Day 30

Sep. 22nd, 2010 11:27 am
changeyourstars8: (Kath and I)
30. Final question! Tag someone! And tell us what you like about that person as a writer and/or about one of his/her characters!

I tag Kath. :-) I've worked with her for over ten years now, and she's always coming up with fantastic ideas. She's great with description and helping me to pause and think when I'm too far into Tasmanian Devil mode to remember that the scenario I've come up with in Chapter Thirteen completely contradicts something I set up in Chapter Two.

And now I'd like to open this up to anybody reading this-- any question you want to ask that wasn't in the meme, or do you want me to elaborate more on any of the meme questions? I could talk about writing stuff 24/7, so ask away!

Day 29

Sep. 21st, 2010 07:06 pm
changeyourstars8: (MASH)
29. How often do you think about writing? Ever come across something IRL that reminds you of your story/characters?

Constantly. I'm rarely without a notebook; I'd carry one to class in high school and college, and now I carry one in my purse. When I worked at the donut shop, I'd use Post-It notes when we had a lull. Sometimes I'll see a news story that inspires an idea, and sometimes I'll see a person who really looks like one of my characters. Once a young woman came into the donut shop-- probably 5'11 or so, angular face, auburn hair, and she looked so much like I imagined Kath's character Onnoree looking that I was tempted to ask her to pose for a portrait photo. :-)

Day 28

Sep. 20th, 2010 06:25 pm
changeyourstars8: (Name faery)
28. Have you ever written a character with physical or mental disabilities? Describe them, and if there's nothing major to speak of, tell us a few smaller ones.

Haven't done it; it's not something I have personal experience with and I'm not quite confident enough in the research I've done to tackle it yet. I expect my comfort level with it will change soon, and then so will my answer to this question.

I'm not sure if the term for them is really 'disabilities', but Ki'Rana from Karavan is working through a pretty bad case of PTSD, and Lauren from Jia's Charms has depression.

Day 27

Sep. 19th, 2010 10:34 am
changeyourstars8: (Default)
27. Along similar lines, do appearances play a big role in your stories? Tell us about them, or if not, how you go about designing your characters.

Looking at my character designs for non-humans, I seem to really like the cool colors on the spectrum-- Ki'Rana's hair has green streaks; Maiza's skin is blue; Thiare has violet skin and blue hair; Lyric's skin is pale green. I need to create a character with red or orange skin somewhere in here. *s*

Though I have recently realized that I fell into the whole Least Common Skin Tone trope (obligatory warning for TV Tropes and getting trapped for days in it, etc.). Will be rectifying that.

It depends on the story, as to whether appearances play a big role. In my book Memories of Her Singing, Qinvara is a dimension-traveler with fully black eyes; her eyes are brought up more than once because they're an extreme oddity in most any world she goes to and she has to take measures to hide them. I'll toss in short descriptors sometimes-- mostly hair and eye color, height-- but I don't usually go for the paragraph-long elaboration on exactly what someone looks like and what they're wearing.

How I design them: I'll generally get a feel for a character's 'voice' first and their appearance follows after that. And some of it is "this would look really cool when I ask Mandy to draw it". :-)

Day 26

Sep. 17th, 2010 12:29 pm
changeyourstars8: (Karavan's Dawn)
26. Let's talk art! Do you draw your characters? Do others draw them? Pick one of your OCs and post your favorite picture of him!

I have tried to draw my characters. Results-- sooooo not pretty. So now I pay other actually talented people to draw them!

Since I refuse to pick just one character portrait, these go below the cut:

Read more... )

Day 25

Sep. 15th, 2010 11:57 am
changeyourstars8: (Calvin and Hobbes)
25. Do any of your characters have pets? Tell us about them.

Yep!

Connor from Redemption has a cat named Charlie. Connor adopted him when he was an adult cat, and he has issues from a previous owner. He somewhat tolerates Connor, but if anyone else comes into the house, their ankles are fair game.

Thiare from Karavan has three kittens. In her universe, strays at space ports are a huge problem; people will make impulse purchases while visiting a planet and then leave the new pet behind when they realize how much work it is, or they'll dump litters because they figure with so many people passing through, someone will take them in. That 'someone' would always be Thiare if she had the time and room.

Abigail from Pale Moon has a giant squirrel (it's a long story).

And I just realized that out of the common domestic pets, none of my characters have a dog. I should rectify that. I like dogs, but I've always had cats and I'm much more familiar with their brand of oddball aloof affection.

Day 24

Sep. 11th, 2010 04:03 pm
changeyourstars8: (I kill with my heart)
24. How willing are you to kill your characters if the plot so demands it? What's the most interesting way you've killed someone?

I'm willing to kill a character if I think it's necessary to the plot. To me, 'necessary to plot' means that it's unrealistic for a large group of characters to go through a situation like the one I've got them in with all of them making it out unscathed. Or if a character's in a seriously bad spot and there's no way to get them out of it and it's either kill them or come up with a deux ex machina, then they're toast.

