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I don't understand authors who say that their plot bunnies “run away with them,” or that their characters have “minds of their own” and won't do what they say. Stories are not living entities that can argue with you and change direction on their own. Fictional characters – no matter how vibrant and well-realized – are still just mental constructs. Everything your stories and characters “do” is a product of your own mind.

That's not to say my characters aren't “real” to me. Alexandra is sometimes frighteningly real inside my head – I know her better than I know many non-fictitious acquaintances. I know exactly what she looks like (the artwork I and other people have created comes close, but I have never been able to perfectly capture the mental picture in my head on screen or paper), I know what her voice sounds like, and I know all kinds of details about her that will probably never appear in my stories, because they aren't relevant. Like her favorite color (yellow), and her very first fight with Billy Boggleston (he tried to cut in line for the swings). I know that she read Twilight, and she thought that Edward Cullen was creepy, and she wished the bad-guy vampires would just eat Bella.

Twilight Sucks

But anyway, Alexandra doesn't talk to me (which is a good thing, because I don't think she'd be very happy with me), or decide what she's going to do in her story.

That doesn't mean that my story meticulously follows the outline I've written, though. Because that's where writing discipline comes in – and I don't have a lot. Talent? Maybe. Discipline? Not so much. My chapters tend to multiply, like greedy amoebas swelling larger and larger as I feed them more words, until the one chapter I planned splits into two.

And for the first time, I have a new character who thinks she has a mind of her own: running amok, chewing up scenery, and demanding more lines every time she shows up. Now, she's still doing what she's told – she has a role to play in the story, and it's not changing. But she needs to behave and go back into my little mental construct-box and stop stealing word-count.

So, besides that little bit of teaser, do I have anything else for you? Why, yes, I do:

Music and Art!Collapse )

Last post for a while -- have some pics

I'll be in a secluded top secret location over the summer. Okay, not really. But I will be preoccupied with other things, which means no time to play with Poser and Photoshop. (But don't worry, I'll still be writing in my spare time.)

But here are some rough drafts of scenes and characters from AQ3. (Some people doodle on sketchpads; I doodle with pixels.) Enjoy!

Sneak previews in mangled pixel formCollapse )
And that's it for teasers for a while. Have a good summer!

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