Friday, November 21, 2008


If you've been hanging around for long you may have noticed that my main wip, Tempest, has been stalled for awhile. I've been wrestling with how to fix the problems I see and move forward. And in between I've been writing on Dottie and wandering Facebook and Twitter and forums and ignoring the whole mess. And I'd like to write professionally? Um. Not a good habit I've slid into.

So ignoring it doesn't work, and poking it with a stick doesn't work. What does? I've been taking Holly Lisle's 'How to Think Sideways' course for several months now. She's been covering these mired-in-the-middle novels for the last few weeks. I read the lesson and think, interesting what works for her. That would never work for me.

What DOES work for me?

Exactly. I don't know.

So why am I paying her for her experience and advice and then dismissing it? That makes a lot of sense. I haven't got anything to lose by following her plan--and everything to gain. So this week I've bought new printer ink, printed out the lessons I hadn't yet, and began studying the ones I'd only glossed over. I think the reason I wasn't paying close attention was that it looked like a lot of work. Still does. But at least now I'm applying them and working my way through her steps, starting with printing out the 143 pages of manuscript already written (about 48K). Meanwhile I'm reading through the sample novels she's included in the course, ones she turfed and started over on, trying to figure out where she went wrong, where she went right, trying to apply the insights to Tempest.

If all else fails, take a pro's advice. Working on it.


Cat said...


I know it's a lot of work but I did it with a novel I am currently working on (the first draft was already done and I just knew something wasn't right). Now I have a pile of printed paper with millions of comments and I am eagerly waiting to do the corrections (I'll do it in December since I am NaNoing)


Margaret said...


You have such a way of putting things. Yes, you should not dismiss new techniques before you actively try thing. Fact is that anything new looks strange and unfamiliar. However, that's the point of taking classes and exploring new techniques. The familiar ones are either working or not, but new ones might be that much better :).

Good luck with figuring Tempest out.