Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Beast Guardian

Beast Guardian ~ Novel (2006)
Enough of all the monster hunting; why can't we all just be friends? So thinks Garren, self-proclaimed Beast Guardian extraordinaire! Where there's a Hunter, Garren will be close behind, rescuing the creatures of the night from persecution. Its not that he condones hunting human flesh- monsters just need a little love (and possibly a relocation!)

Monday, December 26, 2011

101 Projects for Artists and Illustrators

Don’t know what to do with your extra time? There are plenty of odd jobs and tasks that an illustrator can do in between assignments. If you’re looking for some inspiration, here’s a long list of projects, ideas, and necessary chores to help make your free time more productive.

Tell a Story
 Many images are used to help a narrative, and as an illustrator it is important to keep developing this skill in your off-time.
  1. Make a book cover for your favorite classic novel.
  2. Create a series of illustrations that show the passage of time.
  3. Illustrate a song.
  4. Make a narrative advertisement for a soft drink.
  5. Illustrate your favorite childhood memory.
  6. Make a children’s book spread for a fairy tale.
  7. Illustrate the four seasons.
  8. Why did the chicken cross the road?
  9. Make a series of black and white “chapter” drawings for a novel.
  10. Retell a short story in graphic form.
  11. Create a theater poster for a Shakespearean play.
  12. Create a series of illustrations that shows a person aging.
  13. Make an instructional poster for a favorite recipe.
  14. Illustrate a day in the life of a cat, dog, fish, or monkey.
  15. Make a picture book dummy.
  16. Illustrate the seven days of the Creation.
  17. Interesting stories to consider: The Odyssey, the Bible, Aesop’s Fables, Edgar Allan Poe, Shakespeare, nursery rhymes
  18. Make a magazine cover for a current news story.
  19. Illustrate a famous historical event from: 20 years ago, 100 years ago, 1000 years ago, Prehistoric times
  20. Illustrate family life in the future, at least 100 years from now.
Academic Exercises
Time to get back into the classroom! Refresh your skills every now and then so you don’t lose sight of the basics.
  1. Make an illustration influenced by your favorite illustrator.
  2. Paint a landscape with only three colors.
  3. Create a painting in a medium you’ve never used before.
  4. Study and draw figures from each source: Bridgman, Vanderpoel, Hogarth, and the masters
  5. Make an abstract painting.
  6. Paint a self-portrait.
  7. Create a full painting in 30 minutes.
  8. Draw a figure in: 1 hour, half hour, 10 minutes, 5 minutes, 1 minute, 30 seconds.
  9. Fill a page of your sketchbook.
  10. Create two versions of the same painting — one with warm colors, one with cool colors.
  11. Sketch in a public place.
  12. Paint a traditional still life.
  13. Paint the same still life in your illustrative style.
  14. Read a book.
  15. Watch a movie.
  16. Read other artists’ thoughts.
  17. Watch how other artists work.
  18. Take a class, if there are any available in your area.
  19. Research a particular era, artist, or style and create a few paintings influenced by it.
  20. Take a trip to a zoo or aquarium to sketch animals from life.
Practical Projects
Don’t let the promotion and organization of your business get pushed aside.
  1. Create a series of spots to use on your website.
  2. Make an illustration for a postcard.
  3. Design a new logo for yourself.
  4. If it’s near the holidays, create a Christmas card to send out.
  5. Create a Thank You card to send to clients.
  6. Draw a self-portrait in your illustrative style to use on your promotional materials.
  7. Create a business card.
  8. Make a small sampler, such as a booklet, that contains your artwork that you can use to give to prospective clients.
  9. Create a piece of artwork to enter into a competition.
  10. Take a moment to archive your traditional paintings through scanning, digital photography, or slides.
  11. Backup your digital files to a disk, hard drive, or server.
  12. Create sample sheets of your artwork that art directors can file easily.
  13. Update your website with new artwork.
  14. Work on creating samples for styles, markets, and subject matter that you are lacking in.
  15. Create stationery for your business.
  16. Make computer desktops or e-cards to distribute on your website.
  17. If you are a children’s illustrator, create some coloring pages for your younger fans.
  18. Create a fresh, new illustration to be used in a sourcebook or other advertisement.
  19. Clean your work area.
  20. Catch up with your paperwork.
Creative Exercises
One of the hardest tasks that illustrators have is to stay fresh and original. Use your free time to keep the creative juices flowing.
  1. Design a character for a book/movie/tv show.
  2. Draw a caricature of your favorite movie star.
  3. Illustrate a fortune from a fortune cookie.
  4. Create an illustration that integrates your name.
  5. Make an album cover for your favorite band.
  6. Create a modern movie poster for your favorite classic movie.
  7. Create a classic movie poster for your favorite modern movie.
  8. Design a creature that is a combination of at least two different animals.
  9. Design a car from 100 years in the future.
  10. Paint a landscape painting of an imagined land.
  11. Draw a treehouse. Include as much detail as you can.
  12. Draw 50 thumbnail sketches of the same object.
  13. Make an illustration for each month of the year.
  14. Design a deck of cards.
  15. Make up your own fairy tale land and characters.
  16. Research and draw characters/objects/settings from: the Mob, the Middle Ages, the Samurai, a Pirate ship.
  17. Draw a monster a day for a month.
  18. Illustrate a song from the Sixties.
  19. Create illustrations of current events and topics such as global warming, airport security, new technology, or education.
  20. Illustrate a stereotype.
Online Communities
These are resources I have found across the internet that will help you grow as an illustrator.
  1. Participate in Illustration Friday.
  2. Create a Moji.
  3. Start a blog.
  4. Help other artists who ask for critiques of their work.
  5. Join an artists’ forum and participate in discussions.
  6. Find and study online tutorials.
  7. Look at other artists’ work through portfolio sites and blogs.
  8. Subscribe to Drawn!
  9. Subscribe to Lines and Colors.
  10. Listen to what other artists have to say through podcasts.
  11. See what other artists’ like on de.li.cio.us and StumbleUpon.
  12. Contribute to the ThreeThumbsUp Gallery.
  13. Read EmptyEasel.com.
  14. Check out AmateurIllustrator.com.
  15. Join a community like the Little Chimp Society or Illustration Mundo.
  16. See the point of view of an art director.
  17. Stay up to date with your industry: SI, SCBWI, GAG, IPA
  18. Find illustration competitions.
  19. Online portfolio sites: Portfolios.com, iSpot, Illoz.com, childrensillustrators.com
  20. Read book reviews: the Sandbox, Fuse #8
And Last But Not Least…
  1. Subscribe to DaniDraws.com for illustration tutorials, videos, and more great articles like this one. ;)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

