Worksheets. Writing worksheets

Had a breakthrough in figuring out how to demonstrate a particularly difficult part of revision, nailed the worksheet (I think—my beta testers will demonstrate whether I actually got it right or not).

But no fiction. STILL doing worksheets.

1370 words so far, though. Worksheets are a lot harder than the actual lessons. Creating them in a way that other people can use them (not the half-assed sorts of tools that I throw together for myself) is toolbuilding.

I love toolbuilding. It’s just very difficult.

SO…

How are your words coming?

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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.

25 comments… add one
  • Leone Nov 9, 2009 @ 23:30

    The question is about how the writing went today? Same as every other day, zilch. After many years as a journalist, mildly published and prize winning poet, equally mildly published short story writer and writer of two unpublished fiction (?) manuscripts, I just can’t work up the effort, passion or meaningfulness to go on. Yet I have this dreadful feeling that I’m wasting valuable time, that I will probably live only another decade and still haven’t done what I came here to do.

  • Sandy Jensen Oct 30, 2009 @ 17:26

    Holly,
    RE: Holly’s Tip — Worldbuild small

    You fantasy folk are so funny!

    • Holly Lisle Nov 1, 2009 @ 13:37

      😀 And yet worldbuilding is as critical to the mainstream novelist as it is to the fantasist.

      The only difference is that fantasists, SFers, and historical novelists know it, and most other novelists don’t.

  • Cat (from HtTS) Oct 30, 2009 @ 11:20

    I managed 13xx words today, slowly warming up for NaNo.

  • HannaBelle Oct 30, 2009 @ 9:11

    No words the last few days. I have been trying to build a website while still learning the tools, and it is very slow going. Also, I start a new job on Monday so I am not sure yet how, when and where I will continue writing. But, I am determined to do.

    I am taking H2TS and lesson 4, on The Sentence is exactly what I need for Bx2-Pedestal.

    • HannaBelle Oct 30, 2009 @ 9:12

      Sorry, that was a very bad sentence. I am taking H2TS and I am on Lesson 4. It is exactly what I need, The Sentence, for bx2-Pedestal since I am at my 30 page false start and don’t know what to write next.

  • Suzanne Oct 30, 2009 @ 3:24

    I haven’t commented in forever, but I have been writing. Today, I finished up another chapter in my novel and realized that I have been slowly and steadily churning out words, even if it doesn’t seem like I move very fast. So sorry about all your various health traumas in the family and hope this is the end of them.

  • The Pencil Neck Oct 29, 2009 @ 23:27

    No words yesterday.

    I picked my wife up from the airport, took her to dinner, and then I started sweating and having problems breathing and then I started having horribly crushing pain in my stomach area, tucked up just under the sternum. I barely made it out to the car. My wife drove me to a local ER clinic.

    It was the most bizarre thing. I couldn’t think. I could only writhe and grunt and groan. I felt pretty stupid because the pain wasn’t really THAT bad. They gave me a ton of drugs and eventually it eased up.

    The doctor wasn’t sure if it was a GI problem or a heart problem. He thought he saw something suspicious in the EKG. And it seemed like the nitro helped the most. So, off to the hospital… and no words written. Spent the night and most of the day there.

    At times, my heart rate slowed to <50 bpm and my blood pressure dropped to about 85/50, this is probable because some of the drugs they gave me. My liver values and white blood counts were elevated but my heart proteins never budged, so no heart damage. I did a stress test and my heart looked great, performed great.

    So, it appears to be some sort of Gi thing. Could be an issue with insufficient fluids and it may be some sort of reflux sort of thing.

    • Teri Oct 30, 2009 @ 4:27

      Scary! Glad it wasn’t a problem with the heart, and I hope you can pin down what it actually is and that it’s nothing serious. I wouldn’t worry about no words written after that.

    • Jessica Oct 30, 2009 @ 7:55

      I’m glad to hear you’re okay after all that. Sometimes life really likes to throw us curveballs and put us on the sidelines. Hopefully your problem is something manageable and you can get back to writing when you’re ready.

  • Don Oct 29, 2009 @ 17:02

    Snow day!!!!! I did 528 words and cleaned out my back room. I feel really good about the progress.

  • red_dot Oct 29, 2009 @ 16:46

    No words in three weeks. I haven’t even been on your site in three weeks. I hope your family is getting better now. Went to U2 concert part of the theme is space kinda my theme, still didn’t light a fire under my ass to write, stuck on Chapter 8.

