Routine check in, plus other stuff

Once again, I have emerged from the vast Ocean of Real Life to update this thing. Yes, I’m terrible at maintaining a steady online presence. But I am always here. I am ninja like that.

The Summer of Surgeries has passed, and my sister and I have settled back into a routine. She’s on the mend, which is good news. Her appetite is back and better than ever, and she’s been putting on weight. Our first test as to her stamina was a hot and humid day at Musikfest, which was followed by a cooler (figuratively and literally) experience at Retro Con. I met Michael Bell, the man whose voice touched damn well every 80s show I grew up with. He’s a funny and feisty old man. It was an amazing experience. I had him sign a few things and got my picture with him. I apologize for the blurry quality. I am rocking an iPhone 4. Also met a Deadpool and had some fun with him.

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3

On the writing front, I made the drastic decision to junk all existing versions of my sci fi, Renegade, in favor of a complete overhaul. This was, as my sister put it, a brave move. It’s easy to see why she’d say that. This story had been in its current incarnation since 2005. The biggest thing to happen to it between then and now was a title change (it began life as Key of the Zabeldi, then became Key of the Xabeldi). I admit, it’s been a little hard separating the two. The overall plot remains the same, but the characters needed to be re-evaluated. To do this, I looked into character profiles. I needed to solidify their goals, fears, wants, etc. before anything else. I found a comprehensive list of templates at the following page. All vary in detail depending on your needs:

It’s been instrumental in fleshing out my three main protagonists. See, one of the things that didn’t work in Renegade was the characterization. The fault for that is squarely on me. I developed its plot before anything else. The characters were more or less archetypes without any real life to them. The fact I believed it was the best version of the story makes me shake my head at my own ignorance. Still, all the changes got me fired up about the story again. The profiles ask questions you wouldn’t consider otherwise. It makes you think of the characters as real people, and not just proper nouns doing actions in narrative. I highly recommend the exercise, be it for an existing story or a new one.

October is here, which means NaNo is right around the corner. Super excited for the chance to play with new characters and in a new world. I’ve never written middle grade, so it’ll be a nice challenge for me. I’m going to be giving these characters the profile treatment once I’m done with my sci fi. Happy writing, all!

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