You Too & Stuff

You Too & Stuff ~ Novel (2011)
Conley Elliot would die before admitting he liked a boy. In fact, he did. And now that his unfinished business needs a bit of finishing (or else,) Conley's got no choice but to admit that he really REALLY likes Spencer. But even if he could fess up, what good could come from admitting he's loved and lost?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Touching Down

Touching Down ~ Novel (2009)
How much do you need to know about a person before you can consider them a friend? For two mascots from rival high schools, the answer may depend on what's underneath the garish colors and bulbous plastic heads.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Dance Winter Sky

Dance Winter Sky ~ Inkling (2011)
Children born on the leap year have a special ability- they're the only ones in the world who can find The Hidden Land, a world beyond the realm of life and death.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Crackalicious ~ Comic (2009)
Quite simply, Crackalicious is complete crack, and it's delicious. This is a no-rules everything goes stick-figure-esque comic drawn in whatever media Paradox Found and I have on hand. Our story is stream of consciousness and the characters are equally as insane.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

American Sake

American Sake ~ Comic (2006)
Lobo Wolfgang, an average American (wolf) transmute, is charged with the task of keeping the pieces of his large family together after his parent's mysterious death. Stressful, but not so stressful as when he inherits the family business and discovers a secret that could change the lives of transmutes forever.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Art Memes

Expressions and Body Language



Other Stuff

Sunday, December 18, 2011

How often do you think about writ­ing?

