30 Days of Writing #18: Favorite Antagonist?

18) Favorite antagonist and why!

I have a perverse desire to give the same answer to this one as I did the favorite protagonist question, since Akane Moroboshi/Radian of Superguy sometimes played the antagonist. And there’s no question she’s in the running, as she was fun to write in that capacity as well. But I think my answer to this one has to be the Creyts brothers, Gordon and Kelly, from Brutal Light.

They’re both dangerous, and mad in counterbalancing ways. Without one another, they would go off into the aether with their own peculiarities, and might be more fun to write in some senses, but less appealing as characters otherwise. Together, they have a sinister dynamic that was endless fun to write.

30 Days of Writing #17: Favorite Protagonist?

17) Favorite protagonist and why!

My favorite protagonist would have to be Akane Moroboshi, aka Radian, from Superguy. She was originally introduced as an ancillary family member for another hero, Rad, and later on got powers of her own. From there, she got into a team series, and then I really started screwing with her fictional life.

What I liked (and still do) about her so much is how perfectly willing she is to not be understood, to remain an enigma in situations where someone else might be trying to explain their actions to avoid sanction and gain forgiveness. (She needed this on a few occasions, such as when she tried to destroy the Earth, see.) Her defiant nature was invigorating to write, and has come up in other characters I’ve written since (notably characters in Brutal Light). I suspect Akane remains my favorite because she is the one through whom I really learned to tap that feeling in my writing.

30 Days of Writing #16: Write Romantic Relationships? What Of The Goinking?

16) Do you write romantic relationships? How do you do with those, and how “far” are you willing to go in your writing? 😉

Romance and sex have been part of many things I’ve written, from some fairly straightforward romantic subplots in Superguy and SfStory, to some partially-to-completely dysfunctional relationships in Brutal Light and True Places. My novels have been more explicit in terms of sex scenage, though I took great pains to have them be part of the story, rather than something that stops the story dead for x number of pages. (Given the nature of these novels, this also means that the scenes end up being very weird and possibly disturbing, and overall not likely to simply take you to your happy place.)

30 Days of Writing #13: Favorite Culture to Write?

13) What’s your favorite culture to write, fictional or not?

I think what is meant by this poorly worded question is ‘what is your favorite culture to have your characters interact with, or relate to, or somesuch.’ To which I answer… um. I don’t think I have one, per se, and I’m not going to make one up to answer the question. I’ve enjoyed spoofing aspects of ‘superhero culture’ and ‘fan culture’ in Superguy and SfStory. I’ve enjoyed having characters discover hidden cultures based on mythic beings in stories like Fabulous Beasts. But… favorite culture? I just don’t have an answer for that one right now.

30 Days of Writing #12: Best Job of Worldbuilding?

12) In what story did you feel you did the best job of worldbuilding? Any side-notes on it you’d like to share?

I’ve in the past not been a disciplined worldbuilder, preferring to feel my way along as I write and see what falls out of my head over nailing things down ahead of time. This has sometimes worked well–in Brutal Light, my answer to this question–but oftentimes it has come back around to bite me, forcing significant additional revision time. I’m working on changing that in my upcoming projects–the short story sequence set in a remote jungle location on what may or may not be another world, for instance, is something I’m very aware I have to put a lot of extra pre-writing worldbuilding effort into. My next novel project, Minions, will also require some considerable forethought, though more of it will be left to ‘discovery.’

That said, I don’t think Brutal Light would have been as strong a novel if I’d tried to get things lined up right at the start. Some projects are just like that. In this case, it was the end result of years of thinking about stories like it, and iterations of working on previous attempts at novels and even some of my Superguy material. It had spent so much time incubating that, had I tried anything like formal worldbuilding, I might never have stopped, and might never have gotten around to writing the actual book.

30 Days of Writing #7: Music While You Write?

7) Do you listen to music while you write? What kind? Are there any songs you like to relate/apply to your characters?

I used to listen to music while writing. In the days when I lived alone, it was common for me to write while a lineup of CDs played in the background. Generally, it would have to be music that related to what I was writing, in tone if not in lyric–in fact, the less distracting the lyrics, the better. It was rare that I would write in silence.

After marrying, I started writing more in the mornings and on weekends, usually without music or any other noise-maker in the background. True, I could have listen to CDs (and now, MP3s) with headphones (or ear buds, now, which I loathe to use), but that, too, is a distraction. Sometimes what I’m writing gets me so wound up I have to get up and move around. And silence, as it turns out, works pretty well for me. Better, I think, than filling the world with noise ever did.

Songs that would usually make it into the background, when I wrote with music, were freuqently ones that applied to characters, or at least what they were faced with. During the time when I was writing a lot of Superguy material, this tended toward the bombastic and over-the-top, which suited the plots I was coming up with just fine. During the writing of some parts of Brutal Light, I favored music that was on the darker edges of elecronica/trance, including discs by Philosophy Major, Massive Attack, and Thievery Corporation. Which is not to say I don’t like a variety of music–it’s just that it’s harder to write some things while jazz music is playing, and harder to write others while bands are rocking out in the background.