[8:20:08 AM] Steven F. Killen: Yeah, cans are fun, but blerg at 8am
[8:20:30 AM] Steven F. Killen: This is the first morning I have even tried to wake to an alarm since mid June.
[8:20:54 AM] Steven F. Killen: Which resulted in waking-up hallucinations
[8:20:59 AM] Steven F. Killen: woohoo
[8:21:01 AM] Vanessa: O.o
[8:21:29 AM] Steven F. Killen: You know, that temporal half-light where dream rules still hold but reality intrudes?
[8:22:06 AM] Vanessa: Only happened to me when I was pregnant, I must admit. I usually wake up like a shot.
[8:22:28 AM] Vanessa: So was it like, you started speaking to something that wasn't there, and it took you a while to realize that dream rules didn't apply?
[8:23:08 AM] Steven F. Killen: It is more like bent notions of reality--weird "true" suppositions about the world
[8:23:18 AM] Vanessa: Dude once, I dreamed a stranger got into bed. And I was laying there wondering if I needed to call Tim. I was wide awake by then, but I still thought a stranger was sleeping next to me.
[8:23:33 AM] Vanessa: Like what?
[8:23:56 AM] Steven F. Killen: like the existence of "temporary time," which could be administered under the skin or through the eyes
[8:24:11 AM] Vanessa: Whoa, I want some of that.
[8:24:15 AM] Steven F. Killen: No shit, eh?
[8:24:22 AM] Vanessa: Can you use that in your writing?
[8:24:29 AM] Steven F. Killen: I ought, I really ought.
[8:25:47 AM] Steven F. Killen: My attempts (what we will call for what they are, bullshit) have just been scratchings and meandering that doesn't represent any perspective of reality, because I had no clue where to start the thing, or from whose eyes
[8:25:57 AM] Vanessa: Short story material, that time stuff. :P
[8:26:19 AM] Vanessa: Does the story you're stuck on revolve around a concept, setting, character...?
[8:26:54 AM] Steven F. Killen: Well, it's Maroon, but I was taking another swing at the initial planetfall
[8:27:48 AM] Steven F. Killen: and so I was trying to construct the reasons why they were there in the first place--who arrived
[8:28:37 AM] Steven F. Killen: I've been rereading the Aeneid (Humphries transl.) and it occurred yto me that it has a decent structure, so I supposed they were refugees
[8:28:54 AM] Vanessa: Always good to go with the Aeneid.
[8:29:03 AM] Vanessa: So do you have an Aeneas?
[8:29:07 AM] Vanessa: Or is this Dido?
[8:29:36 AM] Steven F. Killen: which took me way into the woods concerning motivation, but also settings. Too high-technology.
[8:30:03 AM] Vanessa: That's why you wanted to fast-forward it, yes?
[8:30:35 AM] Steven F. Killen: yeah, the story needs to start post-Fall
[8:30:45 AM] Steven F. Killen: so they're good and screwed
[8:31:04 AM] Vanessa: Do they even care if they're screwed anymore? Are these descendants?
[8:34:53 AM] Steven F. Killen: Our Aeneas is a she, a "moonrat," a daughter of Titan, and they are thieves who stole the Vindulan, who took the space of some of other occupants in stealth and steered it their own way
[8:35:16 AM] Steven F. Killen: I think I need to go 1st gen still, but after the crash, so they don't have technology to rely on
[8:35:45 AM] Vanessa: Is she your main point of view character, or do you think she's too big to see through?
[8:35:47 AM] Steven F. Killen: our Turnus then is inbuilt, drawn from the two social groups of passengers
[8:36:36 AM] Steven F. Killen: I have some pre-Fall eyes, but I think now that I am working after the crash I can give it an earnest go
[8:37:13 AM] Vanessa: What are your main points of view?
[8:37:17 AM] Steven F. Killen: So:
[8:38:14 AM] Steven F. Killen: Jedda, our Aeneas, young, commanding, decisive, and eager to start fresh
[8:38:34 AM] Vanessa: What's Jedda's character arc? What will she learn and how will she change?
[8:40:49 AM] Steven F. Killen: Largely, she must atone for the sin of her people, and merge the two groups into a viable colony built on cooperation and trust; many of the social elements the moonrats fled are present in the remaining settlers' worldview
[8:41:19 AM] Steven F. Killen: they stole the berth of some 200 citizens to escape otherwise total destruction back on Titan
[8:41:54 AM] Steven F. Killen: total seed population ~1000
[8:42:01 AM] Vanessa: That doesn't answer her personal arc, though. That's what she does, but not what she learns about life or herself.
[8:42:16 AM] Vanessa: What about her needs to change in order for her to accomplish this?
[8:43:48 AM] Vanessa: Usually the young decisive commander changes when she realizes she doesn't have all the answers. That she needs more wisdom.
[8:44:08 AM] Steven F. Killen: She needs to see two things: a) that there is no longer an enemy except survival itself, and b) she needs to accept that the rules are different on this world
[8:44:21 AM] Vanessa: Those are both really good, with lots of story potential.
[8:45:03 AM] Vanessa: What you'd want to do with those is ask how they can happen. Think of several scenarios, each building into the conclusion she has to make. Then you'd want to do the same with your other POV characters, if you feel they need character arcs.
[8:45:24 AM] Vanessa: You might find something you like in places they intersect.
