Streamlining During Chaos: Fiction? YES.

Nothing is yet cast in stone… but in about a week the full force of this particular Chaos Storm is going to hit. The Current ChaosTM is pretty close to becoming the Big Right On Top Of Me Chaos — a state that could last from a best case of one month to a worst case of maybe three. 

(See me bravely ignoring the “Wanna bet on that worst case?” utterance from my Muse, who has ridden this train before.)

I can’t accomplish everything I want to do and still do what I need to do. So I have put some things on hold for a while in order to accomplish anything.

My brain turns to fiction when things get rough, stressful, difficult. It always has — reading when I was a kid, writing when other people’s worlds stopped being what I needed.

I won’t complain. Being able to fall into fiction when things are hard is a Big Damn Advantage when you’re a novelist. I’ve decided this time to play to my strengths, and to NOT try to do everything.

So from today until we’re out the other side of this, my writing is going to be exclusively fiction.


  • WRITE: Complete the first novel in The Ohio Series and get it into its month of cool down. (I’m only a couple chapters from the end, so this is a small goal.)
  • REVISE: Finish the write-in and type-in revisions of Dead Man’s Party and get it out to beta readers. (I’m most of the way through the write-in revision, but still have a significant type-in ahead of me, and I do a LOT of on-the-spot revision and adding things during type-in, so thing is a BIG goal.)
  • OUTLINE AND WRITE: The Emerald Sun first draft. (And this is a big goal, too.)

I’ll do a worksheet or two for the podcast as we need them.

I will NOT be starting into the Canary Revision of How to Revise Your Novel. until after I’m through the biggest part of the coming mess.

My plan had been to pick that up on Monday and do it as an after-fiction thing. At this point, by best-case scenario moves that to early September.

Absolute worst case, the first part of next year. (Never start a massive project in December.)

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

4 comments… add one
  • Marissa Apr 2, 2020 @ 16:16

    I’m so excited to hear that The Emerald Sun is happening!! I read the first two books growing up many, many years ago, and I’ve been eagerly awaiting this last installment. I cannot wait to see how everything ends, and I will definitely be the first buyer. (:

    Also, is there any guarantee the cover will match the first two books? They are stunning!!

  • Chris Jul 24, 2019 @ 18:37

    Do what you need Holly, we all love you and will be waiting when you have mastered the Chaos.

  • Lita Brooker Jul 24, 2019 @ 13:59

    You’re always in my daily thoughts. I can’t believe what good fortune – via a writer acquaintance – pointed me to your writing classes site, Holly. I know you’ll get through this chaos.

    You have what it takes.

    So happy that you’re listening to your own good sense, and taking care of the inner you.

    Much love to you and yours

    Lita xx

    • Holly Jul 25, 2019 @ 14:32

      Thank you. Fiction is the thing that got me (and my family) through some of the toughest times in our lives. The coming chaos does not qualify as “tough times” but it definitely qualifies as “hard and overwhelming work.”

      So I very much appreciate the encouraging words.

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