The easier question might be when DON’T I think about writing, to which the answer is… Um, never? Probably when I’m concentrating on work? Maybe?

I always think about writing, to the extent that I quite easily identify it as obsession. Everything I do, everything I see, everything I hear, I always end up asking myself “How can I use this?” “How can I make this better?” “What is the most entertaining part about this?” “What happens when I try to stuff it into such-n-such world?” “What character of mine would most likely say this?”

The questions go on and on and on. My gears are always turning and the only thing that drives me insane about this is that I can’t find anyone else to talk to about it. More than anything I want to find at least one person who is so blatantly obsessed as I am so that we can ramble on together and help develop each other’s ideas and relate to someone.

I’ve come across a few individuals on the internet who are very likely in the same category of “storynut” but I want to find someone I can actually interact with on a daily basis. Face-to-face.
In the meantime, I’ll have to settle for the one-way road.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Best source of inspiration?

The best source of inspiration is any source of inspiration, I always say. However, my most reliable source of inspiration would be my dreams.

Usually I get an idea from somewhere- anywhere. Something I see, something I read about (odd newspaper articles mostly) and then I just let my brain sit on it for a while. Then, eventually, these things start to collide while I’m dreaming, and voila! I get the premise for another story I want to write.

Actually, it’s been happening so frequently lately that I’ve started to pick up short-story writing simply so I can use them all. It’s hit or miss, but sometimes I get something fantastic. It’s just a matter of write write writing every day until a gem appears.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Have you ever written a character with physical or mental disabilities?

Yes, I have but it’s usually pretty limited because it’s so hard to write. This is largely because I’m fortunate enough to be healthy myself, and my friends are as well. As a result, I have little experience in dealing with disabilities and therefore don’t trust myself to write it effectively.

I have one character who lost his leg in an accident when he was very young. By the time the story opens he’s already largely healed from the trauma and learned how to live with his condition, so the story doesn’t actually focus much on that aspect of his life. I chose to give him this condition for metaphorical reasons rather than drama.

As for mental disability, one character of mine is a blatant sociopath. However, he’s only affected by this in the beginning of the story, since the turning point is that due to supernatural reasons he’s given a conscience, and thus the rest of the story is about him dealing with the horrible things he’s done to others in the past, their reactions to that, and his mission for self-redemption.

Other than that, I haven’t really dabbled too much in disabilities. I’ve toyed with addiction before, mostly side characters who are alcoholics or have the desire to quit smoking or are dependent on some medication. Recently after reading Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I’ve become interested in asperger syndrome, but I don’t know if a character will come out of it yet.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Do appearances play a big role in your stories? How you go about designing your characters.

A big role? Not generally.

Since I like to write a lot of action sequences, my main characters are usually pretty fit so that they can reasonably handle the torture I like to put them through. A character of mine is usually only exceptionally good looking if there’s some kind of story construction behind it (or if my target audience expects/demands it.) The same goes for a character that isn’t attractive.

My view on the issue is that characters all start in the same place “average” and according to the story’s need, should be adjusted. I try not to waste time on descriptions that aren’t going to be used later on, so I generally let the audience fill in the gaps with their own defaults, which likely makes the character more likable in the long run.

At some point, I almost always draw my characters. This is when I work out details such as particular hair-style, specific fashion notes, certain facial features and body proportions. Then, depending on what I come up with there, I can go back and edit written details later.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How will­ing are you to kill your char­ac­ters if the plot so demands it?

I’m extremely serious when it comes to character death.

