Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Main character done (for now)

I finished the outline for my main character. I'm sure I'll add/modify/change lots by the end, but you need a framework to start with. Mostly I just worked it Q&A style, with no particular direction. Some advice from Julie Czerneda at Toronto Trek 19 and Holly Lisle's website made me try that method, and it really kind of works. You wouldn't think so, but the trick is to let the questions flow. The lack of direction can be good because we all are the sum of various parts, odds, ends, experiences and other 'stuff.' I think I have a good feel for her now, at least to start spinning the story. Of course, I still have lots of primary characters left, but now we're getting somewhere.

To make it even better, I have started this week with continuous writing sessions and even managed to work out yesterday. Considering how often I'm at a desk, that's a refreshing change. I seem to have found my sweet spot between 9 and 10pm for writing. I figure a minimum of an hour at the keyboard, then a half hour workout and bedtime. I am certain this fascinates the reader, but flexing the mind and the muscles is feeling pretty good. Besides, have to get ready for the ski trip this year, though we're not sure where. The elliptical trainer we bought on sale is just the stuff for those leg muscles used to ski.

Tomorrow on to the next character. The secondary hero in the book, and maybe a romantic interest. We'll see...

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Day Job Hangover

Finally back at some good writing work. Nothing like a good pummelling at the day job to keep you away from the writing desk. Ah well, have to pay bills and such. Not much choice there. What a delicious vicious circle; the writing is (hopefully, eventually) to get away from the industry day job, yet the day job must be attended to which interrupts writing. And I thought the automotive industry was mental! One thing I love in life are these tasty paradoxes. The things that make you laugh, shake your head, and realize just how deep yet ridiculous life can be.

Now that things are less maniacal at work, I've gotten some good work done. I finished my gazetteers for the three nations featured in Queen's Legacy (I even have a title, how 'bout that?), as well as some history, climate and other geographical stuff done. Sounds dry, but maybe my science background forces me to make everything realistic (in a fantasy novel, no less. Refer to paradox comment above) and sensible. Things like forests and rivers, and their interaction. Why you'd have a plains area or a mountain range in a certain spot. Verisimilitude, that's the word. Even if the reader isn't pulled up short, I would be. It has to make sense. Now I'm on to characters. I'm starting with a question-answer method to flesh out my initial ideas. I did have to take the time to make a matrix of characters. I had them flitting about my head too much. At least now I have a basic list of the major players in the story, with more likely to be added later. Just the person's name, title (if any) and a few brief notes in two columns labeled 'who' and 'what.' (i.e. who they are and what they're expected to do in the story). Tonight, now that the little one's in bed and the bills/laundry/sundry other tasks done I am going to start my main character. Fun and a little scary. Here we go...