandersNowhere Dec 13, 2010 @ 23:18

    Cut the ‘dark past’ out of the Wampyr story, which changes several story dynamics considerably. I want to say it was a really good decision, but I’ll have to wait and see how it affects the story from here on in. It MAY steal a lot of the dark and bleak atmosphere….or make it worse, because now the story is about an essentially decent man suffering terrible misfortune instead of a man running from his dark deeds being punished for them.

    Maybe there is a way to sneak it back in without any lengthy flashbacks or superfluous red herring subplots.

  • DasteRoad Dec 13, 2010 @ 16:38

    1318 more words assessed on Dec 13th, thus concluding Erthelโ€™s adventures and Revision Phase 1 for PoB. Yay me!

    The not-quite-fun news now though is that Iโ€™m more than knee deep in crap with my PhD thesis, so I might be just a little bit busy during the following days. To clarify, itโ€™s 9:30 PM around here and as soon as I post this, Iโ€™m getting back to work on the evil thesis from my home laptop for as long as I manage to keep my eyes open. And yeah, itโ€™s just as fun as it sounds.

    I might have to put the revision work on hold until the worst is over, but I hope it wouldnโ€™t come to it. Creative work, even if itโ€™s only a tiny bit each day, keeps me awake and happy.

  • Jessica Dec 13, 2010 @ 12:22

    Glad to hear that you’re toughing it out through the ridiculous headaches! Keep at it Holly, hopefully the headaches will get sick of you overcoming the issues they’re giving you!

    Atkin appeared (finally!) so now Demetra has left the woods. Another scene forced itself into my story without me thinking too much about it. Demetra slammed right into Atkin’s mother- literally- and I wanted to yell at her for running off course. I decided not to, though, because we were able to see a bit of Atkin’s life. Now the words are flowing again, and I’m pretty happy with the current ones sprinting across the page. For now though, I must go into the real world and do my job that’s keeping my writing needs funded.

    Happy Holidays everybody! I hope all your words are coming beautifully!

  • DasteRoad Dec 13, 2010 @ 6:08

    Hi guys! And hi Holly, it’s nice to see you writing again! I’m cheering up for you against the evil headaches ๐Ÿ™‚

    I havenโ€™t updated in a while, but bit by bit, Iโ€™m almost done with the manuscript assessment phase for “the Path of Blood”.

    Assessed 20424 more words from last time I updated, 7696 of which yesterday. Just to be clear, I’m at around 70K words out of 72K. Only the brief epilogue remains now, and after that, itโ€™ll be time to reread my notes and build the plan of action for Revision Phase 2. Sadly, given that in two weeks itโ€™ll be Xmas and I have a phd thesis to write (groan…), I doubt that Iโ€™ll manage to get the revision done before January, but Iโ€™ll do my best. Stay tuned!

  • Danzier Dec 13, 2010 @ 4:41

    I got stuck in a snowstorm this weekend and spent most of the time thinking about this writing thing and whether it was worth doing. There’ve been times recently where it seems that my writing goals contradict my responsibilities. In the end I re-decided that this matters to me, it’s my dream, and I’m not going to quit. I knew what I was signing up for, and I’ll keep at it. Taking time to do homework and bake cookies with my daughter is the motivation for the dream, not the conflict with it.

    Holly, thanks for writing those essays. If I hadn’t half-memorized “Could vs. Should” I might have quit yesterday.

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