Creating Conflict: or, The Joys of Boiling Oil

Article by Holly Lisle

You’re sitting at your desk staring at your manuscript, realizing that you’ve written ten or fifty or three hundred (ouch) pages in which nothing really happens. People talk to each other and they go places and they do things, but you couldn’t find enough suspense in what they’re doing to fill a thimble, and you’re creeping up on the sneaking suspicion that your book is a wash, your ideas were stupid, and your characters are duds. Or worse, that you are. Maybe it’s time to throw in the towel, admit defeat, take your parents’ advice and go into the family wax-dummy business.

Don’t do that. You can fix this. It may not be easy, but if you want to save your characters and your idea and at least some of the work you’ve already done, you can.

Find out how.

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Holly Lisle announces that she’s closing shop to focus on writing

Author photo of Holly Lisle

Holly Lisle

It was with a curious mixture of sadness and delight that I read author Holly Lisle’s recent announcement that she will be closing her shop and putting an end to all her online writing courses, to focus on what she loves most: writing fiction.

I am a How to Think Sideways graduate and advocate, and with good reason. It has been one of the best things to ever happen in my life, and I do mean life, not just writing.

Throughout the course she challenged me as a person, my believes, my goals, my priorities and my maturity as a writer and a human being. Yes, Holly Lisle is like that, and she does not apologize for it either.

That is why I’m not surprised that she has decided to follow the advice she’s been giving her students for years: follow your passion. And if you click through to the announcement on her blog, you will find over 180 comments of people cheering her on, because she’s the type of person who inspires that kind of love and loyalty.

In case you have not yet joined any of her courses, there’s still time. She plans on moving all her current courses to Kindle/Nook/iTunes/Createspace over the next two years (removing them from her website as she does that), so you have till February 2012 to register for the online version of How to Think Sideways before she closes that door permanently. Her other courses, How To Revise Your Novel and How To Write A Series will follow suit.

My heartfelt thanks goes out to a woman who has coached, cheered on, encouraged, challenged, laughed and cried with thousands of writers. She has shared and nurtured their dreams and gave them more than just a mere writing course: she gave them a door to their passions, and a roadmap to their dreams.

Thank you Holly Lisle, for being such an inspiration, and a great human being to boot. Know that there’s an army of people supporting you, and waiting with bated breath for your next book. And the next one. And the one after that.