Tag Archives: Holly Lisle

One of my favorite authors of all time.

Made my goal and then doubled it

My original April Fools goal was 5k.  Well, as of today, with one week to go in the month, I have hit 10k.  I’ve had a few really good days with Pirouette the Third.  I’m at a critical plot point, and it’s becoming a bit longer than I planned, but I’m sure I can condense it later.  Forward motion.  That’s the name of the game.

I realized today that I left something important out of the past oh, 10k or so (!!!!??).  Oddly enough, I had the same problem in draft 2, same place, too.  What is my problem?  Well, I’ve been focusing on it scene-by-scene, building as I go and focusing on just that instead of looking at the big picture.  Looking at the bigger picture is overwhelming as hell because there’s still so much to fix.  So yeah, I dropped the ball.  But fear not!  I’ll get it going right.  I may need more passes before the actual revision, but that’s okay.  I’m still on track to finish this draft by the end of June.

Hopefully sooner.

I also seem to have lost the edge of Alisia’s voice.  This is a bit distressing, but I think it has more to do with that whole scene-by-scene thing.  Still it’s something that can be fixed.

Okaaaay.  Other projects are coming along. Lesson 7 on HTRYN is almost done, thank God!  It’s a complex lesson, but helpful.  Broken is hanging there, but I haven’t stopped thinking about it.  And pieces of Eowyn are falling into place.

I also have more ideas for MindBound, book 2 in the Night Guard world.  Still looking to submit it somewhere sometime this year.  I would like to have some ideas in case they want a sequel.  They being the publisher.  I would hope so.

Yeah, so it’s all coming along.  I feel alot better, more productive, and the ISD is *gasp* pretty satisifed with my progress this week alone.  So that’s good.  It’s always good when she’s happy.

A girl named Eowyn…..

is poking me to tell her story.  I know, I know.  I’ve got 3 projects in various stages of completion, and I don’t need another one.  But the siren call of a conspiracy involving quantum mechanics and a girl who has rare magic just won’t leave me alone.  I know very little right now — just her name (and I know the Lord of the Rings connection, although I didn’t when the name just popped into my head).  I know that she’s going to be a regular person, or so she thinks, in the beginning, but then stumble onto the conspiracy and such like.  I’ll admit it: this is partially Lost’s fault.  Obviously, I won’t be copying any of the ideas in it, but it has inspired me to do something with the idea of alternate universes and maybe even time travel.  One of those, ‘here’s what could happen in one universe, and see how it affects the others’  kind of thing.  It’s still really nebulous. And it is making me crazy.

Pirouette the Third is coming along.  I’ve had to rewrite a few scenes due to getting better ideas after the fact.  The Muse seems to be a bit slow on the uptake.  I have one more scene to fix, then I’m back in business.  My goal is to finish this draft by the end of June.

Flamebound‘s revision is also coming along, a bit slow as well, but that’s okay.  Going to try to finish lesson 7 this weekend if I can so I can move on.

And finally, I have the shimmers of a possible next scene for Broken.  One thing I’ve decided: I can break a bit and work on something else a bit if it doesn’t interfere with the others.  Just to help me feel like I’m making progress and while I’ve got these ideas, it’s best to use them, right?  Right. 

So all in all, for a very lean month for new words, I think I’m doing okay. 4,561 words on April Fools as of today.  Less than 500 to my goal of 5k.

1k+ words today and I’m back in the groove.

Wrote about 767 words on Pirouette the Third and then wrote about 250 on Broken.  I just had the urge.  Both scenes are a bit rough, and will need some editing, but words is words is words.  I’m happy to have finally started writing again.  My ISD is purring in my head as I type this.

Annnnd I also did a huge chuck of revision on Flamebound.  Rockin’ and rollin.’

I’m at 1700 words for April Fools so far.  Goal is 5k.

Dreams.

I dreampt that my book was published (Pirouette) but that some of it was deleted and then put back in at my request.  Also, my name was a bit strange.  It sounded royal to me, which is odd, as I am not royalty (although a family rumor says we are descended from royalty).  I thought it was interesting.  I’ve only dreampt about being published a few times.  I can count them on one hand.  In the dream, I was really, really excited and I was telling everyone who’d listen.  Particularly my father-in-law, who’s into writing and reading. 

