First things first…
My clone has more interesting topics lined up for his blog over the next few weeks, so you really ought to consider following him directly.
Today’s post is “Psionics in Science Fiction,” wherein Paul briefly describes another handful of sci-fi novels that influenced his stories.
In other news…
Today is May 15, so naturally I’m thinking about “that novel” again. (Today is the birthday of one of the major characters in “that novel.” You can’t send him any gifts, cards, or money because he’s currently off-planet and in coldsleep, so send ’em to me, his author, instead.) The clone and I have discussed how to handle the “history” part of the story there, and we’ll probably end up writing a novella about what happened to the Roald Amundsen and its crew (which is an excellent reason to sign up for Paul’s author newsletter: free short fiction). This is a good thing, because we won’t have to figure out where to fit all that into “that novel” without interrupting the flow of the main story or telling about the Amundsen before the reader has any reason to, y’know, care about what happened to it. That’s the thing about deciding when to tell a story: the audience has to have a reason to care, and that means the audience has to be up-to-date on the rest of the story, too. Or something like that. Dramatic irony works only if the audience knows the truth…
I always end up mentioning the birthdays of other fictional people at this time of year, so I may as well do that again… May 17 is the birthday of Michael Delling, who only appears briefly as a friend of the main character in Project Brimstone. I know Michael Delling’s birthday because he originated as one of my characters. (This happens to so many of my imaginary friends… At least Delling doesn’t have to worry about backstory revision giving him a species change. *shakes head*) Anyway. More birthdays. Hrothgar Tebrey’s birthday is June 1, just like his author’s. Daeren Drake’s birthday is July 17. Geoffrey Meeks’ birthday is October 1. I don’t know when Jon Livingston’s birthday is. Or Marlie Carlisle’s. Or Alandra Kade’s. Or the birthdays of several other fairly important characters in my/our fiction. (I’d forget my own birthday if I didn’t know someone who shares it… and no, I’m not joking, or rather, I am joking, but also telling the truth.) I think Alex Walotsky’s birthday is in November sometime, but only because I just now decided that. (He should share a birthday with Mr. Barnes — possibly Dr. Barnes now.) I don’t know when Lynnie Walotsky’s birthday is, though, and the part of me that sometimes likes to imagine an alternate universe where Alex and Lynnie are still together and living in New York City or Boston or someplace feels that it could be important to know things like this.
Conventional wisdom (oh, that again) says that a writer must know details such as birthday for every significant character. Basically, for every character who matters enough to get a name, you’re supposed to know their date of birth, where they were born, how many siblings they have… Bleh. I suspect some of my favorite author didn’t have this information for the main characters in their novels. Sometimes it just doesn’t matter, y’know? I have no idea how many siblings and half-siblings Raven had, although I do know he was the youngest of a fairly large family. But I don’t know his birthday. Or Stephan’s. Or Laurel’s. Or Rodric’s. Or Rowan’s. Or Elena’s. Or Kel’s. (Me not knowing Kel’s birthday is like if Paul didn’t know when Hunter and Ghost’s children were born… And come to think of it, I don’t he knows that, either. Small spoiler alert from Stars’ End: Baby neo-panthers! Dangerously cute!) I don’t know Brennen’s birthday, or Ryan’s (although I suspect someone does), or Leander’s (ditto), and for some characters, it’s not possible to know. Sondra, for example. And Morgen. I do know Lyra’s birthday, because (surprise!) she’s based somewhat on a real person. (The real one is, like my brother, a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism. I cannot express to you how strange it sounds to me, hearing people in the local group discussed by their Society names, especially given what name my brother goes by. Did I mention there’s a Hrothgar amongst them, too? Just a burly pseudo-Viking, though, and I’m pretty sure this one is one hundred percent human — how unfortunate. *weird grin*)
I’m blathering… Too many thoughts in my head, and none of them want to be put into words yet. *sigh* Also, my left shoulder hurts a lot. Probably because my clone’s right shoulder has been hurting so much. (We “mirror.” It’s a twin thing… or at least a latent-telepath twin thing. *shrug*) The weather is unstable, which always causes us pain (probably in part due to overexposure to erratic air pressure conditions when we were young *flips metaphorical bear the bird*), and that leads to, y’know, less putting words into order (although, strangely, it doesn’t have as much effect on my ability to impose order on someone else’s words — I’ve done major editing work while barely able to use my hands due to winter weather).
…The Harmonious Kitty-beast is yargling in the hall, declaring her displeasure at her human-like friend being asleep, so I need to go find some way to distract her before she wakes him.
As you can see from this photo of the Harmonious Kitty-beast, she is a dangerous creature and not to be ignored: