I’m going to win this time.  Oh yeah.   And I’m going to finish.  This time.

Them there are fightin’ words.

(Feeling strong now…)(I’m gonna make it up those steps…)(It’s the eye of the tiger…)

My husband stopped by my desk to ask why I was punching air.   I proudly forecasted my intent to win Nanowrimo.  “Win what?” Were those dollar signs in his eyes?

“You win NaNoWriMo by writing 50,000 words of your novel between November 1 and November 30.”

He sort of chuckled in a loving sort of way as he left the room where I purportly write fiction.

Muse:  (sighs)
Me:  Are you in?  I can’t do this without you.
Muse:  I know.  Let’s do this.

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I’ve been working on a timeline for my historical characters. I’ve spent the better part of the past three months (not including the month spent in Europe…sigh) going through my research resources in order to include as much relative information as I can cull to my character timeline.

I’m currently at page 39 and counting.

Recently I had to stop and ask myself…is this timeline just one more tool in my already-too-crowded procrastination garage – OR – does this timeline serve a purpose to move my writing forward?

Of course, initially I chose the “tool” option. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to beat myself up.

But THEN, whilst writing my Morning Pages, I had a proverbial Aha moment!

Muse: It’s about time.

I realized that time spent on the timeline for my historical characters is actually a great way (pat on the back) to “get to know” my characters!

I have to confess – I do not like creating characters. I’m certain that this is the reason I prefer to write historical pieces; the characters have already existed. All I have to do is fill in the “thoughts and feelings” blanks. But I need a timeline in order to understand my real characters and the real events in their lives so that I might intuit why they made the choices they made and how they might have reacted to their decisions (drum roll, please…) – to uncover their motivation!

Call me “thick” but could it be that after 12 years of writing and reading about writing and going to writing conferences (blah, blah, blah) I finally understand the connection between character development and motivation???

Muse: Not thick. Nothing you’ve encountered up to now has demonstrated this connection until you pushed your way through the door and past the doubt.
Me: Thanks. I mean it.
Muse: No problem. Get back to your timeline.

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