The words today were long in coming… 1267, and 83,316 total.

By Holly Lisle

Today I realized that if I had my ending, I could just stop here. 

I always end up adding significantly in revision. 

But I don’t have my ending yet. And when I say that, I mean that I don’t KNOW my ending yet.

I have the outline. 

But I went a different way with the story, so now the outline of the ending scenes is toast.

I’m finding my way. I like what I found today. I have no idea what I’ll find tomorrow.

I’m hoping the path of the story will flow a little faster then. Not smoother. Just faster.

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There were chickens. There was roosting… and Evil Took A Bow

By Holly Lisle

Another day of building the fix for the website.

And then a day of coming in late, and tired… and falling into the story.

I did not know that today was going to be the day one of my secondary villains came out of hiding. Or that the various things this character has done would pick TODAY to… er… roost like chickens.

I might have chickens on the brain (my daughter has taken up raising them).

But I stepped into the story distracted by work problems, by stuff that hangs over my head that isn’t any fun… and the story kicked me in the shit, howled “Pay attention…” 

And then did weird, interesting things. 

And I got good words and lots of them.

1,334 words for the day, 82,047 overall.

I’m closing on the end. I don’t know what it’s going to be — my outline went out the damn window some ways back like … like a chicken eyeing a big vat of boiling oil (now I want fried chicken)…

And now I’m thinking blogging while hungry is a bad idea.


I’m near the end of Book 4.

Something today changed everything. 

My MC has a new enemy. A new way of seeing not just her town, but her time since she arrived in Ohio.

And until I’ve slept on it, I’m not going to know exactly what changed, or exactly what effect it’s going to have. But I’ll say this: Tomorrow should be really interesting.

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Most of the words, all of the fun

By Holly Lisle

I got 1207 words today before 11 AM. And now I have to stop where I am because that’s close enough to 1250, I’m at a really good stopping place, and because I and my moderators are hauling ass to rebuild on new software and get it live before the existing site croaks.

Love what I got, though, and love how it blends in with the spiffy twist I got on Wednesday.

And I continue to love these characters, and their little made-up version of my real town here.

But now… off to the other job for the day. 😀

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Amazing what a good night’s sleep will do: 1448 words, and a truly wicked scene

By Holly Lisle

Have I mentioned lately that I love my job? 


Love it. 

I had absolutely no clue what was going to happen today in the scene I had to write. I knew who had to be there.

Not why. Not what the scene needed to accomplish.

It was main character meets X for the first time…

And everything in my mind beyond that point was whole lot of nothing.

But when I put these two characters together — my MC, and this character I’ve written about a lot in these first four books, but who I’d never met in person (in the story, of course) — everything just fell into place. The scene was as smooth as riding waxed paper down a sliding board (which, if you never did this as a kid, boy did you get cheated). 

It was like these two characters had been planning this meeting, or like this had been sitting inside the fiction metaverse from the first day I started work on Book One.

Today, I got exactly what the story needed. The little Book Four story, and the enormous Ohio Novel story.

And it takes me perfectly, flawlessly, wickedly…straight into Book Five.

I’m not done with book four, of course, because my main character still has a solid chunk of stuff she has to accomplish in this novel to wrap things up.

Today, though, the story just grabbed me and took me along for the ride, and used a bunch of stuff I’ve built into the world in ways that are gonna have CONSEQUENCES in the coming days and weeks… and months.

Oh, boy, today was fun!

1448 words for the day, and 79,287 total words on Book 4. And I am really, really close to the end.

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Had no sleep last night, feel like crap. 127 words

By Holly Lisle

It’s something. That’s all I can say.

I’m going to do two more small things today, and then go sack out on the couch.

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I’m looking good to beat my deadline on Ohio #4

By Holly Lisle

So… <evil laugh>… today went well. I got 1251 words of my 1250 needed.  

And I now only have 12,288 words left to hit my 90,000 on this novel. I might run a little longer, but I don’t think it’s going to be much over that.

12,228 words to THE END

Yeah, I did the math. And took a picture to show you.

Because things keep clicking on this book. Pieces from the earlier three keep connecting into what I’m doing now in ways that I don’t expect, and everything keeps making the even that has to happen at the end of this novel to set up the FINAL novel… just work.

I didn’t expect any of this, or plan it. But I did plan things like it. My characters are just a lot more invested in their survival than I anticipated.

Good, good writing day, and one that leaves me eager for tomorrow.

If I keep getting my 1250 words a day, I’ll wrap this novel up in two weeks. 

That might not happen. But it’s nice to realize that it could.

Figure, I wasn’t planning on being done with this novel until November 15th. A few days early is ALWAYS cool.

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Ya gotta love an evil plan…

By Holly Lisle

…And in Book 4 of the Ohio Series, way toward the end, (where I only have about 14,000 words left to finish the damn thing…

The Evil Plan just crawled out of the woodwork.

Not just for my characters.



