The Ghost Story, WABWM, and TALYSMANA

I finished my ghost story. Title?


The title means a lot.

I got it to Trisha Telep in time, heard back that I’d made the deadline—and we are NOT going to talk about the morning-to-next-morning hours I worked for several days getting that revision done. What was supposed to have been a 6500-word story that might creep up to 7000 words became a 12,000 word PROJECT.

But I love the story. And when The Mammoth Book of Ghost Romance comes out, it’ll be in there.

Meanwhile, with that done, I’m holding firm to my commitment to the Write A Book With Me project.

To that end…

TALYSMANA is live again. I finished chapter 26, posted chapter 26, and am prepped to do 10 minutes or 300 words a day on this from now until I wrap the first draft of the project.

What this means for Write A Book With Me folks is that we’re jumping BACK to the TalysMana blog, because that’s my WABWM project. You’ll note that Write A Book With Me now has its own tab at the top of the weblog, too.

Post your wordcounts and progress to the most recent post tagged Write A Book With Me. I can’t promise to post every day. I’ll do my best.

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18 responses to “The Ghost Story, WABWM, and TALYSMANA”

  1. Patricia Babbitt Avatar

    Thanks for including this write a novel with you in your email. I think this is a great idea for someone like me who gets energy from groups. And I enjoy making new friends, especially writing friends.

  2. Talynn Avatar

    I am beginning to believe that I am posting in the wrong place for the daily writing progress. Does anyone know?

    1. Holly Lisle Avatar
      Holly Lisle

      Hi, Talynn,

      At the moment, the whole WABWM project is on hold. I’m getting a bunch of writing courses I’ve written moved into different formats to allow me to quit teaching and go back to JUST writing fiction. If you want to keep up with WABWM, go to and watch for new mentions. I have to be writing fiction to play the WABWM game, and at the moment I’m not.

  3. Talynn Avatar

    OK, I’m committed. I am working through several of the mini courses right now. I must say that the courses I have bought from Holly are the most helpful, most insightful, and most useful courses on learning to write a novel that I have ever bought. So, I am not only challenging myself to writing each and every day until my book is complete, I am also testing Holly’s courses. I have no doubt I will be living proof that Holly is an amazing teacher and knows her stuff:)

    1. Talynn Avatar

      Question: Is this where I post my daily progress?

  4. John McDonell Avatar

    I started writing my first novel in January. I have been trying to write 6 days per week for two hours. I aim for 1000 words per day but usually come in around 700-800. I write between 5am and 7 am and I am not sure if this is such a great idea because I am usually so sleepy the first hour I often fall asleep at the keyboard until I get that second coffee in. Anyway I’ve been reading alot of your encouraging words Holly and they are a big part of what motivates me to continue. I just 50000 words last week, which puts me at about a third of the way there. (I know you recommend 100000 words for a novel, especially the first, but I feel like I need to aim for about 150000 for my story) I’ll probably end up chopping it down to 100000 anyway once an editor gets at it. I’ll keep you up to date. Thanks for all of the helpful information.

    1. Holly Lisle Avatar
      Holly Lisle

      You’re very welcome. Kick ass on the book.

  5. Carissa Avatar

    GOOD JOB, HOLLY! I can’t wait until I get the funds to purchase your books and join some of your classes!

    I have five stories going, (all different genres). There could be more, lol. I find it helps me, because I don’t get bored with something else. I am following the tips I have received from a few different authors ๐Ÿ˜‰ I will probably start my progress of “Write a Novel” with the word count after I post here.

    I think I’ll set a goal of 500 words or more. I usually try to write as much as possible when I want or can, so I am not sure if this will remain the goal. I’ll have to see after I write this afternoon. Wish me luck!

  6. Jim Ross Avatar

    I’ve been working through your Plot mini-course and, once again, you’ve thrown out an excellent idea. I’m going to try to commit to 250 minimum, aim for 500 and, if I do any more, all well and good. I’ve set up a blog site of my own ( if anyone’s interested) so that my friends and family can see how much I’m doing and prod me if they think I’m being lazy. I’ll also be working through my ideas for the novel on there.

    Cheers again Holly ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Elizabeth Anne Mitchell Avatar

    Holly, I love what you said about how even a “mere” 250 words a day adds up if done consistently. Although I have written academic articles for years, I am dusting off all my half-written fiction and my “ideas” file; since I am a beginner, I’m going to start with 250 words a day. I’m very excited!

  8. Kathy Holzapfel Avatar

    Thanks for the WABWM forum, Holly. I’m working on a new, first draft after virtually no writing the last 6 months due to a major move/house renovation project. Moving out-of-state also meant leaving an established/beloved writing community, which I’m struggling to replace. My goal is 5 pages a day – rough pages. Yesterday I did 7. Today I did 9. Feels good.

  9. April Lashbrook Avatar
    April Lashbrook

    I’m working on my first novel, working full time as a lawyer, and am a single mom. I’m thrilled if I get 300 words done in a day, so I’m glad to have this encouragement that doing that little will result in a novel if I keep at it! I started back in March, have had a few blips where I haven’t worked on it for a week or month, then I’ll have a a few weeks where I do work on it every day. It’s hard to see the progress, but I think I have about 20 to 25 thousand words right now. Hopefully by the end of 2011?

  10. Elise Fei Avatar
    Elise Fei

    It’s really cool how you have so many things lined up and are planning to do. But I’m wondering- I noticed that you started on a ‘Dreaming the Dead’ project, and I’m wondering if you ever plan to pick it up again?

  11. salheno Avatar

    thank you i like
    ??????? ???? ????
    im add in facebook

  12. WandersNowhere Avatar

    Great news, Holly. And so very happy to see Talysmana back on track! Fully understand your need to tackle other projects and put that one on hold, but it’s been a unique experience, and a very fun story, so I’m looking forward to seeing it progress.

    On that note I’ll go over to the Talysmana boards for WBAM, and because I have a serious question to pose, tossing up whether to send it via email or post it up here. Since the answer might be useful to others, I’ll post it first.

  13. zette Avatar

    Congratulations on getting done on time, though I don’t envy you those hours. And it’s great to find something you can be passionate about and enjoy so much!

  14. Holly Avatar

    Hi, Lauren,
    Word-counts for anthologies are very strict. They just aren’t always strict in the same way.

    For this particular anthology, the absolute minimum number of words a story could be was 6500, and I was doing my damnedest to stick to that minimum because:

    1) I didn’t have a great deal of time to commit to the project.
    2) It’s flat-rate payment (not by-the-word).
    3) The pay is really low.

    I do these particular projects because I really like the editor and the anthologies she does, and I always come up a story I’m passionate about for her.

    By the time I’d put over eighty hours into the story, I was so far behind the ball money-wise, I was under a dollar an hour.

    But, like I said, some things you do STRICTLY for love. I don’t do many of them, but that’s what these stories are for me.

  15. Lauren 'Scribe' Harris Avatar

    Woo, go Holly! I can’t wait to read it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Out of curiosity, when you’re doing something for an anthology, aren’t the word-count guidelines pretty strict? When/how do those guidelines become flexible, and what kind of discussions or revisions must take place for you and the editor to come to an agreement when the word-count on a project creeps up like that?

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