I was tapping on the keyboard the other day–word prediction on–while I thought about words for the challenge. And somewhere along the line, it occurred to me that I could blog my web history A-to-Z. If I were doing that, my H word would either be Holly Lisle or (Unrelated Topic) Hermaphrodite.
Uhm, let’s go with Holly.
Holly writes Science Fiction and Fantasy. And, while I’ve never been the paint-yourself-green-and-recite-the-Jefferies-tubes type, I do think she’s good.
The other two things that she’s incredibly good at are teaching and community building. The community building drew me in first. I had just moved back to (small town) from (city) and left my real-life writer’s group behind. And despite my best efforts, I hadn’t found a local writers’ group. Still haven’t. So, the fact that there was an active forum attached is what finally pulled me in.
I was revising my first novel (a thriller, btw) and had been for quite a while. And I was invested in it. I’d built up a writing reference shelf that rivaled the library or the bookstore, and I’d spent hours and hours working on the revision.
There is a lot of free information for writers on Holly’s website. I’d been circling the website for a long time, debating taking classes, and applying the free stuff to my poor, battered novel.
Then, one day–alone, and away from my writers’ group–I realized that I had cut 8,000 words from my novel, and it wasn’t a big deal.
And the fact that cutting 8,000 words from my novel wasn’t a big deal made me realize that if I didn’t get help, I could go on revising the same novel forever.
So, here’s the frills-free version of my reasoning for taking Holly’s How to Revise Your Novel course.
- I was already spending a lot of money on books to teach me to revise a novel. The lump sum sounded like a lot, but in the end, it wasn’t that much more than I would have spent on impulse/desperation book purchases in the same length of time.
- I’d been using some of her techniques from the website, and they worked for me.
- I was looking for a writers’ community, and even if none of it worked any better than the books I’d already been reading on, there was the forum. (A whole forum full of people revising novels and willing to invest in those novels)
I’m glad I did.
The course, itself, is clearer and more detailed than anything else I’ve seen. It works. If you ask questions, you get real, live answers.
And the community is one of the most stable, supportive writers’ communities I’ve ever been a part of. Since it’s online, it also happens to be completely portable, if you happen to be someone who moves around a lot, and it’s available, even if you’re on rural water. (Yay!)
And Holly is now offering a free flash fiction class.