Yeah, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged here. Or anywhere else.
Things are going well. I’ve been writing steadily this past week, and it’s going swimmingly well. I’m really, really excited for the novel I’m working on right now! I’m about 12,500 words into it right now, and my only frustration is that I can’t write it down fast enough.
That’s not to say that I don’t put off writing each day. I always tend to put off the things that take real effort, and it really frustrates me. Something personal I need to work on: self-discipline. Well, don’t we all.
English 318 has been particularly motivating. Every time I listen to one of Brandon Sanderson’s lectures, it’s like my fingers start to itch and all I really want to do is sit down and write! He has a lot of really good advice, insightful ideas and perspectives, and it’s just really great to be taking this class from him. This has got to be my favorite class at BYU, hands down.
Well, today we talked about character, and I had this really cool idea to sit down and do an interview with one of my characters, to try and flesh them out a bit. When I got home, that’s what I did–I put myself on the Catriona, the ship he’s flying on, and had a little chat with him.
Of course, I skipped ahead a little bit–this isn’t where the story actually is at this point, it’s where it is in my head–and, well, you probably have no idea what I’m talking about anyways because you haven’t read what I’ve written so far. Perhaps none of this will make any sense. However, it was a fun exercise, so I thought I’d put it up here. Enjoy!
I’m here on the Catriona right now, sitting next to James McCoy on the command bridge. We are somewhere out in deep space, well beyond the heliosphere of Karduna Prime, on our way to the first station of the Karduna-Gaia Nova starlane. Except for the two of us, there is nobody else around for literally millions of miles. James, welcome.
Thanks, Joe. It’s good to be with you.
I know this isn’t exactly the best time for you, what with your brother and sister getting kidnapped and all.
Well, maybe it isn’t, but here you are.
Yeah (after all, it’s not like things are going to get any better for you <cough>). Well, to start off, why don’t you tell me a bit about yourself?
Ok. Um, let’s see…I was born on the Colony, a mining station out in the Trojan asteroids just behind Kardunash III. My mom and dad are space traders–local traders, not the interstellar kind. I have a brother and a sister…
What about yourself? What can you tell me about yourself?
Well…I just finished general schooling at the colony, and was just about to start my apprenticeship with the McLellan family when this whole big mess with the Hameji happened.
What did you want to do for your apprenticeship?
I don’t know…my sister went into communications and programming, and my brother did deep space astrogation and business…I guess he wants to go off and start his own trading business, a deep space trader. But me? I haven’t figured that out yet.
I know the Hameji invasion has been pretty hard on you.
Yeah, it has.
What are you going to do about it?
I’m going to sell this ship, hire some mercenaries, and rescue my brother and sister, that’s what I’m going to do.
I know it does. I know it is. I’m going to do it anyway, though–or die trying.
They say that no captives have ever escaped from the Hameji. What do you think of that?
I’m still going to try. If I gave up now, how could I live with myself? Besides, there are a lot of legends about the Hameji. You can’t trust them all–they’re human beings too, just like the rest of us.
So you’re not worried?
No, I’m worried. To be honest, I’m scared out of my mind. I’m just not going to let that stop me.
So when something’s wrong, you like to take action?
I suppose. To be honest, I never really thought of it that way until the invasion. Then again, I was always the youngest child. Everyone always seemed to take action on my behalf, not the other way around.
How do you feel about being the youngest child?
Well, (don’t tell anyone, will you?), I sometimes feel that I don’t get enough respect. I mean, I’m seventeen years old, I can take care of myself, but everyone still acts as if I’m the little kid brother. My Mom clings to me whenever I’m back home, my Dad always gives the real work to my siblings, Ben always treats me like a little kid…it’s tough. I don’t like being the youngest.
You didn’t mention Estella in that list. How come?
Estella is…well, she’s different. We get along really well. I feel like I can talk with her. Ben is a good brother, and we get along and all, but I sometimes feel as if he looks down on me a little. But Estella, she’s really close. She understands me.
What makes you say that?
She likes to talk a lot. Ben likes to torment the both of us sometimes. I mean, we’re really close to him too (I mean, he’s our brother), but it’s different. Estella used to come to me with her problems while Ben was starting his apprenticeship. She was really scared about graduating and leaving the family. We got really close back then, and I shared a lot with her.
What about before her graduation?
Well, I always felt like I needed to take care of her. She’s my older sister, but back home at the colony, men are definitely the ones who wear the pants. Women can vote, but men do all the dirty work while the women take care of the home. Men are the protectors. I guess that makes me and Ben Estella’s protectors–at least until she finds a husband. If I get her back.
Yeah. . So, how do you feel about your brother Ben?
He’s my older brother. We used to fight a lot, but always good naturedly. He left for his apprenticeship when I was still in my early teens, so I haven’t seen him a whole lot since then. When I have seen him, he always tends to be in charge. He’s gotten a little bossy recently, actually. But I still love him. I’m sure he’s taking care of Estella, whereever he is.
How do you feel about the Hameji?
I hate them. They’re monsters. I wish I could drive them out of this system by myself.
If you could have any wish, what would it be?
To get things back to the way they were before the invasion. I feel like my life just sort of stopped on that day, and I’ve been wandering around somewhere else trying to get back. I hate it. I want my brother and sister back. I want things to return to the way they were.
But if that’s impossible, what will you do?
(long pause). I don’t know. It probably is impossible. But if I can’t get my brother and sister back, I might as well die with them myself.
Yeah. So…life kind of sucks for James right now. Hehe. Sorry, James. My goal with your story is to make the reader cry. Needless to say, things are only going to get more difficult for you.
But one thing I can say is that it will be worth it in the end. At least, I think it will be. I haven’t quite gotten there yet.
Oh, and I can’t have you making the story all boring with your melancholy. You’ll meet up with someone very interesting in a little while. Her name is Danica, and she’s the captain of a band of mercenaries. She’s killed at least half a dozen people with her knife and bare hands, and she’s got a bounty on her head that’ll keep her out of civilized space for many, many years to come.
Oh yes, it will be interesting when you run into her. It’ll be more interesting to see what happens to you both when she becomes your mentor.