Today at the Between The Lines blog, agent Wendy Lawton posed a question. What’s the best part of your job as a writer? I left a comment:

One of the best moments for me is early in a project, that moment when a character first speaks to me, and I hear her voice so clearly, and it feels like I’m simply taking dictation. It can happen anytime, anywhere. I just better be prepared (lipstick and a napkin will do in a pinch). Any time in the writing process when this happens is good, but that first time is exhilarating. I tend to walk about looking dazed for a while, afterward.

This happened to me most recently shortly before my trip east. The main character of the book I’m currently plotting suddenly started speaking to me, so I quick opened a new file and started typying… listening… typing. I was surprised to learn a few things about her I hadn’t yet known, and a few things about the plot. I love when that happens. It makes me feel like the story already exists, full and complete in some dimension I can just see from the corner of my eye.

Here it is. It’s a bit choppy, with one blank spot. Perhaps it’s a prologue. Maybe it’s just for me and will never appear in the book. But I think it will.

I remember the borders of our land. [describe landmarks: standing stone, lake, islet, big tree]

I have been gone from those hills for half the moons of my life. What I have seen and what I have done, it has changed me. I do not recognize these sun-browned arms, these sturdy hands, these legs that stride mountains and do not tire, and stand me taller than most men.

I am the place two rivers merge, silted with upheaval and loss. No more what I was, but neither what they sought to make me. Yet memory of our land is a clear stream. I shall know it as once I knew the faces of my children. I will walk its borders; I will search its ground for what was taken, and what I left behind. It may be I will find me there.

If the land remembers.

From The Quiet In The Land [working title] Copyright 2009 by Lori Benton

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