Is this a prophetic dream?  Dreams of mine have come true, and I can’t discount it.  It was just weird though, with the deleted stuff and my name being different.  Not sure what it all could mean, if anything.

I’m still plugging away at Pirouette the Third, resolving to keep writing and not worry about it.  It’s getting a bit long again (126k) but I plan on doing some cutting to get it down to at least 120k, maybe less.  I don’t know.  And I seem to be pantsing it.

Flamebound’s revision is coming along as well, if a bit slower.  I’d still like to get it dome before I revise Pirouette the Third so I have a good idea of the technique.  So far, I really like it.  It will be interesting to use for Pirouette the Third.

I’ve also had stirrings of something new.  Well, new as in different, and actually older works.  One in particular is The Sacrifice, which I’ve renamed Surrender.  It’s completed at 50k, and  I wonder what the HTRYN revision could do for it.  Just something to think about.

Also participating in April Fools with a goal of 5k.  Don’t want to pressure myself.  It’s doable, and if I can, I’ll write more.  We shall see.

77k and rolling along!

I’ve been working hard on Pirouette the Third, after bashing my writer’s block into itty bitty little pieces.  I’m almost 2/3rds of the way through.  I think the bulk of the work is done, but the last third does need some rewriting.  I’m going to try to finish it by the end of March (would be a nice birthday present) and then hopefully start the revision.  In between all of that, I’d also like to work on Broken.  I have a bunch of ideas and scenes and I really want to work on it, but I left off in a weird spot, and Pirouette the Third is the priority. 

The family drama is just now starting to end, and I’m thankful for that.  I’m still feeling a bit off kilter, and work has been brutal on me this week.  I just don’t feel right.  It’s not that I’m sick or anything.  It’s just the same old thing, day after day after day, and I suspect I need a vacation.  Which isn’t till the end of June, unless I take a week off in between…..

Holly Lisle’s HTRYN class has been invaluable for spotting possible problems with Pirouette the Third.  Once I officially start, I anticipate that it will really help get this draft closer to submittable.  I still want to try to submit something this year.  Might end up being Flamebound after I revise and expand it.  I’m not sure.  I just wish I could work faster.  And this is with me writing every day, with the occasional day off.  I’m building back the habit again, and it feels really good.

Also been thinking about Darkweaver.  Might slot that in later on in the year.  As if I need any more projects!

Another thing is that I’ve been pretty successful at working on different projects at the same time.  Granted, they are all in different stages, but still.  It works because I compartmentalize everything.  Like, there’s a spot for Broken, and Flamebound, and Pirouette the Third.  They don’t touch each other, and everything related to each stays in its own place.  There’s never any bleed-through or confusion.  I’m just smart like that. 😉  But really, it’s the same reason why I can read multiple books at the same time.  It’s the same thing.  I never get confused.  It just…works.

I think the human mind is incredible, which is why I wish I could have pursued neurology. Oh well.  Guess it wasn’t in the cards.  Being a writer is thrilling enough for me any day.

Slow progress.

I’ve been working like mad on Pirouette the Third.  Up to 63k.  I’ve written almost every day, and while my wordcounts aren’t astounding, I’m getting back into the rhythmn.  That’s what counts, right?

Family drama is stil ongoing, and it was screwing with my progress.  Still screwing with Broken.  I wrote and then rewrote the first scene, but it’s not done.  And frankly,I’m not sure when I’ll be working on it again.  I think I’m too close to it, and my muse seems totally about working on Pirouette the Third.  So into it that she threw me a couple of curveballs.  One of them spawned a true sequel idea.  Another one was relating to Alisia’s power and such.  But I don’t want to have to re-rewrite everything.  So I’m trying to decide what to go with and what to save for another book.  So far, I’m considering the new sequel idea, and discarding the power thing.  I did make a few tweaks to Alisia’s relationship with one of the major characters and the villain.  This I think will make it more powerful.  But, that’s it. 

Still feeling the perfectionism streak.  I know one author who has had her debut novel plus the sequel published recently, and another who’s debut novel is coming out later this year.  Other writer friends are doing the agent hunt.  And I’m still creeping along.  I feel like I should be done with Pirouette the Third but I promised myself I wouldn’t shop an inferior book.  I want it to be the very best, no matter how long it takes to get there.

