Got a good chunk of the novel note-carded with my current best ideas on how it will go, and wrote a big chunk of words of background and outlining, plus 1151 words of the actual story.
And I like what I got.
This being Saturday, I’m not supposed to be writing fiction. Saturday and Sunday are BOTH supposed to be days off.
But I was one day short on my Patreon hours because of a doctor’s appointment on Thursday — news on that was all good, incidentally.
So I figure the three hours I put in today will cover that.
No snippets right now. I want to get into the flow on this thing first, make sure I’m heading in the right direction.
Then I’ll drop a few hints.
But I’m very happy. It’s so cool to bet writing Cady from her own point of view again.
I woke up at around five-ish this morning knowing the next chapter of The Wishbone Conspiracy, my next Cady Drake novel.
And thought about it for a while, and decided that I would write it once I got up and got showered. And am sitting down to do that.
But on my way to getting there, I just found ANOTHER incomplete Cady novel on my hard drive, written before I wrote Warpaint, but taking a completely different take on the vampire problem in Settled Space.
A lot of that problem was solved in Warpaint. But not all of it.
And I like what I’ve found here enough that it’s worth saving, worth chasing down. It lets me bring back my favorite minor character from Hunting the Corrigan’s Blood.
But not today.
Today… now… I’m writing on The Wishbone Conspiracy. Was not planning to be doing actual writing this quickly — I don’t even have my Sentence cards completed.
But I figured out something really cool, and Chapter Two beckons.
Today is my first day of actual story brainstorming (a combination of plotting, doodling, and talking to myself) on The Emerald Sun.
(Reading and noting is done with the books and sticky notes. Brainstorming requires your butt in the chair and your fingers on the keyboard with a sketchpad on the desk in front of you — at least if you’re me.)
Because, as I frequently did during my commercial career, I planned the series to run long — in this case, seven books — and because I have to finish the series now with Book 3, I find myself once again rethinking where I wanted to go with the story, and digging through the core principles of what I’d already built, and how these worked.
I’m going through the characters…
- The Cat
- The Dragon
- Genna, Danrith, and their humanoid allies
- The Audiomaerist, a woman who listens to what the roads tell her
And the settings…
- The abandoned ruins of a different civilization
- The forests that grow so quickly they can outrun fleeing humans
- The paths along the Moonroads, and what lives there
And the conflict…
- The single act from the past that is still destroying the present
And the question…
- How can some kids, a Cat, and a dragon save a dying world adults have lost the will to save?
I’m trying to find my way through.
I have the ending I’m NOT going to write (what I call “the ending to beat”).
I have my Octopus Map, which sets out the obstacles in my path.
Now it’s a case of plotting out a path to follow (or again in my case, to beat as I go).
A couple of things have changed in my life recently, one of which has been the writing of Dead Man’s Party, my demo novel for the writing class I’m currently building, How to Write a Novel.
I’ve been dedicating one concentrated hour or so a week to the writing of the first draft (and a bloody awful first draft it is, too), but the bones of the story are solid, and it’s going in a great direction, and it’s turning funny on me all of a sudden.
And I’ve been reading through Moon & Sun, and taking notes, but they were not being very helpful notes.
Then, while Becky and I were talking about going back through the first two novels of my Moon & Sun series in order to pick up toys I’d left on the floor for the third book, I realized that I had not done an Octopus Map for the series.
Once I remembered to do it, it took me about half an hour to get the overall bones of the final story figured out. I still have to do all the reading and the finding and identifying of essential toys, and some scene-by-scene plotting, but I know what the story is now. That’s big.
At the moment Patreon is covering me for one hour of fiction writing a day, and the income from my fiction isn’t currently enough to run beyond that.
And I’m writing the How to Write a Novel class, and the demo novel, and doing the podcast, and reissuing some of my novels, and getting others ready to go live…
But I’ve discovered from my writing of Dead Man’s Party that I can get a lot of actual written fiction done in an hour, and I want to be seeing more progress than I’m seeing.
Because almost all of my hours have been eaten up by research for Moon & Sun, I haven’t been seeing a lot of progress.
But this morning I was standing in the shower and my Muse said, “Piers Anthony said he worked on THREE books at a time.”
And then I thought, “I have five hours a week, and Dead Man’s Party is only taking one hour, and I could limit my current reading and noting in the Moon & Sun series to two hours, which would let me do… What?
“What third project?”
At which point, my Muse practically screamed in my ear, “The Wishbone Conspiracy!!!” With a muttered undertone of you idiot.
As I’ve noted elsewhere, my Muse and I have an interesting relationship.
With Wishbone, I already have the world, the characters, the opening chapter, and even a bit of the plot worked out.
So I’m going to do this:
- Two days a week I’ll be working on Moon & Sun 3: The Emerald Sun
- One day a week I’ll be writing Dead Man’s Party
- And two days a week I’ll be working on Cadence Drake in The Wishbone Conspiracy
If my Patreon funding can go up to two hours a day, or if I can get my fiction income up by other means (which I’m also working on), I’ll be able to increase that. Top level would be three hours a day, which would still leave five (plus the occasional evening) for creating How To Write A Novel plus emails plus forums…
I think even at top funding, or with a much-increased readership of my fiction, this will still work.
Monday I start finding out.
More holiday fiction, including an upcoming story by me…
Katharina Gerlach, one of my HollysWritingClasses.com site moderators, a marvelous (and bilingual) writer, and a fine editor, requested stories for her annual Advent Calendar.
And got a great turn-out, some excellent stories, and a project she put together to share a bunch of writers’ fiction with new readers.
And I forgot to mention this until today.