When a reader picks up my story, I feel like I enter into a contract with that reader. In exchange for their time and attention, I will provide them with a satisfying experience. These satisfying experiences come directly from my characters and the situations they’re in. By killing a character, I kill an opportunity to transmit certain experiences to the reader, and if this is sloppily done, the reader will be unsatisfied, the contract will be void, and they are free to stop reading.

There is almost always a better method to transfer an idea to the reader than killing a character. The sense of loss can be felt through interrupted relationships, injury, separation, missed opportunity, mistrust, and denial. The sense of futility can be felt though powerlessness, destruction, restriction, and oppression. If I kill a character when there’s a different, possibly better way to get the same reaction from the reader, then I will consider myself a failure if I chose the easy way out.

Because "the easy way out" is usually what character death is. If I get a character deep into a heaping pile of stinky poo, then it’s my responsibility as an author to see them through to the end. The audience has pledged me their trust, and if I let the character die, I let the audience die, and no one wants to feel that kind of betrayal.

Exceptions do not exist; however, character death can be a useful tool. I reserve death almost exclusively for side characters who are used as a catalyst for the main character’s action. The death of a main character can be useful in certain stories, but my personal preference is to save that for short stories, where the reader doesn’t have to devote as much time and emotional investment.

It’s tricky and, in my opinion, extremely easy to screw up. My question ultimately is this: Why kill a character when there’s so many options worse than death?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Echo Bazaar: A Trade in Souls 1, the Regretful Soldier

I happen to know a man who, perhaps, knows too much. Given the circumstances, it would be unwise to record his identity, so for the purposes of this recounting I shall refer to him as the Regretful Soldier.

The Regretful Soldier is, so far as I’ve been able to deduce, a warm-hearted citizen of the Neath. Due to this unusual quality of character, I’ve taken an interest in him despite my misgivings with attachment. I have…not a “weakness,” but an “affection” for those who genuinely care. Consider it a vein of romanticism that I’ve been unable to quash, despite Fallen London’s abrasive nature towards such things.

The details of the Regretful Soldier’s tale are not the focus of this document (for that, see ‘Neathy Secrets’ compendium- section 4, sub-section 23.) This is actually the recounting of my own story, which was born from the need to find an acceptable ending for the Regretful Soldier’s nightmarish tale.

Let me say, I have never held a firm interest in the Brass Embassy’s affairs, but on this particular account regarding the Regretful Soldier, I must weigh in. It is the unfortunate consequence of the Brass Embassy’s interference with my respectable companion’s life that I must interfere with the workings of the Devils, but let it be known that I hold no personal grudge against Hell’s operations. This is, you could say, a quiet, professional disagreement.

I plan to set forth and investigate the Soul Trade, and through that investigation I will recover the Regretful Soldier’s long-lost wife’s soul. I will not stand idly by and watch him suffer any longer in his old age. For all the man has been through, he deserves to die peacefully, with his beloved by his side and with his kind heart intact.

The Regretful Soldier is unaware of my operations. I prefer to keep this foray into the Soul Trade as clean as possible. In the event that I disappear, may these documents assist whomever is willing to help recover my own lost soul.

~Shar d’Ney

Monday, December 12, 2011

Echo Bazaar: A Trade in Souls 2, Sour Elizabeth

The Flit is a cesspool of lurid information, and it took less than half a peach-brandy to hear of a sudden increase in Soulless among the Flowers. I couldn’t help but cringe. Flowerdene Street is a grim, unclean place that never seems to lose the overwhelming odor of bat guano from the rookery. It had been some time since I last visited.

It was at the Flowerdene Rookery I managed to uncover a stray scrap of paper, wedged between two uneven stones. A soul contract, likely left behind by one of the Soulless who had already forgotten the significance of anything material. This, of course, was not the contract belonging to the Regretful Soldier’s wife (it was, after all, a transaction that took place decades ago,) but it did contain the name of whatever Spirifer took this particular unfortunate soul.