The Flamebound revision is going slowly but well.  I’m on lesson 3 of 22.  The priority has been Pirouette the Third, but I might want to send it through the HTRYN process once it’s ready.  So I would like to have Flamebound finished by then.  I hope.

Also been having some issues with motivation.  It just isn’t there.  Normally, my competitive streak keeps me going, but I think the family drama sort of killed that.  Some days I just don’t feel up to it.  But, good news, I’ve committed to writing every day again even if it’s a few hundred words.

So the new year is starting not with a bang but with a whimper.  We’ll see.

Halfway there!

I just hit the 60k mark on Pirouette the Third.  I feel pretty damned good about that.  I seem to be falling into a pattern of writing and then revising/rewriting the current scene.  Which is odd because usuallywhen I’m drafting, I can’t do that at all.  It derails me.  And this is all new material.  But it’s one pass — I don’t go back after that.  I won’t until I start editing.  It just feels different to me than just first draft.  Maybe because this particular story has been through going on 3 drafts and to date 6 passes total.  I expect that that number will decrease as I get better at revision.

Now I gotta figure out how I want the rest to play out.  I’ve been adding new stuff here and there and twining it in with the old.  So far, I know that I’ll need to look at the entere thing once it’s done to see the entire story arc and such.  Right now, I’m just getting the words down, and reworking older material and putting it into a semi-coherent order.  It is all subject to change.

As for my other projects…the Flamebound revision is going pretty slow, which is okay, as it’s all new and it’s quite alot of work.  I’m good with that.  This method so far looks really good and thorough. 

Unforgiven is being retitled to Broken.  Why, you ask?  Well….while Unforgiven expresses the core theme of the story, Broken seems more fitting.  Maybe it’s because the main character, like me, feels broken.  And there’s a song called “Broken” by Lifehouse that really fits this.  It’s going in an interesting direction.  I think, if I do this one right, it could be really cool.

So that’s the skinny on my progress so far.

Last year I wrote 85,306 words.  Which isn’t bad as the bulk of last year was spent editing and revising.

2009 in review and 2010 goals

This year hasn’t been the best as far as emotional stuff is concerned.  The family drama that started in mid-October is still ongoing, and kind of derailed me a bit.  But, I persevere!

As far as productivity goes, I did very well.  I started and finished Pirouette’s five One-Pass Revision, got it out to critters, and have been rewriting the draft, implementing suggestions, cutting, adding, and hopefully making it better.  I’m almost halfway through the draft.  I hope to be done with it early next year.

It’s taken me longer than anticipated, which is okay, but sort of screwed up my schedule.  But it is really okay, b/c I’ll take however long it takes to make it submission-worthy.  As such, no query letters were sent.  I’ve decided to wait till the draft is done and critted.  The story, while essentially the same, has been morphing in interesting ways.  Hopefully in good ways.

Flamebound is on its way towards being totally revised, using Holly Lisle’s How to Revise Your Novel class.  I have high hopes for this.  I want to get Flamebound revised, critted, and submitted somewhere next year.  I can do this.

I planned on participating in Nanowrimo and writing a new novel.  Unfortunately, life had different plans.  Two days in I ended up quitting.  The book was to be Soulfire.  I’ve come to the conclusion that the timing just wasn’t right on this one.

I finished Survivor, which was a HUGE goal.   I hope to rewrite it in the next few years (depending on if I sell something, etc).

I don’t think I broke 100k on new words, but that, too, is okay.  Because I said I’d do some serious editing and finishing unfinished projects, which I accomplished.

I submitted my poetry chapbook, Life as a Moving Target, to a publisher.  Did not bite, but that’s okay.  I might try again next year.

For next year, I have a few more projects besides Pirouette the Third and Flamebound.  I have Unforgiven, which is a personal challenge to myself for various reasons.  I also have MindBound, the next book set in the Flamebound world.  And I’m seriously considering pulling out Darkweaver and starting work on it.  And then there’s Pirouette book 2 (Blood Dance). Ambitious, I know, but want to aim high.

