The Big Week of Fiction Only includes Getting My Ass Kicked

By Holly Lisle

Vipers' Nest

Vipers’ Nest

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. 


How to Write Short Stories

How to Write Short Stories

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

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

Currently on the Needles

By Holly Lisle

  • I have the next to last lesson in How to Write a Series almost finished
  • THREE repubbed novels  now working through a launch under a pseudonym (my first voluntary one)
  • Six novellas I’m reworking, editing, and updating with new covers, formatting, debugging, and other clean-up, including the next NEW story, Longview #4: Gunslinger Moon
  • One Really Spiffy Thing For Writers that’s going out via email tomorrow at ten AM (if you’re a fiction writer and you’re not on my updates list, use the little slider form below to sign up, because this is a one-time EVER thing, and it’s big) — and be sure to click the Segmenting Tag for “writer” when you get that email.


If the words “And a Partridge in a Pear Tree” drifted through your mind… you are not alone. ‘Tis the season, and I’m head down and working really hard.

So I need a breather for the little down time I have. Something to let me wind down.

I think of this as “potato chip knitting.”

Because you just do a little at a time, just like writing a novel. And as long as you keep at it, you see progress. And in my case, I make it up as I go — though the chips can get a bit weird, and go wrong sometimes.

Of course I have pictures. 😀

After a wrong approach, you rip back. I pulled out the entire front panel and neckline.

Finished my FIFTH attempt last night, and it’s a keeper.

The picture of him wrapped in the damn thing while trying to drag it to the floor to have his way with it does not exist. Because my choice was “get the picture” or “save the sweater.”

I saved the sweater. Still have the sleeves and collar to go, plus buttons and I-cord fasteners. And sewing in all those ends. But I have enough of it now that I thought it was worth showing off.

Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved

I’ve started writing fiction again

By Holly Lisle

little aliensThis is such a delicate thing I’m almost afraid to mention it. But stories started sneaking back into my consciousness after the parathyroid surgery, and lately I’ve been starting each weekday morning writing a few hundred words.

It’s what I can make time for before I start into the still-enormous daily workload of getting the site up and running and out of beta.

I’m not doing anything on projects folks know about. Those require research, development, timelines, backstory—infrastructure.

And this feels like a seed sprouting after a long, hard winter. Like, if I don’t step carefully, I could kill it.

So I’m stepping carefully. Right now, I’m just putting together a little story in an interesting new world. I’m aiming for about ten-thousand words.

I have about 1200. It’s science fiction. It has interesting aliens.

It makes me happy.

Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved

WABWM: New story finished over the weekend

By Holly Lisle

8:06 AM

Finished the short story Long Road Home yesterday (was Do-Over on my weblog progress bar, but the working title sucked). Sentence: A woman who’s lost everything makes a deal with the devil to relive her life, only to discover the deal didn’t work the way she thought.

First draft came out at about 10,000 words, but this is something that has been in bits and pieces on my hard drive since 2004. I probably only did about 1500 new words (and a lot of cutting and piecing) to finish it.

I discovered I needed a short break away from Warpaint, but still wanted to do something with fiction. So I’ll have Single #2 to bring out in November, along with Warpaint.

On that, book started with just over 80,000 words.

I’m now 26,000 words into the write-in, and the manuscript total is up to 87,000 words.

Kick ass on your words, and write with joy.

Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved