Writing Your Book — Saturday Thread

Remember that you’re not trying for perfection. You’re shooting for a comfortable number of words that move your story forward—a little conflict, a little characterization, a little fun.

No stress. This is not brain surgery—if you screw up the night’s work, nobody dies.


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

38 comments… add one
  • brekReenUnork Nov 9, 2009 @ 5:38

    My computer worked slowly, many mistakes and buggs. Please, help me to fix buggs on my computer.
    My operation system is Windows XP.

  • jpn_lover Aug 28, 2009 @ 4:31

    here he is : jean-paul ney

  • Julia GD Jul 30, 2009 @ 13:46

    Saturday was good – 2600 or so. Part of it was a rewrite. Still, at least one thousand on new words. Posting it late as I had no internet for a while.

  • Beckie Jul 27, 2009 @ 9:15

    I was out of town most of Saturday picking up a teenager from camp at UW in Laramie but I got alot done Sunday. 2978 words on the Intrigue. Love a writing Sunday!

  • Leah Jul 27, 2009 @ 1:04

    Hey Sarah Collins, it’s okay. I’m a day ahead, so I have to post yesterday’s count, which was 1460.

    • Sarah Collins Jul 27, 2009 @ 19:41

      That’s a great word count! I’d take it! (No, really, can I have it? LOL!)

  • Erin Kendall Jul 26, 2009 @ 14:42

    316 words on a rewrite today. 😀

    Erin K.

  • Belle Jul 26, 2009 @ 10:45

    Personal drama for the most part over. As I was surfing HOlly’s site today I passed an article or workshop on working through and with life’s dramas, or somethign like that. Will pick that up later today. This was not the first drama, and won’t be the last. But, I want to learn to not let the dramas stop me.

    I need to do some badly needed planning for my story(ies). Today I started Holly’s mini-course on plot. This morning I wrote around 250 words about my characters. I am sure I will write more tonight, I will have time after 7 or so.

  • unxplaindfires Jul 26, 2009 @ 10:38

    Crashed before the post was up for yesterday, and got up early and got Sunday’s numbers as well.
    Sat = 456
    Sun = 1073
    I think I had a too much fun destroying some landmarks in a major American city. It was mostly collateral damage, no major loss of life, definitely some injuries. Two of the buildings were scheduled to come down anyway, and the bridge wasn’t even finished, but the Detroit skyline looks a little different in my story now and the MC’s know that there really is no place to hide. Time to face the conflict head on.
    I might just write more later… itching to start piling on the trouble.

  • Lisa R Jul 26, 2009 @ 9:17

    607 words. I didn’t want to write after a day in the garden, at the fair, and housework, but none of this was a good enough excuse. I am glad I did write. The words flowed very nicely.

  • Lacey Savage Jul 26, 2009 @ 9:12

    I took the day off Friday (from the horrible day job as well as from writing), but I returned to my novel on Saturday and got 1,060 words. I’m pleased — this is the first time I’ve broken the 1k mark in quite some time.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 28, 2009 @ 23:58

      Cheers. Nice run. And very glad you got a double day off.

  • Khena Jul 26, 2009 @ 8:34

    1117 words yesterday! Yay! I finally finished that horrible scene where so much happened I didn’t know about beforehand. It really didn’t effect what I had planned, so I’m perfectly happy with something that will put my MC through a lot of self-doubt and mostly irritate her. Hopefully my story will start moving along at the rate I want it to again =)

    I won’t be posting until probably Wednesday. We’re taking my children to an amusement park for the first time so we rented a cabin for two nights. That way they’ll be able to spend the whole day. I know I’ll get a little writing time, but it won’t be as much as normal. Good luck to you all while I’m gone! =)

  • Jennifer VanSchoyck Jul 26, 2009 @ 8:05

    I up to 4017 words for the past six days. I have noticed that since I set a goal of 500 words a day I always go over that!!

    May have to up it to 1000 a day!


    • Holly Lisle Jul 28, 2009 @ 23:57

      If you follow the progression of increasing your word limit every time you discover you’re surpassing your word limit, you set yourself up to create an inevitable cycle of failure—because sooner or later you’re going to plan a word limit you cannot hit.

      At which point you get depressed.

      Voice of experience here. Think hard before you decide to make what is voluntary into something mandatory.

  • Ieva Jul 26, 2009 @ 5:37

    1800+ words (which is a lot for me) and my oh my. That guy who’s supposed to be something akin to inquisition? He’s really good. *shudders*

  • Brian Cansler Jul 26, 2009 @ 4:02

    I got about 1,200 words on the first 2/3 of my plot cards. 40 down, 10 to 20 to go (depending on my desired length, which is to be determined between 75k, 80k, and 90k).

    Am I thrilled? You bet! Now I’ve got to go work out some kinks in my plot that are really bothering me, though, AND it’s just after 4a here, so I’m going to sleep on those problems now and (hopefully) finish the cards in the morning before work at 1p.

  • The Pencil Neck Jul 26, 2009 @ 2:36

    826 words tonight.

