I wrote nothing at all on Wednesday or Thursday (Thursday was Thanksgiving), but I caught up completely tonight, and am a tiny bit ahead.
What I'm writing now is of great interest to me. Around page 84, I had one character start to explain a teeny bit of the backstory to the Main Character. Well, I'm on page 121, and am still very much entrenched in the backstory. It's not written in the form of notes, or outlines -- it's mostly dialogue, so it's real writing, some of it interactive, and while I know that in its current form it simply could not appear in a book, it's helping me lay the groundwork for everything I'm going to need to do moving forward. I imagine that I still have a little bit more to do, and then as soon as I'm done, I should be ready to get this story moving forward.
When I first posted, I expressed concerns about some superficial similarities to Donaldson. I'm not concerned about that anymore, because as I've worked with my material, even the superficial similarities are disappearing.
When I read The Lord of the Rings in junior high, I, who had wanted to "be a writer" since 3rd grade, finally knew what it was that I wanted to write. I wanted to write high/heroic/epic fantasy. I was a widely read young man, and read everything from Mark Twain to The Bobsey Twins (complex to simple, and whatever was in between). But nothing had spoken to me. Tolkien did. Loudly.
It may be that Donaldson's work helped define how I wanted to write fantasy. Unquestionably, I could not write what Tolkien did. Nobody can. Nobody has. He was and is the best at what he does/did.
And I can't write what Donaldson did. We think of illness differently--or perhaps I should say that we approach illness differently simply by who we are and the affect it's had on our individual lives, and so how illness will be represented, thematically, in my work really shouldn't make anyone think, "Oh, dude, that's SO Donaldson." At least I hope not. (Of course, this assumes the book will be published...and that's a crap shoot.)