Holly Lisle Revision update – lesson two

December 19, 2011

So, I’ve fallen a little behind on my Holly Lisle course, because of trying to keep up with some other stuff going on, but I think I’m nearly finished with my week two lesson. Week two is all about Promises:

  1. The seven big promises that all fiction writers are making by giving their work to readers. (I like #6: ‘If I put something in the story, I will put it there for a reason.’)
  2. The specific promises that you intended to make and keep when you set out to write this book.
  3. All of the promises that you didn’t realize you were making by writing three paragraphs about something cool that occurred to you while you were writing your first draft – probably during Nanowrimo. Unfortunately, they also look like foreshadowing about something that’s never going to happen.

A lot of the worksheets for this week had to do with #3, the ‘Unplanned promises’ – which could turn into something that would make your book a lot better, if you find a way to deliver on those promises. There’s also some work on the planned promises of your major characters, which I’m feeling a little iffy, including the question “Why should your reader care about this character?”

But I finished those ‘character refocus’ sheets, and I think that I’m almost done going through the book looking for unplanned promises for characters. I’ve only reached the half-way point by pages, but you only look at a character’s first scene, and the new character introductions have been coming less frequently once I’m out of the third act.

I’m not quite sure where this course is going to take me, but I’m learning new things already.

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