My poor main character!!! 419 words on Ohio 5, and 26,148 total — AND Writing Classes Stuff

By Holly Lisle

First, the words, because without the words, none of the rest of this would mean anything.

I got a solid chunk of a nice scene written today, added to the overall twisty-ness of the fifth book in the series, and both made things easier and made things more difficult for the villain… with one fun little move.

And by “nice scene” I mean that I did terrible things to my main character, while planning to do even worse things to her tomorrow.

So while I didn’t get a ton of them, I had a great time figuring out the bits I did.

On to the REST of my day, which I’m now getting started on.

I’m building out pricing boxes for the Half Price Ten-Day Sale over at

I promised folks who had been locked out on the old (and now happily dead and deleted and gone forever) site that they would get a chance to buy the classes at half price.

Since I did not wish to build a separate, hidden second shop from which to sell all the courses as a second price to just the folks who got locked out, there’s going to be a ten-day sale which my folks can take advantage of, and during which all of my classes (except for the Clinics, which have undergone a massive, permanent price drop) will be available for half price. 

If you’re writer, and you want to be invited to the members-only launch, join the Launch List mailing list here.



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More good words: 762 for the day, 24,969 total… and heading somewhere I didn’t expect

By Holly Lisle

Books surprise you. Characters surprise you. And my two MCs are, after a bit of stress and angst, heading toward a solution I didn’t see coming from a character I had not expected to take on a role of major importance.

But this is what characters do. They start out looking like these goofy buggers on the fringe, just there so they can have anvils dropped on them, and all of a sudden they grab on and do something really damn important.

Good writing day. Would have been longer if I weren’t still working on the website, but I am getting the relaunch set up.

Date for the reopening is t I have just got to get through this mess before I can get back to writing as the BIG job.

It’s still the first job, though. And the best one. 😀

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Back to the OHIO words: 755 today,

By Holly Lisle

During the worst of the site rebuild, when we were trying and failing to get writers into their classes, I didn’t get any fiction written.

That was a rough few days.

But we have everyone in, we now have a way to add their classes, and we’re close to opening the classes to new students.

So today, I both slept in (which was really nice), and then gave myself an hour to work on the novel (which was even nicer).

And I love what I got.

But… BOY, am I mean to my characters.

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Doing a Line-for-Scene re-plot of Book 5 from Chapter 7 to Chapter 30

By Holly Lisle

I got 281 words, and am up to 18,423 total, and was rolling along pretty nicely.

Hit the end of Chapter 5, rolled over to Chapter 5, and found stuff written clear through Chapter 8 that I’ll either have to save or delete. But I also discovered that the book I’ve been writing since the Cave is different by a lot (and better by a lot) than the story I’d been telling up to that point. 

So now I have to pull out my Book 5 Line-for-Scene outline, see if there’s anything in it I can save, and re-plot from there. I have another hour and change to work on this before I have to move over to writing-school-upgrade stuff.

So there aren’t going to be anymore words today, and tomorrow might have a terrific word slaughter pending…

But I’m going to see how cleverly non-destructive I can be in working in what I’ve already written. (THIS USUALLY GOES BADLY.)

Either way, none of the rest of the words I’ll do today will count. They’ll all be line-for-scene outlining and rethinking.

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YESTERDAY’S words on Ohio 5

By Holly Lisle

The day got crazy pretty quickly. is on its new software, but between big by-hand database updates to get all the members all their classes, and layout improvements to get all the members TO their classes, and  necessary (and still in progress fixes to the integration between the classrooms and the forum, Tom, James, and I worked from ten a.m until about 4 PM for me, and possibly later for them.

Before that, I managed to get 561 words that I liked yesterday on Ohio 5. I’ll see how well they hold up today.

Heading in now.

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OHIO 5: Small words, but yesterday’s revelation continues to spawn big things

By Holly Lisle

I got 272 words and now have 12,393. 

And what I got built on big, scary things that I discovered yesterday, and gave me a nice new segment of the same scene.

I’ll be glad when I can spend more time on Ohio 5, but we’re in the last stages of replacing the old software with the new software, and there are a ton of things on that which I have to be around for and to be a part of.

We thought we’d be doing the move today, though (in which case I would have gotten NO words), and we’ll find out later today whether we’ll be able to do it tomorrow.

We have just ONE sticking point. I’m hoping today it comes unstuck.

