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For the first time in a (seemingly) LONG time, I finished a book of fiction today.  YAY!  Granted, it was one that I've read before, but I've been wanting to continue on with the series that eventually evolved since I first read it, but didn't remember enough about the story line to continue on.  It has been most effective in assisting to fill the well.

Kristin Lamb - I believe it was - talked about the importance of reading... not just writing.  It was one of those concepts that I remember thinking, "yes, I know", but was not one that I really knew.  She mentioned how she reads one book of fiction, as well as one trade related text each week.  I'm honestly thinking of shooting for that as well.  At least where fiction is concerned...

This book (The Outlander) was one that the Plot Whisperer had used in her video series as an example at one point.  It was that mentioning that spurred me to read it again.  I'm glad I did.  Not just because it was one that I enjoyed (the first time, as well as recently) but it helped to illustrate the principles that I've been learning with regard to craft.  One of the greatest things was why it is suggested slowing things down - drawing things out - during the climax sequence.  It causes a reader to hurriedly flip through the pages to find out what happens next.

Beyond that, I've considered 1) tightening up the plot lines and sub-plot lines a bit and 2) actually playing with my characters a bit.  For starters, the main protagonists from this first novel, as well as the antagonists.  Experience reminds me this is a very good way to get to 1) get to know the characters a bit better and in a more 'relaxed' environment and 2) get a better handle on their individual voices.  It seems counter productive (at least to the IC), but in the end... it helps, I believe.

In addition to this... I'm continuing to consider my goals for this upcoming year - personally, spiritually, and "professionally".  A good deal to consider, but it's coming along.  I'm planning to have my "professional" ones - at the very least - ready in time for the beginning of [community profile] inkingitout  on Sunday and ROW80 on Monday.

Progress being made.  In baby steps, but forward motion, none-the-less.

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