>I’m writing book two of a fantasy trilogy to a tight outline and an equally tight deadline. The up side of that is there’s no time to mess about, and certainly no time for self-indulgence. I’m also free to enjoy the prose and the story-telling, without worrying too much about plotting, because that’s mostly done. The down-side is I run the risk of writing mechanically, just trotting out the text by the numbers. There are ways around this, of course, all of which I’m trying to employ. But the best bit of all is when the characters themselves come to your rescue and start talking in their own voices instead of parroting what the plot requires them to say. Sometimes that happens from the get-go, however with this project it’s taken a little while for them to wake up. But, about half an hour ago, that’s exactly what they did, and suddenly I feel a whole lot better because from this point on I think the book will pretty much write itself. Thanks guys. You may only be fictional, but I’d trust you with my life any day.