Whether it is one or several Spirifers operating under this name does not matter. He, she, it, or they go by the name ‘Sour Elizabeth,’ a phrase that I’ve overheard whispered between the “patrons” of Spite. I also happen to know that I can learn more of Sour Elizabeth at Ladybone’s Road…

~Shar d’Ney

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Echo Bazaar: A Trade in Souls 3, A Shepherd of Souls

Sour Elizabeth, it turns out, is female after all, but I would hesitate to call a creature such as herself a ‘woman.’ Women can be devious and even downright malicious, but still I don’t consider them soul-sucking monsters of the Neath. Not quite like Sour Elizabeth, at least.

It turned out that Mr. Chimes had recently taken an interest in Sour Elizabeth. Why, I cannot say, other than the fact that Mr. Chimes seems to have a morbid fascination with the deranged. It is fortunate that Mr. Chimes has also recently taken an interest in myself (though I would hardly consider myself derange. It is more likely for the fact that I simply know how to know anything… a useful skill, I admit.) It proved easy work to enter the House of Chimes and lure her into one of the private chambers.

I daren’t report too many details on her appearance here, other than the note that such a malevolent individual can’t help but reflect such a horrifying disposition on her features. It’s a shame, really, since it made the initial seduction into a private space all too simplistic. It had apparently been quite some time since she’d gathered any form of positive attention from a man.

Once the door was properly secured and the key tucked deep into my cloak, I revealed what I knew of her and how I planned to destroy her lively-hood should she not offer the information I required. Had I not known what fiendish crimes she persistently committed since years previous, I might have felt pity for the wilted creature.

Unfortunately, she knew nothing of the Regretful Soldier’s wife. However, she did offer to buy my silence with her current brood of souls which she had not yet sold to the Devils. I accepted the deal, naturally, and I must admit I was shocked at the enormity of her reaping. 120 souls, neatly bottled and packaged in crates, locked safely away in a warehouse in Spite. I would have never guessed one individual was capable of such monstrosity.

Despite such apparent evil, I felt (and still feel) that it is not my place to pass judgment on any individual. As such, when the transaction was complete, I let her go on her way without harm. My goal is to recover the Regretful Soldier’s wife with as minimal attention as possible. Should a Spirifer of Sour Elizabeth’s caliber suddenly go missing, it would surely be noticed. I can trust that she will remain silent on my involvement, else she suffer greatly at the hands of the Constables.

As it turns out, none of the 120 souls belong to the Regretful Soldier’s wife. But looking upon their sad faces, drifting aimlessly within their dusty bottles, I cannot bare to simply leave them like this. I fear I may have to return them to their rightful owners, or otherwise risk a guilty conscience for the rest of my life…

~Shar d’Ney

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Echo Bazaar: A Trade in Souls 4, The Committee for Vital Restitution

Curse my need for peace of heart! Plenty of methods are available to me for peace of mind, naturally. I can easily think of a hundred reasons why I should not interfere with the destinies of these lost souls. The Soul Trade is a protected economic function of Fallen London, protected by the Constables, encouraged by the Masters, and ignored by the Church. But even knowing this, my heart simply will not rest until I see this affair to the end.

They moan. And I cannot sleep.

Given the authorities’ disposition toward the Soul Trade, I must turn to sects that hold alternative political standards. I’m well known among the Revolutionaries, so a few inquiries to the right ears turned up a secret extremist faction of the Church called the ‘Committee for Vital Restitution.’

My stance towards the Church is about as neutral as my stance towards Hell. Truth be told, I hold an equal distaste for both. So, it could be said that my desire to meet with the Committee for Vital Restitution is another quiet, professional interest.

Unfortunately, I have been unable to dig up any tangible information on how to find this committee. The Constables’ investigation is leading no where, so from this point I will have to pick up my own leads. My followers and I will be keeping our eyes and ears open for more clues.

~Shar d’Ney

Friday, December 9, 2011

Do you draw your char­ac­ters? Do oth­ers draw them?