    Still at the Reunion in Austin. I’m not sure how my writing is going to go next week. I’m booked for a flight to India but my bosses are all talking back and forth and now I have no idea what’s going on.

    So, my sheriff had another corpse turn up. But this time, it was someone he’d questioned: our hero’s girlfriend. And now the sheriff knows that there are vampires on the loose because this time, the vampire was gentle and left his teeth marks clearly instead of ripping the throat out.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 28, 2009 @ 23:55

      Sweet, gentle vampire.

      Sounds like a nice touch there.

      • The Pencil Neck Jul 29, 2009 @ 7:12

        Thanks. 🙂

        He didn’t want to become a vampire. Didn’t know what he was at first. And then when he tried to convince himself he could return to some semblance of a normal life, he lost control of the hunger and killed the light of his life.

        Things go downhill for him after that.

  • Kevin Jackson Jul 26, 2009 @ 2:11

    742 tonight, for a total of 1590. Some parts feel clumsy and slow to me, but I think they might not be too bad. After all, what takes me an hour to write might take someone a minute to read. The MCs are in the middle of discovering there is more under their house than just a basement. Tomorrow they’ll take up flashlights and venture down.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 28, 2009 @ 23:54

      It is that realization—that no matter how fast you can write, people will read faster—that will drive you just a little bonkers.


  • Blair Jul 26, 2009 @ 2:04

    A busy day and 314 new words this evening.

  • Jason Jul 26, 2009 @ 1:40

    This weekend has been very productive. I highly doubt they’re all this good, but the inspiration is still fresh and my story excites me. I got the idea from a dream I had the other night, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since, so I finally just plotted it out, and I’m taking a whack at it.

    Anyway, about 2500 last night, and 2117 tonight. Debating whether I’ll start another scene or turn in. It’s getting pretty late here.

    • Sarah Collins Jul 26, 2009 @ 20:27

      Wow, I could sure use a dream like that! What are you eating before you go to sleep? LOL! Congrats on wearing out the keyboard!

  • Brent B. Jul 26, 2009 @ 1:35


    And a scream that sounded like the world ending.

    Oops. MY bad. he’s dead.

    oh well, he -was- a minor character.

    • Holly Lisle Jul 28, 2009 @ 23:53

      LOL. Mine just. Won’t. Die.

      Glad you managed to hunt yours down.

  • Jessica Jul 26, 2009 @ 1:28

    1807 for the night and I successfully hosted my first dinner for the parents and lil sis at my apartment! I think it was watching the Marx brother’s “Night at the Opera” that inspired me tonight. 🙂
    That makes a total of 13,933. Very happy with what I’ve got. So I’m going to turn in now and try to figure out how my MC can take her mother sightseeing while avoiding being arrested or abducted by secret service, attacked by the madman, and without exposing herself in public with certain magic powers that she still doesn’t quite know how to control! That trip to Mexico is looking more and more appealing and getting further and further out of her reach!

  • Anthony Jul 26, 2009 @ 1:20

    2,500 words. A solid night of writing even though I got started late. MC gets into some trouble with a strange secret society…and gets branded. And you thought your day was bad!

  • Patricia Jul 26, 2009 @ 0:55

    I realized I was posting everything a day late *face palm*, ah well, we all have our moments…anyways, I have written 583 words today and I am quite happy. Getting a first glimpse on some issues my MC has, turns out he’s actually a lot more prejudiced than I thought he was. Other than carrying on with the scene, I have gotten plenty of ideas for the books later on in the series (yup, there’s going to be a lot more than one), and I am getting really excited about Blood Covenant.
    By the way, I had tons of fun yesterday. Writing is always a lot of fun for me, and even if I don’t feel like writing at first it turns out really well in the end. Congratulations Sarah and Brian for the wonderful accomplishments!

    • Sarah Collins Jul 26, 2009 @ 8:13

      Thanks. ;c) And I just love how the characters seems to have their own opinions about where the story goes. Makes me feel a little better about my kids not listening to me when I know my fiction won’t, LOL. Congrats on the ideas for your SERIES!

      • Patricia Jul 26, 2009 @ 10:23

        Thank you, haha sometimes it feels like my characters are my kids even though most are so much older than me (I’m 19 lol).

  • Brian P. Jul 25, 2009 @ 23:39

    520 words and scene 1 complete. Well, first draft of scene 1, of course. 🙂 I also have a partial outline, a new MC, and a new perspective on the story I’ve been struggling with for two years! Ifeel a great sense of accomplishment!

    • Brent B. Jul 26, 2009 @ 1:52

      It takes a lot of courage not to give up after that much struggling. Keep going Brian!

  • Sarah Collins Jul 25, 2009 @ 23:05

    Forged ahead 898 words today and … and … and I’m over 38k! Quick, cue the band! Or, rather, cue the violins. My poor MC heard something devastating and chose to believe in her guy against all odds. Trouble is, when she went to confront him about it she caught him red-handed (in a compromising situation, that is) … and thanks to a little tidbit she’s not yet aware of, he couldn’t deny a thing.

    • Nancy Jul 26, 2009 @ 0:02

      Way to go, Sarah! Sounds like you’re on a roll.

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