Sometimes you have to go back to school. You have to shelve that damned pride and close your damned yap and sit down and listen and learn. You think you know how to write? You think you know how to craft strands together so as to weave a frickin’ novel together? You think you understand how people tick, how to wind them up so that they march and dance and fight and die? Man oh man, do you have something coming.

Sometimes it feels like I’m writing with hands encased in mittens, trying to weave a net with my elbows.

You take your main character. Buff him up so that he shines, wind up the huge key in his back and then let him go. And Lo! He marches! He moves forward, following the path you have set for him. How frickin’ marvelous. But you can’t just have one man marching. You need a villain. So you carve another figure and set him on the opposite side of the board. What does the villain want? Who knows, to be evil! Ha! A fine and classic motivation. Have him stand there. Still the board is empty. Throw in a love interest, a best friend, maybe two. And set them all to march. And you stand back and marvel and laugh and chortle, for how fine a thing you have wrought!

Time to shut up and go back to school.

Because then you turn from your little board and marching toys and see something filled with real passion and hatred and spite. Love so searing it burns from the other side of death. Motivations so glorious and real and humbling and brilliant that the web they weave is so dense it becomes a frickin’ mat.

Man. This is truly my apprenticeship. There is so much to learn.

First Million Words of crap, is what it should have been called. Would have been a fair assessment. Going to have to dig deeper, think harder, and produce better.

Quality or quantity? Dude, I want them both. Is that too much to ask?