Favorite minor that decided to shove himself into the spotlight and why!
Most of my major characters are minor characters who determined that they are just more important. Again using The Continent, I’ll look to Liv. Liv was supposed to be the sidekick, the cynical comic relief to the hero. The story moved from being a space opera to a more terrestrial setting, and Liv shoved his way into the view. Given his strong political views (and the suddenly political aspect of the novel), it made more sense that he was center of attention and the previous hero steps aside, becoming Liv’s support.
This change happened quite rapidly, when I first began drafting out the story (back when it was a little over influenced by Firefly) and Liv was determined to prove himself the hero.
Other jump to the center characters include Geoffrey, who went from being mystical helper to demanding that he have his own story. Well, he’s the central character to a story that doesn’t exist. Pity, I enjoy writing him.
Favorite antagonist and why!
Gaius from The Continet! He’s the main character Liv’s younger brother. The two are on completely opposite ends of the political spectrum–Liv is anti-Continent, Gaius pro. They operated on different sides when the treaty was signed, and ten years after the face, still continue to.
Gaius isn’t necessarily a bad guy. We see him primarily from Liv’s point of view, and Liv sees his brother as a traitor not only to his country but to his family. Of course, Gaius sees Liv as a fool…
I like Gaius as an antagonist because he isn’t a cackling madman. He is, in the eyes of most of the populace, a hero, a good man, just as many see Liv as a trouble maker. I’m trying to blur the line between protagonist and antagonist a bit, but Gaius is definitely the primary force against Liv.
Given the number of posts I’ve written regarding The Continent, I should really just buckle down and write that story.
How do you map out locations, if needed? Do you have any to show us?
Map? What is this word, map?
Okay, I do kinda-sorta map out my locations. I have vague ideas where things are taking place, but have I actually made a map detailing the layout of a country, world, etc? No.
I do plan to. One of the WIPs takes place in a futuristic, significantly smaller North America. I’m going to grab a map of NA and start hacking away. Photoshop makes things like this so much easier.
I do love maps. I have several hanging in my space–walking maps of Boston, a vintage-y map of the Tube, at home I have books of battlefield maps of Napoleonic campaigns, not to mention maps of the different cities I’ve lived in/visited.
I’ll pull up maps on the internet if I don’t have one readily available–Edinburgh being one, particularly a map of the city circa 1890. In the case of Boston and Florence, I’ll set stories where I’ve spent the most time, where I’ve lived, so I can reference things by sight rather than by street name.
I build the streets in my head, and walk around from there.
In what story did you feel you did the best job of worldbuilding? Any side-notes on it you’d like to share?
Worldbuilding…not one of my strengths. I enjoy worldbuilding, but can often be consumed by it, pouring all of my creativity into figuring out the how and why something occurred, even if that instance has only a minor mention. I’m of the belief that even the smallest occurrences have importance and larger ramifications down the road, so I over-analyze and over-plan everything.
I’ve poured the most energy into worldbuilding for The Continent and my current WIP. For the current WIP, I may not have come up with the world, but I’ve definitely contributed largely to the social systems, how the government runs, etc. For The Continent, I planned largely how the new government works versus the old one, and the old way of life versus the new.
I still have many logical kinks to work out in both. The way things work intrigues me, the causes and effects…I get too caught up in those, at times, that I neglect actually working on the narrative.
In the future, I’m going to better organize my world building. Everything is spread out over several journals. I need to make a document and just make notes on the various aspects of life–government, social, religious, etc.
Who is your favorite character to write? Least favorite?
Oh, my favorite character to write! It’s got to be Griffin, my take on HG Wells’ The Invisible Man. He’s vain, egotistical, a manipulative jerk–in short, an awful person, but terribly fun to write. I enjoy writing him opposite Pryce, who’s his foil. Their contrasting characteristics make them a great pair to write. I just need to come up with a good story for my little odd couple. This pair just comes easily to me.
My least favorite character to write…oh gosh…probably the hero of my first novel, Will. He wasn’t a terribly good character, really just an incredibly dull mall version of myself with a few more unsavory characteristics. In short, a very boring character, and the main reason why I won’t re-edit that work. I didn’t like the character in the slightest. He was whiney and just…blech. So I don’t write him any more.
What’s your favorite genre to write? To read?
Ah, my favorite genres! This is a terribly difficult question for me to answer.
For the longest time, I claimed that fantasy was my favorite genre to read. Then I realized that I read far more mysteries, biographies and historical fiction than fantasy or science fiction.
Mysteries are my go-to books. I adore Bruce Alexander’s historical murder mystery series The Sir John Fielding Mysteries, starting with Blind Justice. The characters are outstanding, the books are well researched, the mysteries engaging and well plotted. Of course, I’m also a fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories. I enjoy Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series immensely (though I have yet to finish).
I enjoy reading mysteries for the possibility. They can be transposed to any time period, to any branch of society. They may or may not have murder at their center. I enjoy the puzzle, the quest to determine the outcome before the detective (I’m always pleased when I come to a conclusion before Holmes announces it).
As for writing, it’s varied, but largely speculative fiction. I enjoy researching and writing historical fiction, but my favorite stories that I’ve written fall under the header of ‘speculative.’ They may not be obviously fantasy or science fiction, but an alternate world exists.
I haven’t attempted to write any mysteries.