  • Sandy Jensen Oct 29, 2009 @ 13:30

    Holly,
    I teach three writing classes, so understand that some days teaching tasks trump writing–but as much as possible, I don’t let that happen.
    209 words today, but that is a new poem for my new book, “Giantess,” for/by/about/with my Muse, so I’m happy.
    Rock on, folks!
    Sandy

  • Peggy Oct 29, 2009 @ 8:36

    379 on Wednesday, and hoping to finish this fairly tense scene today. MC is confronting his dead wife’s father about a science project that went horribly horribly wrong. He thinks.

  • Debora Oct 29, 2009 @ 6:55

    Holly, just knowing you are working on a course about revision helps me plod along with my first draft. So hooray for the worksheets, I have a massive revision in my future.

    461 words yesterday.

    All my best wishes to you and your family.

  • KJ Oct 29, 2009 @ 6:28

    941 words this morning, and things are finally starting to flow a little easier!

  • DasteRoad Oct 29, 2009 @ 5:11

    I took a little pause from writing on the 28th (I prefer to specify the date unless I get confused, what with the time zones and all) to update blog and the like. Can’t wait to see your course finished though, keep up the good work Holly! 🙂

  • Teri Oct 29, 2009 @ 2:37

    Still plugging away at my insanely long outline; 23k at two thirds of the way through. Still hoping to get it completed before Nano, though I already have enough outlined to cover the first 50k of the story.

  • Adam Oct 29, 2009 @ 0:18

    started and finished chapter 19 tonight, wrapping up act 2. The scene didn’t really turn out the way that i’d envisioned, but the words seemed to flow and i like the direction it went. it was a little odd that this section went so far away from the plan, as i’ve not had it happen to this extent before. Tzal ended up getting severely wounded, jumping out a second floor window to escape an explosion, and shards of glass end up sticking into him as he rolls on the cobblestone street. Kraz helped him walk to the apothecary after removing the largest shards of glass and binding his wounds, and Tzal falls unconscious once sat down on one of the healer’s cots.

    1800 words tonight, and i passed 80,000 words total in this work. i’m feeling very good about finishing the rough draft by thanksgiving after the past 3 days, and hope that i can keep this pace up for all my drafting (although my sons and wife have been very helpful in giving me an environment conducive to me writing).

  • Larkk Oct 28, 2009 @ 23:42

    865 words of background on my heroine, and then lined up all my character bios to fill in as much as I know about them, so far. Then some more work on the phase outline.
    If I had more time I could probably get more detailed, but I can’t wait to start writing on Sunday so I’ll have to see what happens with what I’ve got.

    And, a worksheet sounds like exactly what I will need when I get a chance to dive back into that first draft. I’m totally psyched to get started on the course when it’s ready!

  • Julia GD Oct 28, 2009 @ 23:35

    I know, I’ve missed a lot of updates – I think I got about 15K on my novel. The rest were side projects, translations etc. With November coming up I am trying to do more planning – I will have to write about 2K every day then so I might as well slack a bit.
    800 words yesterday and I hope to get at least that much today… Now I have about 350 but there are still at least 2.5 -3 hours of productive time left.
    🙂

    By the way, Holly, I think you are under-playing it. Worksheets are not hard, they are INSANELY HARD! I had to do it for my some to boost his writing (in russian, but there is not much difference what language its in). Of course, we are talking here worksheets for a kid vs. for a real writer, but that just emphasizes the difficulty. I was sweating my brain off when trying to get the directions right without actually writing everything for him.

  • Charmaine Oct 28, 2009 @ 23:29

    1092 so far for Chapter 16 of Dog Show Detective, but it’s only 2:30pm in Australia, so I’ll keep going. Want to wrap up 20 chapters before Sunday so I can start NaNoWriMo fresh. Uni assignments almost all finished so I’ll have more time to write (and eat and breathe).

  • Jessica Oct 28, 2009 @ 23:24

    889 on chase scene 3/6 but I think Cait went a bit overboard with her power trip. The suits forced her into a corner, forced her to retaliate with the big guns, but it’s really over the top, even for her. One word to sum up this segment: maelstrom. It’s absolute chaos right now.
    But I need to get to bed now so we’ll see how she handles things tomorrow when she realizes she’s not the only mage throwing around shop stalls, crumbling buildings and exploding police cruisers.

    (Definitely 10 on the fun meter though!)

  • Mark Oct 28, 2009 @ 23:11

    My friend just finished her first draft, and I’ll be the first one to read it! Really can’t wait. Plus I have the Writing Group tonight… We’re supposed 3 books with great introductions (regardless of whether we like the book or not). It’s actually really hard.

    Oddly, the books I’ve picked are all ones I thought fell short of the premise. The books I really love have forgettable intros.

  • JL Coburn Oct 28, 2009 @ 23:10

    381 but still going for a little while yet. I am starting to get a bit cross-eyed at all the exposition though. But the next chapter will see the introduction of a few more characters so I should be well on my way to more dialogue soon.

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