I draw my characters all the time and I absolutely love it when others draw my characters too. A good number of my stories are presented in comic format, so the character is always described visually in those cases. But even for stories that are meant to be written, I draw the character.

Drawing helps me figure out more about the character. It makes you think differently. Through drawing, I learn the specifics of their appearance. Do they have a prominent chin? How wide are their shoulders? Do they wear earrings or other accessories? What about facial hair? Body language, habits, economic status, social status, education, occupation- all of that can be depicted visually, so I consider drawing my characters to be an extremely important part of my process.

It’s also great for inspiration. When I get down on my story (and we all have those “this sucks” moments) I can look at my drawings and feel recharged. It’s also a great way to get others excited about what you’re working on. A good illustration from a story is one of the best ways to sell an idea since people can take in so much more information visually.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Do any of your characters have children? How well do you write them?

Oh snap, not many of my characters at all have children. Let me ponder this…
I’ll restrict it to main characters (parent side-characters don’t count) and that leaves me with, I believe, one character of mine who has canon children. Kieran from Raise Holy Hex is a child in the first story, in the second story she’s a teenager, and in her third and final story, she is a mother of three (one daughter and twin boys.)

Due to my extensive babysitting experience, I like to think I’m pretty good at depicting children in my stories, though these particular children haven’t been written yet. It’s not the children that make me nervous though- it’s the mother-child relationship that I’m hesitant to write.

Since I’m not a mother, the closest experience I have to mother-child relationship would be with my pets. (When I say mother-child relationship, I place the perspective character first. So a character with the perspective of a mother would make it mother-child, as opposed to my experience with my own mom, which is a child-mother relationship.) Children are not pets. And babysitting isn’t exactly a good basis for mother experience since being full-time responsible for children is, I imagine, so much more complex.

Perhaps that’s why I’ve only plotted the third story rather than sat down to write it. Kieran’s relationship with her children is very important to that story.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tell us about one scene between your characters that you’ve never written.

Okay, there is no situation between characters that I have actively avoided writing. If the story leads there, I write it. So I’ll interpret this question as “a scene that you’ve planned for a story but have not yet written.” Because I’ve got lots of those!

One scene I haven’t written yet is the climactic moment in story “Bound” where the heroes confront the big baddie and pull a classic switcharoo on the audience. I plan for the audience to think that the characters have lost, when it turns out that the main characters have not only deceived the audience, but the people the big baddie is controlling. Then it’s revealed to the reader that the main characters outsmarted the baddies and now have usurped the power.

It’s an epic fight scene with the heart of a shonen comic, complete with explosions and likely some swearing. Pretty fun.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

How long does it usu­ally take you to com­plete an entire story?

Depends on several factors: my interest, time available, if I know the ending or not, desire, deadline, length, and which draft stage?

If I had to give an average, my long stories take about a year to complete. Usually I spend a few months and get down the whole first draft, and more often than not that’s where it remains. I have too many ideas to dawdle on one for too long. Occasionally I come up with something I like to see through to the end so I do a couple more runs on it.

I don’t generally write my stories for publication. I do it because it’s insanely fun to do. My stories could almost be considered my journal. Through my characters, I can explore all kinds of situations that I want to better understand. The stories that I come up with often reflect something that’s going on in my life at the time. A friend of mine passes away, I write a story about the afterlife, exploring people who are left behind, and the attempt to get them back.

Almost never do I notice the link between a story I come up with and what’s going on in my life at the time. It’s not until years afterward when I look back on it can I notice where the story came from. At the time of a story’s creation, it’s just me writing down whatever I find most interesting. If I leave a draft alone for a couple years after I’ve written it, I can come back later and figure out what it was I was trying to say with that story, and then it can be rewritten into something worth sharing.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Do any of your characters have pets? Tell us about them.

