I got words. 439, to be precise… and I’m pretty sure all of them were garbage.

I pulled the plug on the writing, and I’m pretty sure that tomorrow, after I’ve had sleep (assuming I can sleep tonight — I don’t have frequent insomnia, but when it hits, it can run for a couple of days) I’ll end up deleting everything I wrote today. 


Sometimes you just have a shitty day at work. For me, today was that day.

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First, the word count. On Ohio 4 today, I got 1264 new words (out of my planned 1250…), and on Book 4, I now have 18,426 total.

This was, overall, an excellent writing day, in which stuff happened that I was not anticipating that was way better than the stuff I’d planned. My characters were in trouble, one of them was in terrible danger… and still is…

BUT this was not the day I’d planned. It was better… but in the same way that when Bugs Bunny popped out of the ground to discover that he wasn’t where he thought he’d be, he discovered he was on the moon. Or a beach with palm trees.

Someplace good.

I’m definitely not where I planned to be, but I am for damn sure someplace better. 

I set out to write five urban fantasy novels. 

I read a bunch of urban fantasy novels beforehand — some I really loved, and some I loathed… but I understood why each of them was urban fantasy, and what made them THAT…

And what I planned to write was that.

These novels are not that.

A simple left turn would have gotten me to urban fantasy.

But I turned some other way, and then a bunch of other ways after that. Up, down, in a spiral, then right, through a fourth dimension, up some stairs, left at a dragon, past the monk and through a nonexistent corridor that vanished behind me….

And here I am.

Whatever kind of fantasy I’m writing, it isn’t Urban Fantasy as defined by the state of the genre as it stands. Or ever stood.

It’s fantasy. Definitely fantasy.

And epic.

And contemporary… well.. contemporary-ish, with some bits that aren’t.

Beyond that, I don’t know.

I got the words, and I love the words… but I’ve just discovered have I no clue what to call these words, since I am not going where I thought I was going, I’m not writing in the genre I thought I was writing, and the core story is not behaving as I expected it to behave.

So… I’ll just keep writing, and when I wherever the hell I’m going — well, maybe when I get there, I’ll figure out what to call this.

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I woke up this morning knowing a big chunk of the second give-away story I’m writing for folks who join the (not yet available) Ohio Novel launch list.

Once all five books are done and revised and have their covers and are all set up in Amazon, I send my little list of folks who want to read them to the launch list.

The folks who scan up with get two freebie stories that will let you know whether or not these stories are going to be of interest to you.

The first introduces the 29 year-old main character of the novels when she’s in the fifth grade, and first discovers what it is that her grandmother does.

The second introduces a surgeon who will become important to my MC (she gets hurt a lot in her work) and her best friend.  The first story has been finished for more than a year. The second one is a lot longer, and I did another 843 words on it today (shown in the screenshot above).

But now… on to Book 4, and today’s 1250 words (or better).

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Today was all new words, and I love them. They came at me with a complete twist from what I’d planned to write, but they still got me to where I need to be come Monday

So this was a good, good writing week. And now I’m ready for the weekend.


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Urban fantasy is “where normal life and magic collide.”

Today’s collision was big, fun, and above all, very strange.

I got 2339 words for the day (all new), and now have 15,906 total for the book, and did some heavy revision on the keeper scene I brought in yesterday.

I also deleted words, so I actually wrote more than what’s showing. 

BUT… I’m having a lot of fun with this scene, which is allowing me to bring in some creatures that are going to be both a blessing and a plague for my main character from now on.

And a plague and a blessing for the town in which she lives.

And… nah. I’m not going to give hints. But what I hoped would work is now working. And my scene tomorrow should be a lot of fun to write, too.

I’m going to leave it at that now, and go get my other stuff done. 😀

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I’ve worked through a section of the cut-and-paste stuff I pulled in from Book 3 yesterday. I’ve written a lot of words. I’ve deleted a lot of words. I have a net gain of 59 words that does not reflect the amount of work I’ve done — but I already knew it wouldn’t.

Tomorrow will probably be a lot like today, because I’ll still be in this section, which is long, and which has a LOT of stuff that needs to be fixed and rethought, some stuff that needs to go, and some things that I’ll need to make up from scratch.

Working through moved text doesn’t have the fun to it of letting me be able to show my work.

But this was worth saving, I’m still getting there.

