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January 07, 2012



That's it, exactly, Hank. Miraculous, and I don't use that word often.

In my first book, a minor character, designed only for explication, kept nudging her way into the story, developing in at alarming, almost aggressive pace. She eventually helped save the day at end of book one. By book six, she was getting married. A Meg where there hadn't been a Meg before, and a darned good thing for Emma!

Elaine Viets

The hardest part of writing a novel, Hank, is shaping those characters. I reallystruggle with the first three or four chapters, where I have to re-introduce old characters and create new ones, and keep the plot moving, so the novel doesn't turn into an over-crowded party.
Good luck with this new book.


Beautifully said, Hank. That's exactly how it is. And now I'm off to start a new hat. The style came to me last night in an instant and by later today, three new people will be here. Lovely piece, and lovely inspiration.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Funny, too, how some of them, Like Dna's Meg, are fully formed and thriving..and others have to be coaxed into existence. Sometimes--one word does it!

And now, Elaine, I'm in the middle, where these new people are looking at each other, and saying to me--NOW WHAT??

JJ--can't wait to see--er, read--it! Very exciting.


Hank, you make me cry.

lil Gluckstern

Oh guys, you make hats so well. The song says it perfectly, doesn't it?

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Reine, you're so lovely. And usch an inspiration.

And yes, Lil, the song is amazing.

Now, I'm at 33,355 words. (Not that I ever check word
count :-).)

And SOMETHING big is about to happen. What--I'm not exactly sure...

Hank Phillippi Ryan

So much for my new years resolution to proofread..xoox

Lynn in Texas

Can't wait to try on your new hat, Hank! xo


Just the word 'Sondheim' makes me cry. :)

"...clever...careful...funny... loves..."

Hank, this fits so perfectly! He 'is' all those things, and he crafts his songs to be that way. As in, keeps working at them bit by bit until they're just right.

Songs like Send In The Clowns, when the words and music complement each other so beautifully - that didn't happen all at once in one writing session. He kept at it, changing ideas that slightly change the form, more change, more ideas. etc. until it is finally itself and himself. Just like you do writing a novel.

So whatever the something big is, you can do it! :)


Hank, this is a beautiful blog today. I love it!!

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Well, this is marvelous. Thank you Marie and Lynn...and Mary, we MUST chat. It is so gratifying to know we're in this together, right? With the same fears, and the same delights.

We shall see. But I keep your good wishes with me...and know it can be done...

Do you think of it this way? Do you have these moments?

Charlaine Harris

What a wonderful post, Hank. That's exactly what I've tried to tell people, about the amazing part of what we do. But never so eloquently. Thanks.


Sure. I'd bet all writers do. Those horrifying times, when I have no idea what to do next, usually balance out with the "a-ha!" moments in the end. :)

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Ah, Charlaine, we should talk. Your hats are always quite wonderful. Hope our paths cross in person soon.

And yes, Mary, when you see the pieces of legal paper that Sondheim used to write the lyrics--things are altered and crossed out and changed and there are list of rhyming words..it's his brain at work. It's fascinating.

And it's so reassuring.

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