I have been remiss…
(I’ve also been busy).
So if you go take a look today, you’ll discover a LOT of stories already up. And mine will be along in a day or three…
And here’s the link to my story, Memories of Snow.
I think in general we as human beings like to think we’re on top of things. That we have a pretty good bead on not just where we are, but where we’ve been, and where we’re going.
I’m working on Lesson 16 of How to Write a Novel this morning, which is about voice and tone, and to show writers what I’m talking about, was digging through my fiction backlist for demo material for the lesson. I’m adding and then discussing the first couple of paragraphs of various published novels to demonstrate how changing voice and tone changes reader expectations and why mastering this is a crucial skill…
How could that go wrong?
Well, more like, “How could that go sideways?”
So this morning, the jury’s back, and the verdict on that whole “on top of things” business is: Nope. Not so much…
Because I came across not one, but two really good Cadence Drake novel starts that I completely forgot I’d written.
And we’re not talking about running a thousand words up a flagpole to see who salutes.
We’re talking 13,000 words on one…, 8000 words on another… and when I found these, I remembered a third that had five or six chapters in it and that I now can’t find, but I do remember that it featured the story of who Tangerine, the cheerful hairdresser in HTCB, really was.
Can’t find that one, of course, but finding the two I completely forgot, I now also have the third one in my head as a story I just have to tell.
Lost a chunk of time on the lesson hunting through my hard drives and backups. Getting back to work now. But after I write The Wishbone Conspiracy, I have some really solid starts for THREE more Cadence Drake novels.
Today is the last day of my How to Write a Novel Early-Bird Launch, where the price is about 50% off my projected final price once the class is done.
And as I write this, we’re down to the LAST SIX HOURS.
I have not flogged the launch — we’re close to Christmas, I know money is tight for most folks, I know most folks’ thoughts are going in other directions.
But I promised some of my writers who requested it that I’d give them another chance to buy the class for a low price before I passed the halfway mark creating it.
And right now, the class is $57/month for 8 months, or $456 as a single payment.
There are folks who have a dream of writing a novel, but I can say from experience (having shared that dream), that until you decide to do the work, it never stops being a dream.
And if this is a dream you share, my process will help you turn the dream into your reality.
STILL not going to flog the thing… I put up two downloadable lesson samplers that you can get here:
- Sampler One: https://hollylisle.com/the-how-to-write-a-novel-lesson-sampler-part-one/
- Sampler Two: https://hollylisle.com/the-how-to-write-a-novel-lesson-sampler-part-two/
The timer’s going, and once the countdown is done, I will not offer this price again.
Right now, you still have some time, and can look over the first parts of the first fourteen lessons, missing, of course,
- most of the techniques and demos,
- all of the worksheets,
- the class discussions,
- the assignments,
- the videos…
- and the fact that I’m only 15 out of 38 lessons (so far) into creating the class…
So the samplers are pretty thin. But they’ll give you a taste of what this is about.
And you can decide from there.
Becca was out of town, a raw cut of just her talking got uploaded instead of the edited episode, so she’s working on getting what was to have been today’s episode corrected. The broken one has already been pulled down.
HOWEVER… (yeah, there’s always one of those), this being the holiday season, lots more people are uploading things, so we cannot know when the correct, finished episode will become available.
We apologize for the error, and will have the next episode to you as quickly as possible.
I’m delighted to announce that The Longview Chronicles, the complete six-book series in one volume, is on sale through Friday for $2.99— regular price will be $7.99 for the complete series in ebook form, but I wanted all of my folks to get the whole series for the price of one episode.
For folks who are wondering, Cady is in the series (as is Herog), and this is the (very big) book that fits between Cadence Drake: Warpaint and the next novel, Cadence Drake: The Wishbone Conspiracy, and shows you what’s happening during and right after the end of Warpaint.
When the trusted are monsters, one monster becomes a hero…
Science has created near immortality, and the wealthy and powerful are buying it to make themselves gods. But these gods require–and create–an endless procession of manufactured criminals who become human sacrifices for their amusement…
Until one twisted creature born to be a sacrifice discovers the truth. This escaped slave declares a secret war against corruption, enslavement, and the wealthy, powerful men and women who have declared themselves gods, and made their whims law.
THE COMPLETE SERIES IN ONE VOLUME
- Born From Fire
- The Selling of Suzee Delight
- The Philosopher Gambit
- Gunslinger Moon
- Vipers’ Nest
- The Owner’s Tale
(And if you love it, please leave a review…)
And for folks who already have the first five, for the rest of this week, The Owner’s Tale, the brand new concluding episode, will be on sale for $.99.
When the truth comes out, who is left standing?
In this final episode of the series. the Longview reveals its secrets, Herog finds the path to protecting the City of Furies, and Melie discovers the truth about the ship she captains and the owner she serves.
MEET THE LONGVIEW – An Ancient Spaceship Resurrected To Transport Conspiracy
Inhabited by a crew of misfits fleeing nightmare pasts, with a cargo of Condemned slated to die at the hands of the highest bidders, and with a passenger roster made up exclusively of people NOT who they claim to be, The Longview serves the hidden agenda of an eccentric recluse bent on playing puppetmaster to all of Settled Space.
(And if you love it, please leave a review…)
So as promised, here’s the second Lesson Sampler from my in-progress How to Write a Novel class.
I’ll note that:
- Registration for the class closes tomorrow night at 11:59 PM Eastern Time, and that…
- This is the only time How to Write a Novel will be available for the Early-Bird price. When registration reopens sometime next year, the price will go up significantly.
Necessary info out of the way, though, here’s your download.
I hope you find this helpful with your own novel writing.