Dead Man’s Party: 1178 words today, some nice tension, and just three chapters left

By Holly Lisle

I got my words this morning in three ten-minute runs — and I love what I got. I ran a smidge over my goal, but that’s okay. This scene was a short, tight run through the third of four scenes that are occurring simultaneously in the novel as my characters go tearing toward the ending.

The world of Dead Man’s Party is talking to me. I like it, at least the part of it that occurs later, as I understand the story that’s been crawling out of my process.

I like it enough that after I do the revision, I’m going to revise and publish it and see how it does for me, and consider writing other books in the same world. I can already think of a number of other books in the world.

But post-apocalyptic cannibal/zombie/AI is a bit outside where I usually play. So we’ll see whether the first one gets any interest before I fling myself yet again into “gee, I could write in this world forever.”

For writers:

My revision of this novel is going to become the Streamlined Revision Process demo for my How to Revise Your Novel class, which is getting its long-overdue upgrade/update after I finish the first draft of How to Write a Novel.

Which is going to be soon now.

I’m kicking myself for not having used the process I came up with in How to Write a Novel to write other novels. I could have had so much more fiction written, even though most of my time has been going toward class-building.

Regret gets you nowhere, though — so now I can just be grateful that I asked the right questions while I was building the class, and that I’ll have finished the first drafts of two novels written simultaneously just a couple weeks apart.

And will have a LOT of fiction to revise in the next couple of months.

Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved

Dreaming the Dead Chapters 1 — 7: July Patreon Bonus

By Holly Lisle

Back in May I relocated my Dreaming the Dead manuscript.

This morning, while putting together my July Patreon bonus for my patrons, I realized a lot of the folks who might be interested might still be reading here.

So just a quick note.

ALL my Patreon patrons this month get the first SEVEN chapters of the first draft of Dreaming the Dead as their bonus.

It was one of the books they voted heavily in favor of me picking back up, it is the single most compelling project I have ever worked on, and only a massive derailing of my life pulled me away from it…

And it’s coming back.

No one but me has seen these chapters, and while they’re raw first draft, after I re-read them, I’m more exited about the project than I was before.

And my patrons are the only folks who will to see anything more than just snippets.

BIG note. This is RAW first draft. Unrevised, unedited, flawed. This is straight from brain to fingertips to page with no censoring or fixing.

But if you want to see the start of the book that woke me up in the middle of  then night when my dead publisher gave me the idea for it, you’re invited to join my Patreon.

All my patrons this month get the complete three-chapter bonus.

Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved

I found the DREAMING THE DEAD manuscript!!!

By Holly Lisle

Sometimes it pays to clean your desk.

There it was, a printed copy of the incomplete manuscript with all my notes, all the background stuff, all the words.

And then I noticed the manuscript was printed in one of my earlier Scrivener formats. Maybe two years ago.

So I dug through the printed version, did a search for a unique word in the manuscript, and did a content search for just that word, and found…

Here’s a tip: If you have a book with a working title, NEVER in your filename surround that working title with quotes, as in “Dreaming the Dead.” Not even if you’re working on a Mac, which will allow you to name files pretty much anything.

Found it, fixed it. Banged head on desk.

“Looks like meat’s back on the table, boys!” (Movie version of Fellowship of the Ring)

Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved

Aleksa learns the secret

By Holly Lisle

Ki finally admits the truth to Aleksa…and she didn’t react the way I expected.

Interesting. So tomorrow, I’ll pursue the conversation further, and find out why she responded as she did.

293 words.

How did your writing go?

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Staging A Rescue of the Untrusting

By Holly Lisle

Back to Ki’s POV, and him pulling Aleksa out of a situation he previously got her into.

I did 3588 words on Lesson Four of HTRYN today, and was pretty happy to get the 287 I managed on Dreaming the Dead.

I’m not exactly enthralled by what I got. But I’m dead tired, and I got something. I’ll leave it at that.

Hope your fiction was more fun.

Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved

Main Character Transition

By Holly Lisle

Aleksa has discovered having people trying to kill her, in some odd way, agrees with her.

