Back To Fiction

I’ve had to take a bunch of days off, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

However, when I’ve been up to it, I’ve been working. On Rebel Tales, on NovelWritingSchool.com, and also on fiction.

I was doing pretty well with TalysMana, but my daughter has some scheduling problems right now, so we’re having to put that on hold until she gets her schedule worked out.

Meanwhile, I’m putting together some shortish serial fiction for Rebel Tales. The current piece is Help Wanted, introducing a new heroine in a new SF world. I also want to write some Cadence Drake shorts for Rebel Tales. And I’m considering what I could do in the way of Tonk short stories for Rebel Tales Fantasy–probably not Talyn, probably not Hawkspar.

You can watch the progress on the progress bars to the right.

ADDED LATER: Got 581 words on Help Wanted tonight.

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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.

29 comments… add one
  • Kirsty Dec 3, 2010 @ 17:58

    Thanks. 🙂

  • Kirsty Dec 3, 2010 @ 10:39

    Hi. Just got the email about WABWM and thought I would add my hello’s. I am currently writing a novel, but also following Holly’s mini plot lessons because my plotting stinks.

    The Novel I am working on is a little on the magic side and on the supernatural side…You could say its a mix between Harry Potter and all the young adult Vampire books. I have been writing Chapter 1 for 3 days and got 10 pages, but theres something about it that puts me off. I dunno…Maybe its because my sister is a big HP fan and she says its too much like that.

    Still. Anyway… Hello.

  • Hanna Nov 30, 2010 @ 9:32

    I am on week 1 of revising my novel. Just printing it is a challenge, I have pieces of it in two notebooks, one computer, and a thumb drive.

  • Hanna Nov 23, 2010 @ 8:24

    I hope you are feeling better Holly. I also hope you are pushing docs to get some better meds during the migraine and try some of the preventive ones.

    Only a bit of new writing. I am so close to being finished with the first draft of Bx2, knowning here are holes and gaps. I plan to start revising at teh christmas break. I am starting to read HTRYN this week to get prepared.

  • Helenee Nov 21, 2010 @ 7:06

    Gee — aren’t your headaches getting even a liiiittle tiny bit better?
    Sorry to hear that, still I think it’s stunning you’re doing so many things despite the migraines.
    Be well.

  • Sandra Clarke Nov 20, 2010 @ 16:53

    Holly.

    I may not post it every week but know I’m sending positive healing thoughts your way daily. {{Hugs}}

  • Jerry Race Nov 19, 2010 @ 2:46

    Hey Holly, I got that word meeter. Am posting the code here and hope meter shows up. It should ahve the 425 words I wrote in it.

    Jerry Race

    • Hanna Nov 23, 2010 @ 8:21

      the word meter isn’t posting here.

      • Hanna Nov 23, 2010 @ 8:25

        Sorry, that cam out too brisk. What I meant to say is that I can’t see the meter you posted and I am curious to see it. And see if it works as a gravatar icon. Very cool if is does.

  • Hanna Nov 17, 2010 @ 7:47

    Another 300 or so words. I am behind on my plan to complete this by December 1. But, I might still start revision soon thereafter. I think the missing parts of the book need to be addressed and HTRYN might be just the way to find and fill in the gaps. I think I will start printing and/or reading it today, to get ready. I am one of “those people” who need to bounce around in instructions and have a feel for the whole before I start the parts.

    • Danzier Nov 17, 2010 @ 9:08

      No problems with that. My daughter took a test the other day. These were the instructions:
      1. Write your name on top.
      2. Walk around your desk three times.
      3. Crumple the paper into a ball.
      4. Throw the paper at your neighbor.
      5. Don’t do 2, 3, or 4. Hand in your paper.
      Being one of “those people” be a good thing! 😀

      • Hanna Nov 20, 2010 @ 8:56

        I have seen tests like that before. I was in a class once that they gave us something like 50 questions and very little time. But, I think question 2 said something doing one thing like putting the name on the page, then reading the last one that said don’t do anything before answering #3 or something like that. I was one of maybe 2 kids in the class that got it. Most of the students were doing the whole thing, shouting out their name, standing up, sitting down, etc. It was pretty funny. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Ruth Ellen Nov 16, 2010 @ 5:31

    Great Holly is back, hope those headaches keep away!

    I’ve been doing bits and bobs as and when, trying to stay focussed is sometimes hard. I just have to try and fit it in around everything else.

