Vipers’ Nest is live

By Holly Lisle

The book went live about a week, week and a half ago. Maybe longer?

I’ve been buried in getting the site done, getting the affiliate program live, and it has been wall-to-wall, morning to night work for the last couple weeks.

So while I did remember to publish the story, I missed mentioning my own book launch. Anywhere. To anyone. <beating head on desk>

But this time I went wide, and part of what I’ve been doing was taking as much of the rest of my stuff wide as I could.

So here are the WIDE links (which means you can find these books in a bunch of different stores for the first time).

Longview 1-5 IN ORDER:

Born from Fire:
Suzee Delight:
Philosopher Gambit:
Gunslinger Moon:
NEW! Vipers’ Nest:

If your read it and love it, I’d deeply appreciate a review on your bookstore of choice.

Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved

Vipers’ Nest bug-hunts: DONE!

By Holly Lisle

What I thought would take one day has instead taken over two weeks and more than six butt-in-chair fully focused hours a day each day of those two weeks.

And I know that I will have introduced some new bugs in fixing the old bugs.

It happens. ALWAYS.

But I have to quit now. HAVE to.

This is as good as I can make the book (and at 38,000 words, it’s just under the low-end cutoff for a novel, so I’m not even uncomfortable in calling it a book instead of a story) in the time I have and with the resources I have.

I now have to move on to How to Write Short Stories lessons and How to Write a Novel class planning.

In a perfect universe, everyone would have infinite time and infinite resources in order to create infinite perfection.

My clock ticks loudly, though.

So I’m going to put the book together in Mobi, ePub, and PDF formats, and put it live on all the places I can. Today.

Like I said, I’m going wide from the very beginning with this stuff from now on. Will post a link as soon as I have one for those of you interested.

Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved

Vipers’ Nest Homestretch — I hope…

By Holly Lisle

So… here it is Friday morning, July 6, and I have been working steadily for six hours a day on the bug-hunts for Vipers’ Nest every day but Monday…

Granted, as I’m getting into the bug hunts from my later folks, I’m getting a lot of repeat finds.

But I have not had one bug hunter who hasn’t found at least half a dozen “uniques” — errors no one else spotted. And I’ve had several readers who have asked smart and thoughtful questions that required me to rethink and rework portions of the story.


The story was about 32,000 words in finished revised “final” draft. Before I touch it this morning, it’s already 38,473 words. If I end up adding a smidge over 1500 more words, the damn thing becomes a novel.

And I still have five bug hunters to go. 

I’ve been pulling out words, too, but they’re losing ground to the ones I’m adding.


Because the writer who gets an intelligent question about something in the story that isn’t answered (because the writer assumed prior knowledge) cannot ignore the question by saying, “Well, to find that out, you have to read the previous stories.”


Because here’s reality.

The reader doesn’t have to read the previous stories. The reader can go read someone else’s stories that don’t assume prior knowledge.

So as lightly as I can, I’m including the tidbits of prior knowledge readers would need to bring in from the previous four stories, WITHOUT tipping off the reader to what happens in those stories.

The fun part of this is that, because of the way I plot, I can put in some things that some characters believe to be true (even though other characters know they are not true) so that I’m not cheating in hiding details while still making sure I don’t spoil the earlier stories for readers who DO go through them out of order.

But it’s slow and careful work, and what I thought I was going to fly through in a day or two is now at the end of my second week of doing just the story ALMOST full time.

And I already know that I’m going to have to go through this when I’m done, read it out loud, and do a final Bug-Hunt bug-hunt to eliminate new errors I’ve introduced. 

You’ll be getting a better and richer story out of this. Just not this week.

Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved

The Big Week of Fiction Only includes Getting My Ass Kicked

By Holly Lisle

Monday morning…

Wild Optimism. Will have Vipers’ Nest done by end of day Tuesday.

Seven hours in, I was only a short way into the new bug-hunter’s sheet I’d started.

Tuesday morning…

Well, I’ll surely at least be finished with this one bug-hunter’s questions by the end of today.

Seven hours later, I’d finished one third of of the SAME bug-hunter’s finds. And that’s working straight through, no food, coffee and water only, two bathroom breaks.

Wednesday morning…

I’m still just one THIRD of the way through the questions I started on Monday from this one particular bug hunter, many of which have resulted in additional detail, and one in an entirely new chapter.

If they weren’t good, thoughtful, necessary questions, the book would be for sale by now.

But it wouldn’t be as good. 