I do specifically work on not killing one character just in order to motivate another. I hate the whole 'fridging' thing and when LOST started to do it is when I had to stop watching. And while I know that sometimes crappy, unexpected things happen in real life fights, I'm not much for Death As Gritty Shock Value either ((I'm looking at you, Serenity)).

It also partly depends on the universe I've got it set in. There'll probably be more death in the Pale Moon universe, with its vampires, zombies, werewolves, banshees, and all the accompanying inter-group battles than there was in the We Were Strangers universe, which was at heart a kids-style fantasy story.

As for interesting ways to kill someone: I did have someone attacked by a Demonic Creepy Thing and then thrown out a window in In the Darkness Find Me.

Day 23

Sep. 6th, 2010 10:15 am
changeyourstars8: (Default)
23. How long does it usually take you to complete an entire story—from planning to writing to posting (if you post your work)?

It so, so varies. Redemption is a story that's existed in my head in one way or another for about six years, and I'm only now really figuring out how it's going to work. In the Darkness Find Me, on the other hand, was probably a year or less? I had a dream about one of the main scenes in it, woke up and wrote it down, and the rest of the novel followed quickly-- helped that it was more a novella than a novel. :-)

I've got an alternate-reality series planned, but it'll be a while before I start on that, and while I've started on Pale Moon it might be a little bit before the book's ready, largely because of time. And I'm trying to get more organized with which project I'm working on when, so that I can get books put out probably around once a year or so instead of having fifty pages done on four different projects.

And speaking of projects done-- Jia's Charms should be available for purchase by November 1!! Going to put it out through Lulu, and I'm also going to try having it available on the Kindle.

Day 22

Sep. 1st, 2010 04:55 pm
changeyourstars8: (Stace by Warsheep Productions)
22. Tell us about one scene between your characters that you've never written or told anyone about before! Serious or not.

Well, there is the fun little conversation where Stace and Simon discuss the finer points of attack strategy.

And I've got a scene in mind in the Pale Moon universe where an agoraphobic alien gets into a heated argument with her spaceship.

I don't know; it's easy to think of stuff I haven't written but a lot harder to remember scenes that I haven't discussed with somebody. :-)

Day 21

Aug. 30th, 2010 01:52 pm
changeyourstars8: (Crysta)
21. Do any of your characters have children? How well do you write them?

Several of my characters have kids-- Lauren has Ivy and Kae; Rick has Kaveri; Geneva has Ian; Elspeth has Abigail; Maia has Darshana; Durai has Mairi. I think I write the younger kids pretty well-- in the ones Kath and I work on together, she's helped me with the older kids because so far I've spent a lot of time around kids from infancy to age 2.

Day 20

Aug. 26th, 2010 08:27 am
changeyourstars8: (Perverts)
20. What are your favorite character interactions to write?

I love to write flirting. Which is funny to me because I'm horrible at it in real life. But it's always so much fun to write, whether it's as characters who flirt as automatically as they breathe or ones who are awkwardly trying to figure out what they're doing.

On the other end of the spectrum, I also like fight scenes. It's interesting to me to see how characters'll react in a fight; who'll go right for the throat and who'll hide under a desk, and who'll surprise you by having the exact opposite reaction from what you'd expect.

Day 19

Aug. 21st, 2010 09:44 am
changeyourstars8: (MASH)
19. Favorite minor that decided to shove himself into the spotlight and why!

Well, there are two, and they're both in the Karavan series.

Va'Heta was originally going to be a fairly small character, quite possibly a villain, and get killed off early on. Didn't work out that way; once I started writing him it became obvious he wasn't a villain and I was too curious about where else he'd go to kill him in the first book.

Ki'Rana is a childhood friend of his, who first showed up in just a one-line reference he made about how someone else on board reminded him of her. I had it in my mind that at the time he was making the comment, she was already dead. Then I sat down and wrote her death scene and . . . well, she refused to die. Good thing, too, because she's one of my favorite characters now. :-)

Day 18

Aug. 13th, 2010 10:32 pm
changeyourstars8: (Calvin and Hobbes--  pointy)
18. Favorite antagonist and why!

Probably Emari from the Karavan series-- she's very smart, and works within the system, exploiting it to reach her goals. She's overconfident and condescending and she drives most of my other characters up a wall. Those are some fun interactions to write. :-)

She's my favorite of the pure antagonists; if we got into the antagonist/protagonist category, then it'd definitely be Simon from We Were Strangers.

Day 17

Aug. 12th, 2010 10:58 am
changeyourstars8: (Jensen)
17. Favorite protagonist and why!

They're trying to brain-zap my poor indecisive self, aren't they?

At the moment, we have a tie-- very different characters, from different series, but equally awesome to me:

1) Rachel, from Jia's Charms and its sequel. She's the leader of a colony on a severed world, who unexpectedly has to deal with an influx of people who were not expecting to have to live in an area with no indoor plumbing and creepy predators hanging around. She's fair, independent, and dotes on her younger sister (though in true sibling fashion, she shows that mainly through teasing and sarcasm).