  • WandersNowhere Nov 16, 2010 @ 0:22

    Looking back over ARC I, I’m seeing how messy it was, and how I can tie everything in together better.

    I think I need to stop being quite so vague with the three characters I call ‘The Plotmakers’; these are powerful individuals who represent the three sides of the over-plot and, more importantly, actually know what is going on.

    They are: Red Coat, Snake Eyes, and Mr. Nothing.

    All three appear in Book I. All three nance about being vague and gloomydoomy and at the end of Book-I-as-written, the heroes still have NO CLUE what the Central Artifact is, WHERE it is, why it is calling to them, or what the mysterious evil beings they’ve clashed with want with them.

    Snake Eyes could just up and tell them, but he won’t, because it’d require a long-winded expository rant I am trying to break into more digestible pieces – otherwise it would break the readers’ brains – and he needs to introduce the truth to the heroes in bits and pieces, because it’s so enormous and will shatter the heroes’ world view so completely that if he hits them with it, it’ll break THEIR brains.

    The trouble is, not only do all three of the Plotmakers have different ideas about what is going on, but they’re all liable to lie about it for their own purposes. Lying and manipulating the heroes is great, unless it confuses the hell out of the readers. So I have to monitor the mix of lies and truth carefully. There is a lot going on in this story – a LOT.

    My new villain may come to the rescue. He isn’t going to survive book I, and his knowledge of what is going on is extensive but incomplete. He doesn’t grasp the cosmic proportions of the conflict; he only knows that the dark is coming and he’s chosen to take its side.

    His little chat with the hero pre-final-confrontation can neatly foreshadow things and take a lot of exposition off Snake Eyes’ weary shoulders.

    Mr. Nothing, who also makes a couple of brief appearances in this story, is also going to help me give pieces of the puizzle to our heroes. Ironically, even though he’s the uber-villain, he’s the one who really wants the heroes to see the truth, and is the one who is most likely to tell them in plain language.

    So when I rewrite this sucker I am going to start from a Sentence, prune any unnecessary subplots and refocus. There are so, so many subplots, but they are dug in like a bush tick in a sheep’s bum and it’s hard to see which are necessary and which really aren’t, because all of them are doing SOMETHING, but how invaluable is that something?

    This is Book I of a series, and it is not in any way self contained as it stands. It has to be. I am going to refocus this story so it is about the heroes’ homeland, its kingship, its history, and its dark dirty secrets. This is because that’s what the hero – a young knight who valiantly adheres to an extinct code of honor – cares about. This is his story and his country’s story and the story of its struggle against internal decay.

    And with the new villain, that story is neatly wrapped at the end, and the ONLY remaining threads are those connecting to Book II’s plot (the country is invaded from the outside) which takes our heroes outside their home country and shows them the bigger picture – the story of their world.

    If I can wrap book II within a reasonable length, I will conclude the invasion arc at the end of it. If I can’t, resolving the invasion and confronting their arch-nemeses for the first time will be Book III.

    THAT leaves only the core story – the Overplot, and the battle with the real enemy – for the rest of the series to deal with. However long it ends up being. I will make it as short as I can and still keep the epic feel. Writing my jungle book (heh!) for Rebel Tales has taught me a lot about plotting lean and mean and still feeling complete.

    Unfortunately with Arc I am stuck with a sneaky, subtle antagonist until about book 4 or 5. Then the guy who nukes cities with a pointed finger shows up, and I can stop being subtle. :p

  • Nancy Nov 15, 2010 @ 19:26

    Gosh, it’s good to hear from you. We were all worried. Take it as it comes, Holly, we just want you to be well!

  • Lisa R Nov 15, 2010 @ 13:45

    I keep stopping by in hopes that you are 100% better. I very much miss writing with you through this site. You are such an inspiration! With your help, I reached my best month last year with 17K. I am happy to report that I passed that this month. I am doing the NaNo and so far have 23K. I am already exhausted and I am not even halfway there. I think of you often when I have hit 1,000 words and need to keep going. I hope you start feeling better.

  • Hanna Nov 15, 2010 @ 12:04

    Sorry to hear about the headaches. When they are bad, like you are having, life doesnot just slow down, it grinds to halt on some days.

    I wish you were getting better relief from them.

    No writing, for me, all last week. I don’t have a good excuse for it, it just didn’t happen.

    • Hanna Nov 15, 2010 @ 12:05

      I hit Send too soon. I was going to end my post with …

      Onward, through the fog.