I have writers waiting for their revision lesson in the Short Stories class, and until I revise A Few Good Men, and scan all my red-ink manuscript slaughter and filled-in worksheets demonstrating the process of thoughtfully and intently ripping a story to bloody shreds to get a BETTER story, they can’t get their lesson.

So today, Vipers’ Nest goes on the back burner until the revision for A Few Good Men is complete.

Wanna hear something funny?

I think I can get this revised today. You may laugh. Even as I wrote the words, my Muse snorted. The bitch.

At least I’ve already filled in most of my worksheets. 😀

Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved

So today I built the Bug-Hunter edition of Longview 5

By Holly Lisle

Today I spent three Patreon hours putting together the bug-hunter version of Longview 5: The One With The Broken Title.

This involved cleaning up a significant amount of weird formatting in Scrivener — (my fault) — moving the project into .docx, then opening it in Vellum and doing the actual book formatting, setting and revising front matter, end matter, hand-setting the chapter heads and subheads, hand-setting the special text, picking the styles, and other little bits to make it look as close to the finished version as I can come.

It’s important that bug-hunters see the equivalent of finished text, and have real page numbers to work from. Books in double-spaced Courier look different, and some things get missed that show up in … hell … whatever font I ended up picking for the finished version. It’s a nice font.

Email requesting volunteers to bug-hunt will go out late this afternoon MY time, deadline is going to be about a week to read and get the bugs back to me.

I’ve heard back from some of my previous bug hunters, once the invite goes out, will pick six folks I’ve worked with before who did really good work, and six new folks.

I’ll be looking for a mix of folks who HAVE read the previous stories, and those who HAVEN’T, because each story needs to stand on its own.

And just for this book, bug-hunters who find a phrase or a situation in the story that would make a good title will be asked to include that with their bug-hunter sheets.

Because — DAMN. Vipers’ Nest was targeted right at the heart of the story, until the heart jumped five meters to the right and threw itself on the ground to avoid me. Now I don’t know what to call the thing.

This isn’t going to work…

Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved

Longview 5 is DONE! (But isn’t Vipers’ Nest anymore)

By Holly Lisle

I’m going to need some beta readers for the story that was going to be Vipers’ Nest.

So much changed in the writing of it that the Vipers’ Nest in that title turned into a side plot, and the title no longer fits.

As I mention in the afterword (written just a few minutes ago) things change. This time they changed in magnificent ways. But they TOTALLY broke my title, so I’m going to be brainstorming new titles, too.

And because of a rather stupid cleanup of what I though were duplicates of a lot of old text files a month or so ago, I’ve discovered today that my lists of beta readers are gone to the Land of Lost Pixels.

A couple hours of hunting have given me a list of new swear words, but no old lists.

If you want to help me by beta reading / Bug hunting (it’s the same thing) THIS book, here are the steps:

  • If you’re not already on my Everyone In One Place mailing list, sign up here.
  • If you’re already on the list, or once you’ve signed up, watch for the email going out at two PM today, which will also go out again at two PM tomorrow for folks who miss it. It’s going to be titled The Beta Reader / Bug Hunter Invitation.
  • Beta Reader / Bug Hunter is going to be one of the choices in the “Choose your own adventure” game, but I’m still putting that together, and I actually need some bug hunters now.

If you would love to Beta Read/Bug Hunt, but missed this post and are reading after 2PM Eastern Time on Wednesday, June 13th, 2018, don’t worry.

I’m still putting together the Adventure, and once it’s built, everyone on the Everyone In One Place list will get to play through, pick your paths, and start doing some cool things or reading some new things, depending on the adventure you choose.

Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved

Finished the revision of Vipers’ Nest!

By Holly Lisle

It’s done! It feels like I’ve been working on Vipers’ Nest forever.

I can’t believe it, but it’s finally fully and completely revised, and I LOVE the way it came out.

This has been a brutal project, because it hit in the middle of personal chaos, website chaos, GDPR chaos…

And for the longest time, I couldn’t find the ending.

Well, yesterday I suddenly realized what had to happen to get me to the ending, and ripped out one old scene, and wrote one brand new scene today, and nailed it.

It took me four and a half hours from the time I started today until the time I did my many, many back-up saves.

But THIS is the story I wanted to write.

So now there are the following steps I have to get through before the book goes live.

