AIARWIP Episodes 4, 4.5, and 5: Brainstorming (with worksheets) & more

By Holly Lisle

Because of a certain amount of chaos in my daily life right now, I forgot to mention LAST week’s TWO Alone In A Room With Invisible People podcasts.

In the Brainstorming Workshop, Part 1, Becca and I develop idea pieces from scratch (using the free, no-opt-in downloadable worksheets linked from the podcast page).

In the mini episode, we go over the problem writers face as readers, and what you do if, as a writer, you’re not enjoying reading fiction in your genre anymore.

And in THIS week’s podcast — the Brainstorming Workshop, Part 2, — we take Becca’s raw ideas from the first half of the workshop, and do a second brainstorming session in which she takes the material from the worksheets and turns it into a solid story idea that fits in her world and that she wants to write. (You can download the Brainstorming With A Partner hints and rules for this episode without an opt-in, too.)

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Building A Better Character — Alone In A Room With Invisible People, Episode #2

By Holly Lisle

Becky and I have our second episode live now. We jumped all over writing better characters, where it’s easy to make mistakes, how to prevent them, how to fix them…

We had fun, and there are a few stories in this episode about how crazy characters can make you — and your story.

Here’s what we cover:

  • Basing Characters off of real people
  • What ‘Character’ is and is not and what it does
  • Digging deeper into character creation
  • Characters that surprise in good and bad ways and what to do about them

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Mentioned in the Podcast


Social Links
Our Website:
Holly’s Patreon:
Holly’s Personal Page:
Holly’s Blog:
Rebecca’s Personal Page:
Rebecca’s Writing Blog:


Producer – Rebecca Galardo.

Sponsor – Holly’

Intro written by Holly Lisle and performed by Mark Hermann.

Our podcast is 100% free and sponsored only by Holly’s Writing Classes.

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Alone in a Room with Invisible People: Our New Podcast

By Holly Lisle

My daughter Rebecca and I get together every Sunday to talk. Knit. Show our goofy cats to each other.

We do this online, because we currently live about 600 miles apart.

But we also talk about writing. A lot.

And at one point a couple months ago, we were having this really animated discussion and bouncing ideas around on the book she was working on, and she said, “You know, I wish other people could be a part of the writing stuff we talk about.”

And a week or so after that, she said, “You know, you could do a podcast, and I could produce it for you.”

And I said, “I already did a podcast once, and it died an ugly death because I got sick of listening to myself talk.”

But I agreed that it would be really cool if all the stuff we were discussing about our fiction, and about writing fiction could be saved for folks to listen too.

An then I had an idea, and a week after that, I said, “I figured out the podcast. It’ll be both of us talking to each other about writing. About what we’re writing, and about how it’s going, and about how to do it better.

“Because I’ve been doing this for years, but you just finished your first real revision on your first serious written with intent to publish novel. So while you’ve sold your shorter work, you’re at the beginning of pursuing a career as a novelist, and I’ve done that both commercially and as an indie. So with both of us in there, it will have BOTH our perspectives.”

And the week after that, we started setting things up, and last week, we did the podcast intro, and the first show.

We get together every week.

We talk.

A lot.

And for an hour or so each week, we’ll be talking exclusively about what we’re writing, how we’re writing it, answering listener questions about your writing or our fiction (yes, you HAVE met the Longview’s owner in both Hunting the Corrigan’s Blood and Warpaint)… doing what we did in the first full episode.

You can be a part of our lively conversations about how our own fiction is coming, about writing fiction, and about how to do it better.

(To maintain sound quality, and to be able to eliminate some of my worst spirals downward into Spectacular Swearing, we will NOT be broadcasting live…)

Whether you’re a reader, a writer, or both, you’ve invited to sit in, listen to what we discuss, and leave questions about our fiction or about writing fiction on our blog, Alone in a Room with Invisible People.

I hope you’ll join us every week — and if you love the show, please take a moment to rate us on iTunes and elsewhere, subscribe to the podcast, and to share us with other folks.

Our Website:



Social Links


Holly’s Patreon:
Holly’s Personal Page:
Holly’s Blog:
Rebecca’s Personal Page:
Rebecca’s Writing Blog:

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Questions for the Google+ Chat: What do you want to know about…

By Holly Lisle

The Google+ Live Chat will start Friday at 12 NOON ET. 

THERE IS NO SOUND on the first 45 or so seconds of this video. Skip past those. I caught the error quickly.

I’m going to answer questions you post here.

This is pretty wide open. Your questions can be professional or personal, and can be related to nonfiction or fiction.

Do you have a writing question I’ve never answered anywhere?  A question about one of my novels? A question about me?

I’m not expecting a lot of questions, but if I get a lot, I know I won’t have time to answer everything in this one chat.


If there are a lot of questions, I’ll organize the ones I don’t answer into categories, and do a few more live Google+ chats to answer them.

I’ll post the link in this space once I get Google+ set up and know that it’s working. If some of you wouldn’t mind using the link in the top right corner to post it to Twitter once we get going, I’d appreciate it. I’m working with

I’m going to print off the existing questions right after I have everything set up, and I’ll either go down the list, or pick and choose, depending on how many there are.

Is there anything you can’t ask? No.

Is there anything I won’t answer? Probably.

Use your best judgement. 😀


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Did a freebie online writing workshop today. You can take the workshop.

