So far the solution to most of my plot, characterization, pacing problems has been ‘cut this whole section out and it all flows much better’. I think so far I’ve cut more than I’ve kept :/

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The key to creating better plots rests in a deeper understanding of character.

— Kristen Lamb, quote from Great Characters–The Beating Heart of Great Fiction

So, I’ve been going back to square one to make sure I have a better idea and foundation under me – if this goes according to plan, I’ll be living with these people for some time to come. So I should know them better than I currently do.

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Devious wimmins have helped me solve my plotting problem. You’ll be in the dedication. Now I just need to fill in with werdz.

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Advanced the outline a little and started to fill in some of the spots where I have the equivalent of ‘and then a miracle occurs’. I decided to emulate Howard Tayler and just use ‘Mayhem’ instead of ‘miracle’.


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Nnngghhn.. Latest Novel concern: The chief engineer is a lying thieving cheat that has suborned a section of the ship’s AI to cover his tracks. The CE has been working an angle for years, playing on a personal friendship with the captain. After everything goes south, the revelation of this betrayal rocks the captain to her core. She has trusted this person for years and years, only to find she’s been played this whole time.

A significant part of the captain’s character arc is coming to grips with this. I am increasingly concerned about being able to portray this correctly without making her look ineffectual or unlikable.

This has been brought to you by the Everything I Write Sucks gremlin.

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“Oh, I’m not perfect — not by a long stretch. I just make the rest of you look bad.” — Eunice Akinya, Poseidon’s Wake.

Someday I hope to have a character as deliciously snarky as Eunice Akinya.

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Lots of staring at nothing today as I try to work out a pivitol murder scene in my head. How hard is it to just have Josik say ‘Kid, you’re an obstruction to my plans. Now die’? Really hard, apparently.

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Critical scene logjam just cleared up in my head.

“…those bang-ass lenses will translate it into something you can see.” – Killjoys, S2E1 Dutch and The Real Girl.
Randomly: I love Killjoys and it’s deliciously scummy tawdry little corner of a larger universe.
That line also brings up something I’ve been giving some thought to: slang, who uses it, what it is, where it’s used, etc. I need… at least two forms, I think, one for spacers and at least one for the (in my head at this time, increasingly weird) Pillar culture for New Novonikolayevsk (where Mara comes from).
One of the great little setting ideas in The Expanse is that spacers (Belters) use hand signals for lots of things, because it’s the only way to communicate quickly and reliably in a spacesuit.
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Stomach bug knocked out two days of work, there. 😦 Ow.

And it got me to thinking more about my doctor character, Mara. What sort of bedside manner does she have? She’s from one of the core worlds, one of the Nine Pillars as they are called. So far, the core worlds are:

Epsilon Eridani, 61 Cygni, Epsilon Indi, Tau Ceti, Groombridge 1618, Sigma Draconis, 82 Eridani, Lambda Serpentis, Eta Cassiopeiae A

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I do hope that someday I get to have part of a book illustrated by Rob Caswell.


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