Replotting Ohio 2… The Experiment that Went BOOM!

Book 2 has a lot of salvageable material. A lot of awesome world stuff, some wonderfully funny scenes, some pretty scary scenes.

It was fun for me to read, and I made myself laugh a bunch of times, got a little teary-eyed, did a light revision and passed it off to my Editor.

Matt, however, is really, really good at what he does.

And he discovered that while the story is a lot of fun, what it doesn’t have is a strong story through-line.

Here’s the thing…

I had a line-for scene plot for the book built out.

It, however, lacked the sort of epic sense of wonder that made my heart beat faster while I was writing it. 

So… when Epic Sense of Wonder crept past me while I was being a good girl and following the plot, my hunting brain caught the scent… 

…And chased.

I got some great stuff out of the chase. The plot, however, got eaten by volemarines and vile scunners in the process. 

So now, I’m going back and figuring out how to keep all the epic stuff, the sensawunda stuff, the glorious terrifying magic and the really creepy evil…


Today… plotting worksheet and tight focus.

There are folks saying, “But you teach classes on how to write novels.”

Yup. I also invent and test new processes, because if you do the same thing every time, you get the same results every time. And to get BETTER results, and consequently better novels, you have to experiment.

Many experiments… um… explode.

And the person looking at the new processes, and experimenting, is the one upon whom they explode.


THIS process is not going to be in any new class coming your way from me. You can thank me later.

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By Holly

Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and indie-publish my new ones.

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8 months ago

I love your comments as much as I love your blogs … And the fact that you can run into such issues with your number of successful works under your belt, so to speak, gives me hope …. dropbears …

Holly Lisle
Reply to  dragon
8 months ago

Hope is always a good thing. Hope keeps you breathing when things get rough (and “rough” has a wide, deep sliding scale of degrees).

Dropbears, on the other hand… well, Australia has a lot to answer for, letting them loose near an unsuspecting manuscript that never hurt anyone. ::insert evil grin here::

8 months ago

Plot’s a killer. In so many ways!

Reply to  Bonnie
8 months ago

Yeah. That it is.

Katharina Gerlach
9 months ago

I’m already thanking you now. 😁

Reply to  Katharina Gerlach
9 months ago

😀 😀

I’m finding good stuff worth saving in this. The process by which I came up with this good stuff… WELL…

That’s the problematic bit. Because now I have to ask myself if I could have come up with the really good, original, weird stuff by a different process that kept the story more on track. And the answer is… I don’t know.

The thing about discovery is that you cannot do it while you’re on a well-beaten path. But does a path exist that includes fewer hungry tigers and dropbears?

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x