  • Matt has to fit me in between clients for a content edit.
  • I have to revise to his edit.
  • I have to gather up volunteers for a bug hunt.
  • I have to revise to clean up what the bug hunters find
  • I have to build the publishable edition of the book, assign ISBNs, and put it up on all the sites where it’s going.

I’m going wide with this one — publishing it from the very beginning on every site that I can find that will pay me regularly and reliably.

From this point on, I’m eschewing Amazon exclusives. They haven’t done anything for my sales, and they have kept my books off of other platforms. I gave them the best run I could, and I can only conclude that following that path is not in my best interests.

So I have everything working its way out of KDP select, and by the time I have everything done to take Vipers’ Nest live, MOST everything else will be available for distribution elsewhere.

So… Back to work. Still have about a few thousand more words to write of How to Write Short Stories Lesson 4: How to END Short — Landing, Twist, Resolution, and Meaning.

Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved

Three hours of writing, and the third first draft of Vipers’ Nest is now done!

By Holly Lisle

The story came in at 30,073 words. Close enough to the 30,000 I’d planned to make me happy.

It’s really different this time. I ended up not using anything from the previous (two – sigh) first drafts.

The story focuses on Shay, Melie, Wils Bailey (THE Bailey from Bailey’s Irish Space Station), the station, Herog (and peripherally Cady), and on the PWAs execution of its plan to destroy both the Longview and Bailey’s.

Fair warning. This story has one tiny cliffhanger in it that will not be resolved until the opening scene of Wishbone Conspiracy, which will be the next Cadence Drake novel. If you keep the highlighted sentence in mind as you read Vipers’ Nest, it won’t be a cliffhanger.

So next week I’ll start on the revision. Will as promised revise the first chapter (or two) on video for the Patreon Hero level, and talk through what I’m changing and why.

Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved

Site updates to reflect what I’m doing as a writer

By Holly Lisle

I’m doing some rearranging of the site. I’ll be adding links to what I’m creating. Aside from semi-regular posts in the blog and the occasional new writing article or fiction snippet, I’ve been running the blog along for years without doing much with it.

But here’s the thing:

  • I’m back to writing new fiction every weekday.
  • I’m back to writing new writing classes every weekday.

And because I’m once again steadily releasing new fiction and new nonfiction, I once again have things even blog regulars haven’t seen.

So I’m adding a sidebar with book covers and links to my fiction and nonfiction.

Fiction Update

Vipers' Nest
I’m still slogging Longview 5: Vipers’ Nest. Following that will be Longview 6: STILL DON’T HAVE A TITLE.

Once I’ve finished SDHAT (yes, tiny little joke), I’ll write Moon & Sun 3: Emerald Sun.

And following Emerald Sun, I’ll go after Cadence Drake and The Wishbone Conspiracy. Parts for that have now gone into Longview 5, and in a much bigger and more surprising way than I’d anticipated.

Cookies were involved. BIG Cookies.

How long will all of this take? Depends. I’m currently writing fiction one hour a day. If I can get the funding to cover it, I can expand that to two hours a day of pure fiction writing and revision. Which means both Moon & Sun 3: Emerald Sun, and The Wishbone Conspiracy will happen twice as fast.

Nonfiction Update

How to Write VillainsI did the first thousand words of How to Write Villains: Lesson 6 today. When I complete lesson six, I’ll have two more lessons to write to finish the class.

THEN I’ll take a week to tear apart all the questions folks have asked me for How to Write Short Stories and from that build a class outline, and will then start writing the lessons.

If you have questions about writing short stories…

Go to:

Login to your Holly’s Writing Classes account here:

OR Create a free account here:

And then check to see if your questions have already been asked here:

If your questions haven’t been asked, please ask them soon. Once I finish writing Villains, I’ll start the NEXT DAY on figuring out what needs to go into Short Stories.

From there, it’ll take me about a week to go over all the questions and figure out how to build the class that will walk folks through writing good short stories. (And an unknown number of months to actually write the class.)

After that, I’m building How To Write A Novel, which isn’t about building a writing career or generating series ideas or revising and prepping the book or doing marketing or anything else in How to Think Sideways.

It’s just about putting together the story you want to write, and then writing it.

If this interests you, there’s a place where you can ask questions or describe problems you’ve had with the process, and again, I’ll build the class to answer the questions and show how to fix the problems folks present. If this interests you, use the same login or account creation links above, but go here to ask your questions or describe your problems:

I’m having fun. This is the kind of writing I love most — lots of work, lots of progress, fiction and nonfiction.

And getting shit done. I LOVE getting shit done.

Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved