Part of what draws me to the writing process is the magic. Not just the magic in my stories—the grimoires and spells and potions and incantations—but the magic of the process itself. Stories spring from deep within the subconscious, the part of us that is connected to everything and shrouded in mystery.

This week I was reminded of that process as I work on my novella, Goblins and Grimoires, the sequel to Spellfire’s Kiss. As I follow Knabb and Sabine, as I take what started out as a simple little short story and turn it into a novella-length adventure, I’m amazed by how the story reveals itself.

Since I’m a natural night-owl, I’ve changed up my writing routine and started writing in the middle of the night. And it works. Seriously. I went from averaging 1K a day to topping 2K consistently. So I’m going to stick with this routine for a while and see where it leads me.

And Monday night, as I plunged deeper and deeper into my story, I met a new character, someone who begs to play a bigger role. His name is Zaroo (that might change, but his character himself will remain the same), and he’s a Jinni.(Update: Zaroo is now Zahar, a name I think suits him–and he’s hinted that he wants his own story, tentatively titled No Wishes for the Wise.) I’ve always wanted to feature one of the tricksy, mischievous Jinn in my stories, and he just kind of appeared—exactly the way one would expect a Jinni to arrive, seemingly out of thin air.

Here’s a brief excerpt featuring Zaroo/Zahar:

[Knabb] was halfway through his sandwich when a voice almost made him choke. “Now there’s a face I haven’t seen in a while.”

Zaroo, a Jinni, sauntered up to the table. He wore black leather pants and a tight-fitting red sweater that accented his tan skin. His eyes were rimmed in kohl, his black hair swept up in a casual ponytail. He slid into the booth beside Sabine, and she squirmed over until she was pressed up against the window.

“Who’s the lady?” he asked. Knabb suppressed a groan.

“This is Sabine. Sabine, meet Zaroo.”

She greeted him, her voice distant, as if she’d taken an instant disliking to the man. Knabb couldn’t say he blamed her.

“Heard your master met Hades a year or so back. You here looking for a replacement, puppy dog?”

Knabb’s lips curled in a sneer. He just had to have that Rueben, hadn’t he? “I’m my own man now.”

And that, my friends, is my newest character. I’m not sure what Zaroo is up to yet, but I have a feeling we’re going to find out. 🙂

ROW80 check-in

Writing: Wrote 5,096 words in Goblins and Grimoires. I’d like to finish a draft of this story by the end of this round.

Reading: Continued reading two short-story anthologies, The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2 and Once Upon a Curse. Finished reading How I Sold 80,000 Books: Book Marketing for Authors by Alinka Rutkowska.

A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. Click here to cheer on fellow participants.

In case you missed it, yesterday I had the pleasure of interviewing steampunk writer Celine Jeanjean, whose latest book is The Black Orchid. Click here for a peek into Celine’s writing process—and to learn what her characters might be up to next.

What about you? Has a minor character ever surprised you in a story? What surprises you most about the writing process?

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