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I’m surfacing after being immersed in getting to know a character who just might start off a new series. I thought I had her, and then she dove down beneath my awareness, leaving a wake that eroded much of what I’d written. What had happened? As I sat with questions questions questions, I caught a flash of movement out of the corner of my eye. A memory. An aspect of her life I had written, then rejected as too complicated. Another flash of movement. Not a memory this time, but a piece of clothing with deep significance. I began a scene in which she donned the clothing and discovered a secret about something I’d already written. Patience, deep listening, a willingness to let go of what didn’t fit and pick up what seemed to resonate, though I didn’t yet understand why. Piece by piece, step by step, I redid the chapters. That’s where I’ve been.

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