[8:45:47 AM] Steven F. Killen: Start by highlighting the pre-understanding actions she takes
[8:45:59 AM] Steven F. Killen: throw some shit at her to make her wake the eff up
[8:46:38 AM] Steven F. Killen: I have a Turnus who will help her along with that
[8:46:50 AM] Vanessa: Yeah, tell me about Turnus
[8:47:03 AM] Steven F. Killen: good old Dissident Dan
[8:48:04 AM] Steven F. Killen: He is one of the ones to suspect the stolen identities, but he is not listened to at first
[8:48:08 AM] Steven F. Killen: his motivations:
[8:49:07 AM] Vanessa: Is there a Lavinia they fight over?
[8:49:24 AM] Steven F. Killen: a) to right the wrong done to his now long-dead compatriots, and b) to vie for leadership of the colony
[8:49:40 AM] Steven F. Killen: I hate that so much, the Lavinia angle
[8:49:52 AM] Steven F. Killen: (as much as I adore Butler's treatment of it!)
[8:50:12 AM] Steven F. Killen: The mantle of leadership itself is a worthy prize
[8:50:47 AM] Vanessa: So Lavinia is leadership.
[8:50:56 AM] Vanessa: Which is really all Lavinia ever was. The right to rule.
[8:51:02 AM] Steven F. Killen: ::nod::
[8:51:42 AM] Vanessa: And his tragedy is that his character does not learn nor change, yes?
[8:51:59 AM] Steven F. Killen: despite his best intentions
[8:52:52 AM] Steven F. Killen: he is too much a skeptic to accept the awakening of a different reality--the use of magic, both in tactical situations and politically
[8:53:17 AM] Steven F. Killen: clinging to his notion of reality in the face of evidence is what gets him killed
[8:53:54 AM] Vanessa: What other POV characters do you have? With which ones are you floundering? It seems like you have a good notion with these two.
[8:54:11 AM] Steven F. Killen: Talking with you is what cemented them TBH
[8:54:48 AM] Vanessa: Talking it out is awesome with anyone, srrsly. I wish Tim would do that more when he's stumped. He just floofs around.
[8:54:53 AM] Steven F. Killen: I guess I could go down the line, find a Pallas and a Latinus
[8:54:57 AM] Steven F. Killen: etc.
[8:54:58 AM] Vanessa: Absolutely.
[8:55:46 AM] Vanessa: How about you do that--find character similarities (or, like Lavinia, situational ones). Decide who changes, and why. Create your scenarios for Jedda and company, and see if you can't make yourself a stronger outline than you have now.
[8:56:00 AM] Vanessa: I'll look it over and ask questions.
[8:56:11 AM] Vanessa: That way you have a specific assignment and someone to give it to.
[8:56:34 AM] Steven F. Killen: ok, I'll get you a dramatis personae and outline by Friday?
[8:56:56 AM] Steven F. Killen: will try to get wordcount back up to snuff as well
[8:57:00 AM] Steven F. Killen: woefully behind
[8:57:16 AM] Steven F. Killen: but I accept that grad school is going to murder that at this point
[8:57:37 AM] Vanessa: Yeah. Summer's the good time to do this.
[8:57:46 AM] Steven F. Killen: eyes toward November!
[8:57:49 AM] Vanessa: And maybe write in the morning? That'll give you a reason to wake up. :P
[8:57:53 AM] Steven F. Killen: heh.
[8:58:04 AM] Vanessa: And train your mind to get alert faster.
[8:58:26 AM] Vanessa: Maybe wallow a bit in a sleep free-write. I do that. Eventually it turns readable.
[8:58:30 AM] Steven F. Killen: Yeah, it'll be good to get into work mode before the start of the school semester.
[8:58:50 AM] Steven F. Killen: only a month, now.
[8:58:58 AM] Vanessa: I'm so glad you have a job that isn't as menial as the vet one.
[8:59:05 AM] Vanessa: Something that's hard but also stimulates
[8:59:31 AM] Steven F. Killen: Going back over the Aeneid is now both work AND pleasure
[8:59:41 AM] Steven F. Killen: because it's no longer just for me
[8:59:44 AM] Steven F. Killen: it's for my kids
[8:59:58 AM] Vanessa: *grins*
[9:00:06 AM] Steven F. Killen: they are all such angels
[9:00:11 AM] Vanessa: I have to admit, it's affecting what I'm writing.
[9:00:15 AM] Steven F. Killen: even the one who threw atemper tantrum mid-class
[9:00:36 AM] Vanessa: I'm glad you're enjoying them
[9:00:40 AM] Steven F. Killen: the work environment, you mean?
[9:01:01 AM] Vanessa: Nah, the Aeneid. Well, the Illiad more. I'm writing about a city that's destroyed at the end.
[9:01:06 AM] Steven F. Killen: ah, nice.
[9:01:10 AM] Vanessa: Although it's also Byzantium.
[9:01:26 AM] Steven F. Killen: yeah, it's a solid character story, the Iliad
[9:01:31 AM] Steven F. Killen: great lesson in story tellings
[9:01:40 AM] Steven F. Killen: woe, woe, to Sarpedone
[9:01:48 AM] Steven F. Killen: *Sarpedon
[9:02:00 AM] Steven F. Killen: and those who scrabble just to get his body