  • Holly Lisle Nov 15, 2010 @ 11:23

    Thanks, guys. I’ve missed you.

    I’ll be here as often as I can.

    Rebel Tales won’t be launching in January. My objective now is to get it going as soon as I can.

    RT is my only focus this week. If I’m working, I’m working on it. (500 words of fiction at night is my play.)

    Editors are held up on acceptances because I’m still held up on some preliminary stuff we MUST have in place before this goes live—so they have stories they want to accept…I simply can’t let them yet.

    If you have a story in, the hold-up is me.

    • WandersNowhere Nov 15, 2010 @ 18:26

      Holly,

      Please take care of yourself and take your time, we know you’re working on it as hard as you can. It’s good to have news, but it’s better to know that you’re all right.

      I haven’t written anything since I submitted for RT and finished the Cat Tales chapter I was working on. Taking a short break. I am dabbling with my Castle Dracula build on second life, which is another form of creative outlet I enjoy and 99.99% of the reason I still use that game. Though I’ve met some amazing people on there I’ve also met some real crazies and the social aspect isn’t really the point of it for me.

      Building cool things is 🙂 and some of the things I’ve built in the past have become settings for my stories.

  • Julian Adorney Nov 15, 2010 @ 6:41

    Btw, wrote another 5 pages of my screenplay tonight. It wasn’t great, but right after I finished I started getting ideas for how I could improve it, so tomorrow should be fun.

  • DasteRoad Nov 15, 2010 @ 5:03

    Welcome back Holly! We were kinda getting worried.

    I printed out the first draft for PoB and started the revision yesterday. Currently I’m at the first stage of manuscript assessment (i.e. Lesson 1 in HTRYN), at 15 pages out of 243. Up until now it looks like the biggest first draft issues are with world & background: much of the worldbuilding is improvised on the go, and there’s a serious lack of sensory details here and there. I’m finding characters interesting and convincing though, apart from a couple of glitches where I was clearly beating around the bush. But weird enough, I’m not cringing at the mistakes and sloppy writing: I know that this is the way of first draft, and overall, I must say I like reading it, and I enjoy the whole assessment process. Let’s hope it lasts!

  • Julian Adorney Nov 15, 2010 @ 3:39

    Glad you’re back, Holly! We were worried about you. Hope you feel better!

  • thepencilneck Nov 15, 2010 @ 2:55

    3026 words. 2 complete scenes and one partial.

    The Bodyguard smells food and finds his way to the mess hall. The POW officer in charge of the cell block is ticked off that the Bodyguard is there (he had his goons handcuff the Bodyguard in his cell block in the last scene.) A fight ensues and the Bodyguard kills one of the officer’s goons and disables the other. The other inmates cheer the Bodyguard on. Then the guards show up with their guns and the Bodyguard, not thinking clearly, attacks and gets taken down.

    He wakes up in the infirmary where he meets a captain who actually outranks the POW officer in charge but through some shady dealings, the captain got shuffled away from the cellblock. The captain notices the King’s Own Guard tat on the Bodyguard which indicates that the Bodyguard was guarding the bodies of the royal family. The Bodyguard is pissed because he’s been trying to keep anyone from realizing that. But now, the powers that be have realized his secret and noticing that he’s awake, a bunch of guards take him out to be questioned.

    Brutal interrogation scene is partially completed.

    I’m going back in time and picking these scenes up. I want to know what happens in them and how things unfolded before I continue with the story where I’m “at.”

    Feel better, Holly!

  • thepencilneck Nov 15, 2010 @ 0:43

    We were worried about you.

  • Danzier Nov 14, 2010 @ 23:45

    Hi Holly! Thanks for letting us know how you’re doing. We’re all cheering for you–especially during the dark bits. 😀

  • WandersNowhere Nov 14, 2010 @ 23:03

    Welcome back! And very sorry to hear about the headaches persisting. Hoping they ease up soon and give you a break to get back to work and play.

    You’re writing stories for Rebel Tales? If I may ask, what’s the status on Rebel Tales? Will we be hearing about our submissions soonish or are you waiting until after the deadline to collate it all? I’m not impatient, I know things have been crazy, but I think I am all out of nails to bite 😀

    • WandersNowhere Nov 15, 2010 @ 7:54

      …and it’s good to have you back, too, because we were worried sick ^^ hang in there, sensei!

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