2) Thiare, from the Karavan series. She doesn't really fit in with the others-- most of them are hardened warriors or at least familiar with fighting and used to traveling. She's just out of school and while her knowledge makes her a valuable asset, her lack of real world experience and general naivete can make her a liability. Especially when some of the stray animals she insists on taking in would probably eat half the crew if given a chance.

Day 16

Aug. 6th, 2010 07:45 am
changeyourstars8: (Elphaba and Fiyero)
16. Do you write romantic relationships? How do you do with those, and how “far” are you willing to go in your writing?

I think a better question would be, when do I not write romantic relationships. I don't think there's a book I've worked on yet that didn't feature a romance of some kind. Whether it's in the background or not depends on the story, but there's always something there. Because I'm a sap.

How far I'm willing to go depends on the characters. Va'Heta and Thiare from Karavan are more of a fade-to-black pair, while Xavierre and Maia from Stealing Time are a "Hi, you're trying to focus on plot when you really should be writing porn about us instead" couple.

Day 15

Aug. 2nd, 2010 10:17 am
changeyourstars8: (Kath and I)
((you will note that the meme is not titled 30 Consecutive Days of Writing)) ;-)


15. Midway question! Tell us about a writer you admire, whether professional or not!

There are plenty-- my cowriter Kath is of course one of them, someday I hope to be as good at descriptive writing as she is, and she consistently comes up with awesome story ideas. Two of my influences growing up were Stephen King and Dean Koontz-- King's short story "The Last Rung on the Ladder" is still one of my favorite pieces ever, and I love a lot of Koontz's dialogue (hooray for snarky banter). Several writers on my flist-- [livejournal.com profile] apocalypsos posts some fascinating-looking excerpts and I can't wait to read a full book; [livejournal.com profile] nilchance can take the weirdest sounding ideas ever and make them work because her worldbuilding is just that good; I haven't read any of [livejournal.com profile] jimhines's stuff yet but if his books are anything like his LJ writing style, I will love them.

I know there are people I'm leaving out because my brain is a sieve 3/4 of the time. Basically, click the little 'friends' button up top there; you'll find cool people. :-)

Day 14

Jul. 5th, 2010 06:00 pm
changeyourstars8: (Calvin and Hobbes)
14. How do you map out locations, if needed? Do you have any to show us?

I map out locations in my head-- I have a general idea where various places/houses are in relation to each other, and if it's a really large area I'll write out notes describing what goes where. Kath is awesome with this, though, she'll actually draw out continent and sometimes city maps.

Day 12

Jul. 2nd, 2010 05:25 pm
changeyourstars8: (Default)
12. In what story did you feel you did the best job of worldbuilding? Any side-notes on it you'd like to share?

Well, with Karavan most of it takes place on a ship, so in a weird way it doesn't seem as much like worldbuilding to me, because we have so many cultures interacting there with some focus on each instead of strong focus on one. With the We Were Strangers series I regret not going into as much detail with a lot of things (I have so much nostalgic love for that series, but it was started when I was seventeen and there are things I'd do differently now).

To me it's tied between Stealing Time and Jia's Charms-- the former because of the jumping between the past and the future and showing how everything ties in together, and the differences between the Bihlan and the Niveti that cause the conflicts in the book; the latter because of the world, the animal and plant life and how people there have adapted.

So worldbuilding in a cultural/religious sense, Stealing Time. In terms of the world itself, Jia's Charms.

Day 11

Jul. 1st, 2010 10:15 am
changeyourstars8: (Default)
11. Who is your favorite character to write? Least favorite?

I had to think about this one for all of yesterday (favorites questions are basically my least favorite. . .) But in the end, I think my favorite character to write is Maia from Stealing Time-- devoted to her cause, brave to the point of being foolhardy, perverted sense of humor, and a deep-down romantic even if she'd never admit as much. She's great to write for.

Least favorite would be a tie between Kr'Enza from the Karavan series and Jeryl from Stealing Time. I think (hope) I've done enough research into rapists/abusers to get the characters down realistically, but it's still getting into a really creepy headspace.

Day 10

Jun. 30th, 2010 12:08 pm
changeyourstars8: (Calvin and Hobbes)
10. What are some really weird situations your characters have been in? Everything from serious canon scenes to meme questions counts!

Well, I've got an upcoming scene where a guy has to deal with aliens crash-landing in his backyard. Stace got chased around by a mutant wasp-thing and got trapped in a flour bin (the perils of only being 4 inches tall). Rohan tries to go back in time one hour and ends up skipping decades. Thiare adopts large hostile predators like most people would take in kittens. Sera goes on a walk on a hiking trail and ends up traveling to another dimension.

I'm sure there are more, but a lot of these things don't really stand out to me because even though they're objectively weird, they make perfect sense in the context of the story.

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