The days have gone, each their own way. January was supposed to be my NaNoWriMo project clean up month but that is not likely to happen now. Instead, I have been deep in the first book of a High Fantasy trilogy. The complexity of these books can be a real time suck but I am energized about this project because it’s been burning in the back of my mind for years. I know the story in very general terms but now I’m getting to know the characters and where they are taking the story.

It sounds cliche` to say the characters are leading me, but in truth, they are. I realized that when I was stumped for what should happen next it was usually because I did not understand my characters well enough. Yesterday I spent most of my writing time working on figuring out one main character. Once I did that I discovered two or three more elements of the plot. Before that I had known only the role this character was playing but now I know his life.

There is no bending of time. Stories and books only get written when words are put on the page. One thing I have only recently come to understand is just how many words have to be put down before there are enough good ones to make a story. I knew I needed to write a lot of stories and books in order to get better, but a writer must also write many words that do not end up directly in a story. Those words are for the writer, to inform the writer about the story, and only when the writer understands the story deeply can the story be told.

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