Pets almost always don’t play a prominent roll in my stories. In my experience, they tend to get in the way. If a character of mine has a pet, I forget that it’s there half-way through the story and then have to figure out what the heck is going on with it later. A lot of my stories involve travel of some kind, so a pet generally gets in the way of a character’s ability to follow routs I want to take.

The exception to this is when the pet plays a story role. For example, Garret from My Sylvan Weed has a pissy black cat that he doesn’t get along with. Later on in the story, the reason for this interaction is discovered and eventually rectified. The relationship between Garret and the cat is a basic reflection of other relationships going on in the story. These are the kind of things I like.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

What are your favorite character interactions to write?

Quite easily, my favorite interaction to write is argument.

Story has no purer form than an argument. One character wants something, the other character wants something that conflicts. Arguments are intense and can be depicted in so many different ways.

Arguments change depending on their context. A pair of lovers will bicker differently depending if they’re in a restaurant, at their in-laws, or home alone. Best friends have different kind of weapons against each other than strangers do. They can be completely cool and cerebral, or physical and heated.

I love arguments because they often represent turning points in stories. When two characters argue, it means they’re finally addressing something that is not working, and the outcome of the argument could affect every event that comes afterward. Characters are defined in arguments- they all have different tactics, morals, lines to cross and are willing to cross. Characters and readers alike learn from arguments, and a well-constructed confrontation can be extremely entertaining to follow.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Favorite minor character that decided to shove himself into the spotlight.

Syaoran, hands down.

Sy was a minor character that appeared about thirty pages into the story. He’s a shy, kind individual with a twisted past. He wasn’t particularly good-looking or talented, or even particularly useful, but for some reason beyond my knowledge, the main character Raz hit it off with Sy and since that point they became the dynamic duo right to the end of the story.

What I love about Sy is that his movement from minor to major took me completely off guard. I had entirely intended him to be a fleeting moment in the background, but somehow he just clicked. His story wasn’t over yet, and better than that, his story perfectly intertwined with the main characters.

I like him because he’s got some controversial themes surrounding him. First of all, Sy’s gay, and before I wrote Sy I didn’t much dabble with gay characters. It’s not a focus of his character, just one of his many elements. His character also deals with abuse and how to overcome it. That’s his primary character point and with him pushing his way into the main cast, it altered the course of the story dramatically. It was really fun.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Favorite antagonist

FF, I love all my antagonists… I… I love badguys.

A favorite? How about I talk about my favorite type of bad guy to write. I love to write bad guys who have no conscience. Every time I create a character like this, I try to depict it in a different way.

Bade is completely suave, but prone to sudden violent outbursts. He also tends to be impulsive and particularly cruel, but his overwhelming amount of charisma has given him a powerful following which makes him even more dangerous.

Allan is the mad-scientist type. Extremely intelligent but without any social morals- a dangerous combination for anyone who happens to fall into his clutches. He’s the bad guy who’ll smile politely while he opens your skull with a chainsaw.

Xer is quiet and calculating. There’s something eerie about him, but the main characters dismiss the oddity due to cultural differences. Not until it’s too late do they find out that Xer is seriously capable of anything because he simply doesn’t value human life. Unlike Bade and Allan, Xer prefers to keep his hands clean and instead wages psychological warfare while his underlings handle the less pleasant tasks.

Please don’t think I’m crazy, though. These are bad guys, after all.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Favorite protagonist

I have a whole bunch of favorites. Actually, as a rule, my protagonists are always my favorite character of the story because if I don’t care about the character, my reader wont either.

I have a particular affection for badasses- specially female badasses. I know this contradicts my tendency to have male characters, but seriously, can anyone deny a Sigourney Weaver? I think not.

Of my female-badass collection, favorites depend upon my mood. I have different shades of badassery. There’s the girls-with-guns, robbers-in-ribbons, the classic-tomboy, the undercover-chick-discover, kills-in-frills, hot-but-horrifying, the curt-flirt, bombshell-with-actual-bombs, famous-n-dangerous, among others…