I wanna get back to writing FULL-time again.

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Revelations galore, and a wild shock for me — 1015 words today, and 11,119 total.

By Holly Lisle

Hooo, boy! I shocked my own socks of this morning.

I thought I knew where the story was going, and I did not. Well… the part of me that writes consciously didn’t, anyway.

My Muse might have had this planned… but I don’t think so. I think it  was surprised, too.

The revelation my subconscious mind pulled out of its hat was the kind of surprise that fit so perfectly, and was so duplicitous that I found myself wondering how long it had stored that away.

It didn’t come easily. Through some hours of writing, and cutting out bits and pieces, and putting things down, and muttering, “No, that’s not it,” I was working toward something. But I didn’t know what it was.

And then, Muse went “TA DAAAAAAH!” like some little kid who just brought home a kitten…

Only this one wasn’t seven hundred pounds with foot-long fangs.

DAMN, it was beautiful.

And I love when that shit happens.

Oh… also… Realized that I have for years held onto the domain that is going to be the second half of the stuff James Husum and I are going to be working on as the backend for my Title. Cover. Copy. class.

So a weekend of letting my Muse sleep while I stretched out on the couch playing Kairosoft games on my Switch just paid off with HUGE dividends.

HOWEVER… Now off to see how the “moving the site” stuff is going, and where we are.

Get Holly’s Free Fiction Sampler, plus Weekly Fiction Updates, and when these books go on sale, get invited to the launch.

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Desktop Curtain, from Many Tricks: My single favorite Mac app

By Holly Lisle

Big fan that I am of GSD (getting shit done), I’ve found things over the years that have made GSD easier.

The screenshots below are Before and After on a TINY section of my very large desktop this morning. The white bar on the left isn’t neatness. It’s Scrivener below a 30-word PACTS Sentence that would give some massive spoilers on Book 5.



Desktop before 2022 02 21 at 8 10 51 AM

And keep in mind this is a tiny section of a very large desktop screen, and that most of the right side of it is covered with folders.

Okay. NOW…

Here’s AFTER one simple click…

Desktop after 2022 02 21 at 8 11 50 AM

Beautiful, right? Calm, soothing, beautifully damned invisible. It’s like a massage for your brain.

I’m not an affiliate for the software or anything. I just love it — and this morning, starting in stressed about the upcoming site overhaul, and the upcoming class debugs, and getting Ohio Five done so I can then do the <shudder> five-novel, 470,000+ word One-Pass Revision…

I felt that moment of peace as my chosen blue covered all the crap on my desk, and I wanted to say thanks to Many Tricks [NOT AN AFFILIATE LINK] for  my favorite focus-to-get-shit-done app for the Mac. 

Now… back to the words. I’m doing mean things to my characters today.

Big surprise, right?

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OHIO 5: 620 words, the wrap-up of Chapter 5, and the start of Chapter 6

By Holly Lisle

It was not a dark and stormy night. It was, instead, a pretty decent afternoon in May.

But my MC has just discovered that there has been a whole lot of lying going on, and that things she thought were dead sure certain were, in fact, a tissue of lies told to her by people she trusted.

Not all of the people she trusted. But certainly some of the ones she’s been holding close.

She’s about to go into a dark place in search of the truth… because even the lies conflict with each other.

This is, in fact, a very nice place to leave the book for the weekend. Lotta conflict, and a lot of time to let whatever’s going to happen next (I have no clue; this was not planned) knock around in the back of my head and pick up bits and pieces to keep it interesting.

I know where I’m GOING with this. 

But right at the moment, I have no damn clue where I am.

But here’s the tap-dancing happy bit…

At 10,104 words, even if I run long and need 100,000 words to tell this story, I am officially more than ten percent done with the first draft.


Have a great weekend.

I’ll be back here Monday.

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300 words on Ohio Five… and the discovery of how something clever got done

By Holly Lisle

Nice interplay today between my main character and someone important to her, as she discovers more about what her grandmother had been up to.

300 words exactly. I’m happy with that. The HWC site move/upgrade is now right on top of us, and we could get the “go” at any time.

So the fact that I got words at all feels big. The fact that I had to do that, plus monitor site progress, and send out an email to the folks who volunteered to help me fix all my classes post-move… 

I’ll take it. Many folks have done much more under more difficult circumstances, so I don’t mistake this for anything amazing.

But I did get words.

And I like them.

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