I’m at roughly seventy-six thousand words in the FOURTH book of the series, with only one more book to go to wrap SERIES ONE…

And NOW the monsters let me know what they’re up to?!


Yep. Apparently now. It’s way better than anything I could have planned, because it so much meaner than anything I would have planned, and so much BIGGER, and so… horrible.

And while I know my brain does this shit all the time, and while I know that no matter what I’ve planned, my subconscious mind is going to be actively working to make all of that feel too stale and too small when it hits me with its next bit of better…

It’s still always a shock when it happens.

So. Today was… AWESOME!

And even more so because there’s not a single thing that landed on my head today that’s going to have to be retrofitted into the nearly 400,000 words I’ve already done.

I’m all about the HAPPY DANCE today, lemme tell you.

Now, I’m off to work on the replacement website for the next four or five hours. Wish me luck.

[And for my writing students following this blog, I’m not going to flog the current class discounts via email. I am going to say here that prices on the classes are going to return to normal as soon as the new version of the site goes live. And that is going to be AS SOON AS WE CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN, BECAUSE our old software is now way too creaky and old to keep using.]

Anyway… Have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll see you in here next Monday.

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BAM! Rough start goes to “I love this I love this” and surprising myself!

By Holly Lisle

First, a bit of grousing about numbers accounting on the damn scene.

Two days in a row, now, I have accidentally with one keyboard command deleted a big section of not just my words for the day, but the rest of the words in the chapter. 

It’s an easy fix. You just paste it back.

Unfortunately, when you paste it back, Scrivener loses your count for the day by subtracting the words you cut… and then adding everything you pasted back in as new words.

So, having in fact written exactly 45 words so far this morning, my word counter now shows that I’ve written 1308 — the number now in the chapter.UntitledImage

But there’s no way that I can find to reset the wordcount for the day to zero, and I’m not in the mood to dig through the internet or the somewhat squiffy software documentation to see if there’s a way to do this.

So to hit my REAL goal for the day, I’m going to have to hit 2445 words.

And I’m writing the number here so that I don’t lose track of my actual objective.

And so that when that shows up in the blog, you will not be unduly impressed. 

Okay. Back to the actual words.

And now it’s 9:26-ish AM, and I hauled ass and got them. The big 2,484 words is actually just a smidge over my 1250 objective for the day.

But the words… oh, BOY, the words.

I had absolutely no clue what was going to happen when my MC talked to my visitor.

And what happened was that my small town, through the visitor, is about to get global reach and power in a really terrible way.

From the characters’ perspective, this is horrible beyond belief.

From my perspective as writer… it was just AWESOME. I love the way this think keeps surprising me, and love the way it’s flying along, twisting every time I think I know what’s going to happen next…


And I just wrote down the new Scene Sentence for tomorrow in the manuscript so that I won’t forget it.

Because… DAMN. I can’t wait to get back to work tomorrow.


Now, however, I have to go work on the complete site rebuild and classroom overhaul of for the rest of the day.

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Wow! WOW! A character gamble and last week’s wandering PAID OFF!

By Holly Lisle

I was LOST. 

Gut said to shut up and keep going. And I spent a lot of time today fiddling with the outline, and trying to understand what the stuff I wrote last week meant…

And then, HOLY CRAP!!!

Someone I never expected showed up at my MC’s door, and was the person who gave me such a bad time last week, and this week, all of a sudden, I found out what all that strangeness and storm und drang and wandering was about.

It went CLICK like a well-oiled machine.

Things are going to get deadly again.

But the character who switched teams on me this week is going to make the rest of the week’s writing a blast.


1296 words today (and I fixed the damn “working hours” timer in Scrivener early today so that it didn’t eat them on me again when it took me a really long time to get them)… and 72,229 total.

And there’s a happy dance going on over here, let me tell you.

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Juggling work… and work… and WORK… 70,935 words total

By Holly Lisle

Holly’s Writing Classes is on old software, and I’ve delayed as long as I can on upgrading it.

Now I’m having to move it to really nice PROFESSIONAL class delivery and teaching software… and even though I have awesome moderators who are helping me do this, there’s some stuff ONLY I can do, and even that takes a lot of work and a lot of time. 

And I got a bit sidetracked this morning on figuring out how to run the new site.

Meanwhile, I’m writing novel four of five in the OHIO series.

And today — well, I did not Dorothy Hamill this particular Monday. I landed on my ass.

I only got about 900 words done on the book, and I don’t know the exact number because my damn word counter on Scrivener had my “day” (the hours between which words will count for this day, and when they will roll over to the next day) to 2 PM.

So when I was still working on the book past 2, Scrivener ate the day’s count.

And I didn’t record what I accomplished Friday in my journal.

Shit happens, but this wasn’t that. This was me screwing up. I allowed my attention to be dragged away by the lure of awesome new software.

I know I got ABOUT 900  words.

That’s not the way I want to run my Mondays.

But now I do have other things I absolutely have to get done. So tomorrow, I’m going to pay attention to staying focused on just one task at a time.

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