March 24th, 2011


Loners vs. Leaders in Space Opera

This excellent essay compares "lone hero" characters with "leader" characters, and explores what can be done with them.  Many of these ideas apply outside the target genre, making this highly useful to authors and interesting to readers across a wide range of fiction.

In Torn World, interestingly, we have a mix of characters.  Some are just nice people going about their own lives, such as Marai.  Some are individuals who touch, in small ways, the major events of the world -- such as Kunabei encountering a wraith and thus becoming a priestess.  Some are the true movers and shakers, such as License Master Baison or the ranger Birka, who appear in major events and have strong influence to weild. 

Consider also that we don't have a lot of real loners in Torn World.  Aside from the Purists, the societies just aren't built for that.  Southerners have a highly structured society that regulates many human interactions.  People with many licenses -- or who handle licenses -- have influence.  Compare the overt, legal influence of Bai with the covert, illegal influence of Olarali.  Northerners have a very close-knit society.  Individuals with poor people-skills are likely to become rangers and spend more time away from the village, as Eshra does; or muddle along rather quietly in their village, as Dorje does.  More common and more prominent are people with lots of strong connections, who are skilled and respected, such as Fala and Dlameda.  Fiction offers an opportunity to show how people interact in community and/or on their own.

Torn World Writing Update

Today I went through most of the stuff I wrote for the March Muse Fusion.  The poems "Shrine of the Stone Lions," "Steam Power," and "Cage of Hope" have all been submitted for canon board approval.  The stories "Forbidden Love" and "Scars of Stone" have been touched up and printed out for my_partner_doug to read.  The story "Raining Kittens" is partly written.

This puts the lineup at...

Currently in front of the canon board at Torn World: "Clouds in the Morning," "Cutting Time," "Squiggles: Excerpts from Nleimen's Journal," "One-Tick Literature," "On the Rocks," "Words Between Brothers," "One Toy for Three," "Lookbacks," "The Ties We Twine," (fiction) and "The Sugar Mouse" (poetry). 

Drafted: "Cutting Cords and Clasping Hands" (fiction). 

In revision at home: "Water Dance."  Also "Like Ash Before the Wind" is waiting to be read and revised.  (fiction)

Currently writing: "From Dark to Bright" and "Raining Kittens" (fiction).