The Process | Part 3

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Writing is not a sedentary enterprise because my brain is always working overtime to keep up with everything that’s going on in the story, like I’m spinning plates. The characters become my friends sooner rather than later, sometimes poking me in the arm by page 3, ready to drive their own storylines and hoping I will let them. Even the antagonists have a way of getting beneath my guard and forcing me to embrace them, which is why I have to remind myself often exactly who each character is, how they’re supposed to act towards others, and why I wrote them the way I did at the outset. It keeps me on my toes.

This November is no exception, with NaNoWriMo now halfway over. I’m always amazed at how my characters take on a life of their own. My protagonists are in the midst of telling their tales, and living their lives, but it’s in the telling and the living that I see them for who they really are. My antagonist is also well defined, but I can’t quite bring myself to hate him. That’s because my antagonist is a multi-faceted individual who has some positives to go along with the negatives. While “pity” is not on the table, at some points “mercy,” and “condolence” are.

As I hit the halfway point this year I can tell that things are different from the past four. Even though I “won” those years (meaning I hit my 50,000 word goal in 30 days), I haven’t felt like things have always flowed from start to finish. There’s generally a wall I hit at some point that I need to get around, that I need to figure out before I move on. I hope there’s some wood around here because I may need to knock on it, but this year I haven’t had that impediment, not yet anyway. Perhaps it won’t rear its head, but even if it does I always get around it at some point.

Now it’s time for the back stretch, and the process is intact. I’m excited for the rest of the tale, which I’ll tell you about next time. But I’m even more excited for the characters to keep speaking to me, to keep giving me their stories in bits and pieces until it’s all been told. Those are the best of times.

Word count: 30,604 words.

Sam

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