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I wrote about 700 actual words today.

Following which, I benefitted by having vastly overwritten a big chunk of Ohio 3, in which I leapt ahead and did a ton of stuff that actually needed to wait until this book.

When I realized, back in Book 3, that I’d gotten ahead of myself, I set those words aside (counting their loss from Book 3 when I did so)… and today, got to add ONE piece of that word count back in.

I’m not sure that I’ll be able keep them all — but today, I had fun with money.

With the concept of money, and the concept of trade, and with people who understand TRADE versus those who understand MONEY, and the very nasty complications that can occur when these two incompatible groups of people collide.

And I’ll get to have some more fun with that tomorrow… and will probably end up a few words down rather than a few words up in the process, because the gigantic scene I’d pulled out of Book 3 is 4860 words long, and I’m positive that I got wordy.

But for today, I’m done, and moving on to other things on my list.


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Sometimes you write something knowing it’s going to have to be edited down in revision — and today I ran long on a piece of my main character’s past.

It was important, but I still have a pretty good idea that in revision, this is part of the book that will come out shorter.

But… got the words and while I’m running behind, now I have to get the other stuff.

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I thought I knew what was going to happen today… and what happened did fit exactly inside my objectives for the scene, while at the same time turning everything I’d planned inside out and upside down on me and surprising me completely.

And the cool twist of the day operated on the following writing principle:

Always assume your characters are smarter than you, that they’re not telling you the truth about the situations that they’re in, and that when you think you have a thing figured out and are getting ready to reveal it, the character who was supposed to be shocked in the one who is going to say, “You thought THAT was the surprise? Oh, please… This is what’s really going on.”

I love that moment — it’s pure Muse, it shows me how parts of my mind have been working outside of my assumption of what I think I’m doing, so that when it all comes together, I’m shocked. And delighted. And the pieces all still fit — just not the way I expected them to.

It happens to me a lot — and today, it was especially fun.



If you’re interested in the way these stories are coming together, and you want to be in on the five-book/five-month launch when I finish them and take them live, you can sign up for my launch list here.

Holly’s “Not-Yet-Revealing-the-Pseudonym” Pre-Launch List

Once I have all five books done in first draft, I’ll do the revision.

Of all five books.

At once.

This is what’s technically known in fiction writing circles as a “a big pain in the ass” (seriously… that is a bona fide technical term) — but it’s also the best way to make sure all five books connect deeply to each other, and the best way to get rid of weird “I changed my mind halfway through the series” continuity errors.

While I’m doing that, readers will start getting “urban fantasy girl” emails, where I’ll be asking you some questions, and we’ll be talking about urban fantasy in general, and mine in particular.

Once I have the revision done and have the books in Matt’s hands (he’s been my content editor for twenty-six years, and he’s a great one), the folks on the pre-launch list will start being invited to discussions about cover art, series titles, characters you love and why… fun stuff that will at the same time help me figure out where in the Urban Fantasy landscape these books will fit (and that will let you figure out whether they’re the kind of urban fantasy you like).

I’ll be asking some questions, answering some questions, maybe giving a few teasers, DEFINITELY giving away two free short stories for all launch participants… and once you’re comfortable that these either are or aren’t your kind of urban fantasy, I’ll invite the folks who are pretty sure this is your kind of thing to pick up the actual novel. Five books. Five months. Absolute best prices on all of them during the launch.

Once again, for urban fantasy fans only, here’s the sign-up form.

Holly’s “Not-Yet-Revealing-the-Pseudonym” Pre-Launch List

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This morning, in spite of what felt like a hard start of my brain with its engine cold, once I got rolling, I flew.

The story took a turn that surprised me, even as it still took me right through the events I was planning. It just didn’t present them to me in anything like the way I’d expected, and I didn’t end up where I thought I would. I landed someplace better.

There are villains… and they escaped.

Good guys… and they were left empty handed.

And a discovery about the nature of a key player that I’m looking forward to continuing tomorrow, and that I damn near couldn’t even pull myself away from today, because I discovered something so cool about, of all things… the owner of a private library that’s sitting in my MC’s house. And I wanted to find out the rest.

But I set limits on how much I write each day for very good reasons.

So I have big fun waiting for me in my end-of-the-week words. And I can’t wait for tomorrow to see what happens next.

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