i really should have posted this last week in order to capitalize on the small bump in traffic afforded by a guest post on Q’s site, but if i had that kind of forethought and agility, i wouldn’t be me, and this would site would be called mikerocksatwriting.
Notwithstanding what the voices in my head tell me, i really haven’t been slacking off all this time. i’ve actually been trying to focus on some work. Q, my brother, and i have been working on creating a card game in the hopes that we can market it through some back channels that we have open to us. While it’s been a slightly painful process to iron out, it’s also been a good deal of fun, and i think we’re really close to a working prototype.
i’ve also been focused on my characters for Venus. They really are the most important part of any story, and the more i understand that, the more i worry about the ones that i’ve created. This is one area where my propensity to distract myself with ‘tips and tricks’ really gets the better of me, and while i keep telling myself that i need to just get on with it and write, i’m terrified that i haven’t built my characters enough to serve the writing like they should.
Lately, however, i discovered a neat little trick that has not only helped me, it’s injected a lot of FUN back into my writing. A gentleman that i follow on twitter, mr. nate cosby, is an ex-comic book editor and now comic writer. He’s been posting these short character monologues, usually for well known comic characters. What i love about these little snippets of character is how much voice and personality can be packed into just a few sentences. And, as sure as anything, when i started to use this same method on my own characters, i suddenly discovered their passions, their histories, and their points of view. i’ve decided that i’m going to post these monologues for the next few weeks, covering all of my major characters.
First up is Sarah, the over-critical, motherly member of the crew of The Pope Of Fools. i hope you enjoy!
I did everything they wanted me to do, though it was never good enough. I took the piano lessons and the ballet lessons and the tutoring job. I pushed myself in school and and life, as hard as they wanted and beyond. It would be petulant and adolescent for me to say that I hated every minute of it, but I always felt like I was doing it for reasons outside myself.
I believe it was the math that saved me. I discovered algebra when I was 11 (two years before my peers) and I understand it for exactly what it was: Man’s method of communicating with the universe. I could see the patterns in life, and I started to see the seams. Everything was an algorithm: predictable and programmable.
When I wasn’t accepted into Harvard Medical down on Earth, it didn’t surprise me. I knew the math, and maybe I stacked the equation. My parents, however, were crushed. Life in their house quickly unravelled, and I ran away with my piss-off-daddy boyfriend. We ended up crashing in a Wavefinder commune where it was all free love and government vegetables until the Flippers came around. They were the militant ones, the ones who bombed gaming server farms and burned down auto-coffee machines and handed out illegal cream-filled pastries. They needed a programmer, and while I didn’t know the languages, I knew the math.
I spent 6 months running with the Flippers. The things we did I will not admit to anyone outside of my own head, but by the time I walked away I made enough money to put myself through a decent school. I did that and graduated, but the past caught up to me before the ceremony. I skipped it, and ran into Eddie at the docks. I needed a ride; he needed a pilot. Done and done.