By Holly Lisle

The workshop is Creating Characters With Character. My host is Cindy Rushton, and we did this live on the air, so it has the usual rough edges you get with a live workshop…but also the energy you get from someone pacing around the room talking and gesturing (that would be me—cannot sit still while I’m doing a workshop).

I liked the system enough that I’ve created an account for myself. We’re in the midst of chaos (of a good kind) here, so I won’t be able to use it right away. But I’d like to be able to do some live Q&As with writers on your writing questions, and maybe just some discussions on different aspects of writing.

Let me know what you think.

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Two Awesome Success Stories

By Holly Lisle

I got these e-mails today, and received permission to post both of them.

This one from Liz B.

Hi Holly!
I have to tell you straight away. I’m so excited! I’ve bought the Feb Package yesterday, not for the Writers Block course specifically, it was the Hawkspar draft and revision stuff that sold me. I’m sure that “looking over your shoulder” is going to be an education in itself. But last night, as much as I’m aching to read the Hawkspar stuff, I decided to try How to Beat Writers Block instead. I listened to the first four sections of the course. It’s absolutely brilliant! No — it’s better than that — it’s absolutely bloody brilliant!

I have been blocked for a little more than a week now, trying to finish the revision of my WIP. For some people that wouldn’t be a big deal; the only deadline I have is self-imposed. For me it was a big deal because this is a work that I love. It deserves my best and the last chapter wasn’t nearly as good enough, but I couldn’t fix it. The tricks in the Plot clinic weren’t working for me. BTW that one helped me through the sticky middle of this WIP and is a fabulous course too.

This morning everything fell into place! I KNOW what the answers are to the questions I was afraid to ask. And I’ll bet you already know that my muse has been screaming the answers at me for weeks. It’s so OBVIOUS when you let yourself listen!

Thank you just doesn’t cover it. In the unlikely event that I get published (I’m a realist but I still dream) your name will be front and center the acknowledgments.

All the best, and I do hope that March is a better month for you,

PS. I keep forgetting to put this in. I was lucky enough to be one of the few who recived a signed Talyn hardback last year. I also hit the jackpot again yesterday, when you said I’d get another one. I don’t want to be greedy. You have a lot of fans out there who’d give their right arm … well may not their right arm, it’s really difficult to type one handed … for a signed copy of that. Please send it to one of the people who didn’ t get their order in fast enough to qualify.

So one more person who came in early yesterday gets a signed copy of Talyn. I’ll notify that person as soon as I check the list to see who was next.

And this one from Nancy B. (Different B, though. :D)

So glad I could help. You offer such tremendous resources, it’s the
least one writer can do for another!! Using one of the items I bought
yesterday, I managed to break through a two year block on a project that
I thought was destined for the incinerator (and I can tell you, the main
character has been none too happy about it — he’s been trying to
insinuate himself into every other project, just so his story can be

Hope the turmoil on the homefront settles down so that you can
concentrate on “the book”, and that you and yours stay healthy and

As we used to say in my youth, Peace, man!


I LOVE success stories!

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And All the Pieces Are Back Together

By Holly Lisle

So. Heard from Air Force Kid, and he’s okay. That’s my huge news.

Big news is, the store is back up and running, and has two new goodies.

21 ExplodeThe small one is 21 Ways to Get Yourself Writing When Your Life Has Just Exploded, which I wrote in response to a friend who was beta testing the writer’s block course, but was trying to write after just coming off a couple years of major life upheavals. This is an area where I have lots of practice. I realized that a series of instantly usable solutions to specific writing questions would probably be useful, so this is the first in the CRITICAL SKILLS SERIES.

The next one will probably be 7 Steps to Getting the Book Written When You Have A Job, A Life, Kids, Three Pets, and You Want to Sleep AND Eat, Too.

BWBAnd the final version of How To Beat Writer’s Block (And Have FUN Writing From Now On) is available now, too. It includes 21 Ways, and has gotten some terrific feedback from the beta testers (some of which I’ve included on the page.)

And now, because I’ve been working 14-hour day for the past two weeks, and more than that the past two days, I’m going to go sack out on the couch and take a nap.

Off tomorrow, back to writing Moon & Sun II on Wednesday.

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By Holly Lisle

I’m doing final wrapping up on How to Beat Writer’s Block (And Have FUN Writing From Now On). It’s primarily an audio course, but I’m adding some additional written material to it. Reports from beta users are coming back pretty excited, but I did have some problems with accidental overdubbing on one track, and a few funky mislabeling problems, so I’m having to do some re-recording.

The course will debut on Nov. 19th along with the upgraded store software that will let me deliver it. Margaret and the store beta testers are hard at work on THAT end of this whole thing.

Everything is coming together. I think.

I’m just hoping it isn’t doing it in the Bermuda Triangle.

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Half the podcast finished

By Holly Lisle

What started out this morning as a mild little headache has turned into a full-blown migraine, though, so I’m going to have to go take something and lie down for a while.

Not a tremendously productive day.

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Doing the podcast today

By Holly Lisle

It’s late. Really, really late. Deadlines clobbered me, but I’m back on my feet now.

And I have a bunch of wonderful questions; today I’ll answer some of them. No new mic yet—the sound will be awful as usual. With luck, the content will overcome that.

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