Her life, derailed when she was fifteen, has taken an odd turn suddenly, and she discovers that she has something to live for—that her life has become valuable to her again.

569 words.

How are you doing?

Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved

Saturday NOT In the Park (WABWM)

By Holly Lisle

The Brain Mass Issue

The news on my brother-in-law, by the way, is there is no news. He’s in a holding pattern now, where the hospital with the doctor who WANTS to do his surgery suggested he go to a bigger medical center, and the bigger medical center said he’s not a county resident and he’s self pay, so no chance.

At this point, he’s controlling the seizures pretty well. In theory, he may be able to get the surgery in January.

My Writing

Last week went OVER seventy hours working on Hot To Revise Your Novel, including working all morning today.

Next week, I think, will be more sane. A lot of what I’ve been doing is one-time stuff associated with setting up the How To Revise Your Novel course software, the course forums, adding a NaNoWriMo forum to HTTS, testing things, creating workgroups….

A lot, of course, is writing the course and interacting with my two beta students, so even once everything is set up, I’m still going to be logging some serious hours. And once the Early Birds hit How To Revise Your Novel at the end of November or the first part of December, that’s going to require some additional time, too.

But, to get to the point, I wiped out around 3 AM last night without ever getting to my fiction.

I’m not going to write tonight. Today is my Official Weekend, DammitTM. 🙂

But I’ll be back tomorrow night. With fiction.

How did you do yesterday? How are you doing today?

Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved

My Own Moonlight Sonata

By Holly Lisle

There was this guy in a music store once. I was about nineteen. Dude was about halfway to seven feet tall, shaved head, black-coffee complexion. I was trying out guitars, and he came in, pulled a five string electric bass off the wall, plugged it into an amp, sat down and began to play the Moonlight Sonata.

The world stopped. I leaned on the guitar I was trying out and just watched this guy, and listened. His hands were liquid, boneless, the notes perfect, the whole piece played out into the stillness like the magical gateway to another universe.

When the last notes shivered into silence and I realized there weren’t going to be any more, I asked him the name of the piece (I’d never heard it before).

I’ve remembered his version of it forever. I’ve never heard a better rendition than his, and I’ve listened to a lot of them.

Tonight, that guy and his guitar and Moonlight Sonata found his way to a street corner in New York City, where he enchanted Aleksa, before he passed on a message she needed to hear.

I’ve been hanging on to that moment the majority of my life.

It was something sacred then. It came out something sacred tonight.

413 words.


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Creaking Knees

By Holly Lisle

It was a tiny detail for which I had no plans. I simply noted that the man in my bit of scene tonight had knees that creaked when he walked.

I’ve heard knees creak, heard the sound bone makes on bone when weighed down by muscle, skin, sinew, and fluid. It’s a distinctive sound—nothing else compares.

So that detail slipped in as I was writing, and then the question followed:

What if the sound Aleksa hears from his knees isn’t that sound?

Tiny detail, tiny question…but the man escorting her to the train station came alive for me when I suddenly got the answer, and understood what it meant.

I stopped at 300 words exactly.

How did you do?

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Bouncing a story off an assumption

By Holly Lisle

I’d sent my heroine, Aleksa in one direction yesterday—and I thought it was a pretty good one. But today as I was re-reading my last couple of paragraphs, I discovered that I was missing an opportunity to make her life miserable—as if having people trying to kill her wasn’t enough.

I deleted the last two paragraphs, re-wrote them to change the neighborhood through which she was driving, and suddenly the identity of the person on the phone with her became suspicious, the instructions she was being given became frightening…

…And as I realized she was in real trouble, and getting in deeper by the second, she came up with a cool-headed way to save her own neck from a danger that hadn’t even existed last night. The solution flashed on me as I was writing—as quickly as the problem had tempted me to write it, and it’s just beautiful.

So tomorrow night I have something cool to start out with, and something scary to continue—and all because the neighborhood she’d previously ended up in was simply too nice.

I got 520 words not including the two paragraphs I deleted and re-wrote. Good writing night.

Coming up with any cool twists on your story?

Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved