Now that I actually have something published (waits for fanfare to die down), I feel like I’m qualified to say something about how I got this far.
I won’t say that I would never have sold this first story if not for this course. Maybe I would have. Eventually. But the fact is, Holly Lisle’s How to Think Sideways course allowed me to skip perhaps years of floundering by giving me the TOOLS TO MAKE MY DREAMS REAL.
Emphasis on tools: there is serious damn work to be done here and no one can do it but me (or you, as the case may be). No one else plotted out the one-line scene notes that let me see my story from start to finish and know where it worked and where it didn’t. No one wrote my query letter for me. No one else received my editor draft and figured out how to fix what needed to be fixed and leave alone everything else. I worked through every stage from initial idea to finished story in a published anthology. But Holly Lisle taught me how.
Sometimes, it was upsetting. Holly is a big believer in the power of your subconscious and mine is full of some pretty scary stuff. There are no free meals in the course either. The information is fantastic, but until you decide to put your pride and your hopes and your fears on the line, you won’t realize what the course can really do for you.
And what, exactly, is that?
Holly has put together a course that will take you from no idea, no character, and no world to a book that is ready to send out to publishers. Okay, sure, lots of writing books out there promise the same thing. Holly also gives you a WORKING PROFESSIONAL’S guide to formatting, writing query letters, and dealing with editors. She teaches you how to hit EVERY DEADLINE, whether it was the ideal one you proposed or the nightmare one you were told to hit instead. And she will teach you how to do all these things in a way that will make it that much more likely that you’ll sell not just this book, but the next one too.
Because the course isn’t just about following the rules of the publishing world or writing regularly or developing a plot. The course is about unlocking your own brain, the parts you know about and the parts that lurk in the corners, and creating a system that works for you, every time, book after book, hopefully for a long time. It’s about using logic and imagination and a little insanity to create twists even you didn’t see coming (yes, really, just wait for Lesson 10) and endings that have your reader saying, “I can’t believe I didn’t see it coming, but of COURSE that’s how it ends.” It’s about approaching your life from funny angles to make dreams happen against all odds.
It’s about THINKING SIDEWAYS.