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Posted on January 11, 2015

It feels natural. That's what I'm finding when I put my characters together. Their reactions flow from each other with a grace and motility that wasn't there before.

Here's the thing – I thought completely rewriting Monsters in Boxers, a book I had done thirteen years ago, would present the challenge of being boring, of not engaging me as much because it was a retread of a concept I had already mined.

Well, I've found that to be the farthest from the truth. This process is so enlightening. You can really see the difference in one's writing prowess when you undertake to revisit old characters. It reveals the bare-bones understanding you had as a fledging author and helps you see just how much progress has occurred in your craft.

It has reenergized me, creating an atmosphere of wanting to take risks and of really getting a lot of writing done. I went from 2,000 words at the start of last week to now over 25,000 words, averaging about 4,000 words each day.

Reggie, Jason, Amy, and Troy as they are now owe a lot to my growth as an adult these past thirteen years. I have a teenager and an almost teen and I still have vivid memories of my own childhood deserving of monstrous exploitation. The characters take on experiences drawn from my time as a kid along with what my own children experience on a daily basis. The synthesis of the whole project feels like something special is being born.

That's when you know you've got the right mix of characters and also when you know you've managed to trap narrative lightning in a bottle.

P.S. I want to spend every spare minute writing this book. Fortunately, being a teacher at a year-round school, I'm tracked out for two more weeks, which gives me that opportunity. I mapped out the rest of the book today, and it's going to be awesome. If all goes well, I will be hitting the 50,000-word mark in ten days. My goal is to have this first book tell its story in about that many words.

Look for a sketch of Horde Lord, the villain of the series, to show up here soon.


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