I think the biggest goal for 2010 is to get something submitted somewhere, be it Flamebound, Pirouette the Third, or something else entirely.  I need to start moving forward with my goal of getting published.  I’ve been working like a madwoman, but I need to focus on that more.  So, hopefully I can do something about that next year.

So, to all, Happy New Year (a few days early!) and reach for the stars.

Update.

Finally getting back here.  I’ve been crazy busy these past few weeks.  Well, I signed up for Holly Lisle’s How to Revise Your Novel class, and I’ve been working on it almost every day.  I’m revising Flamebound, since it’s short and it’s one of the things I haven’t tackled all year.  It’s been interesting and eye-opening, to say the least. 

Pirouette the Third is almost to the halfway point on the rewrite.  Yay!  I added a few new elements and scenes to it, and I feel that it is stronger for it.  Still trying to stay within the acceptable wordcount limit, which has been challenging.  But overall, it’s going pretty well.

Unforgiven is still simmering in my head.  Had a few revelations which helped flesh out the main character, Amara.  I also know what direction I’m going in — paranormal/thriller — and possibly how it ends (although that’s always subject to change).  I will be starting on it January 1st to coincide with a challenge. 

Yesterday was the 2-month anniversary of when our family drama happened.  I’m still mostly numb, but I’ve been dreaming about a specific person lately and that’s a bit worrisome.  In every dream, I’m saying goodbye.  I think there’s a connection here.  Perhaps I am working through my feelings through my dreams?  I don’t really know, as I don’t feel comforted by them, just confused.

Christmas is like, just over a week away!  My shopping is done.  I can’t wait.   l love Christmas.  It’s my favorite time of year besides my birthday.

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to all.

Type in done, final edit begun.

I’ve been insanely busy, and have been wanting to post forever.  I finished the Type In on May 4th.  Took a few days off to recharge, and I’m 26 pages into the final edit.  At least I hope this will be it.

All that’s left are some cuts and tweaks I want to do.  I’d like to have it done in a few weeks, but I have no idea how long it will take.  The revision, start to finish, took 4 months.  Then again, it’s my first one, so there’s a bit of a learning curve.

One Pass Revision is an interesting way to revise.  Would I do it this way again?  Absolutely, except mine would be something like a Four Pass Revision.  I can’t hit it all in one go like Holly Lisle.  Maybe with practice, I will someday.

I discovered something interesting.  While I was editing, both on paper and on the screen, I was able to see it more clearly.  What I mean is that I saw my awkward phrasing and such and was able to correct it.  Now when I did some rewriting, I found that I’d already improved just from the One Pass alone.  I was able to look at it objectively and see where it needed work.  I did alot of awkward phrasing and repetition.  So on that count alone, it has helped me tremundously.

Now, looking at the entire draft as a whole, I feel like a sculptor.  I have to chip away at the material until it’s final shape reveals itself to me.  It’s still a bit elusive.  But, you’re thinking, I’ve already done the one four pass, how could I possibly not know?

It’s my process, and it seems to carry into One Pass.  I never know everything, even after finishing.  I still need to chip away at what’s left.  And I have to cut another 28k.  I was hoping to get it closer to my goal of 120k, but that just didn’t happen.  I have some ideas, though.

Is Pirouette any better?  I’m not sure.  My gut says yes, this is an improvement, but we never really know until we send it out into the world, do we?  I hope. 

And I’m getting very antsy to work on something else.  Most likely Survivor.  I also have a few plotbunnies nipping at my heels, and that’s never good.  I figure if I don’t finish Pirouette now, I never will.  It’s easy to get into the trap of always writing first drafts and never editing.  Editing isn’t easy.  In fact, it’s the hardest part in my opinion.  The first draft is more for me; the rest are for the world, and with that in mind, it’s tough.  ‘Specially when you’re a perfectionist like me.  I’m terrified that it won’t be good enough.  I’ve put almost 5 years into this book.  But whether it gets published or not, I’ve learned so much about my process and the process of editing and revision that it will be worth it regardless.

So, that’s where it’s at.

I recently got an iPod (!) and day-um, talk about inspiration!  Music and my muse get along very well.  Is this a good thing or a bad thing?  Hmm, not sure yet.