What it means when I start building character family trees …

My new project has gotten larger in scope, and I am currently working on constructing a family tree for my main character.  The last two times I planned out family trees, the project turned into a novel.  I suspect the same thing is happening here.

I am working my way through the Snowflake Method to do the top-level planning for the project, and the one-paragraph summary for step 2 looks like novel material.  I am a planner, and one of the things that I like about the Snowflake Method is that it helps me get a handle on the scope of a piece.  I also like it because I end up with a list of scenes to write – almost a writing to-do list.  And I love lists!  More, I love crossing things off lists.  So the prep work is totally worth it for me.

Do lists work for you?

Apollocon 2013 Report

I just got home from Apollocon 2013, which I consider my “local” science fiction convention.  I’ve been going for a number of years, and I always enjoy it.  As usual, I wished I could borrow Hermione’s time turner so I could attend multiple panels at the same time.

I enjoyed all the typical con things: meeting other authors, expanding my thinking on various issues at the panels, and coming home with new books and a list of more books and blogs that I want to read.

One of the neat things about this particular con is that because it is in Houston, home of NASA/Johnson Space Center, it has some great space science presentations and panels.  This year, the highlights for me were:

– Dr. Paul Abell‘s presentation on the Chelyabinsk meteor that exploded over Russia in February (the audio recordings of this thing are just amazing)

– Astronaut Stanley Love‘s presentation on searching for meteorites in Antarctica (with lots of observations about the physical space spent on logistics and time spent on non-science work which are as invaluable to science fiction authors trying to get it right as it is to NASA mission planners)

– Dr. Paul Abell, Dr. Al Jackson, and Dr. Stanley Love’s panel on Planetary Defense and the work being done to find and categorize near earth objects with the potential to impact our planet and cause local to knock-us-back-to-the-stone-age destruction as well as the work being done to find ways to prevent such an event from occurring should a NEO be found that is predicted to impact the Earth

Of course, I am fascinated by meteorites, so I enjoyed all these talks immensely.

But even if one is not fascinated by meteorites, these guys make their subjects compelling.  I highly recommend going to one of their talks if you ever get the opportunity.

I Write Like

I ran across a post on Will Wheaton’s blog where he ran the text analyzer on I Write Like on his writing and it told him he wrote like Cory Doctorow.

So, of course, I had to see who I write like.

The result:

I Write Like. Analyze your writing!

I didn’t recognize the name, but I did recognize this awesome graduation speech he gave at Kenyon (full version here).

Now I want to read one of his books to see if he writes like me.  😉

I tried the text analysis on another story of mine, one where I had intentionally tried to write in the style of P. G. Wodehouse.  I got the same answer – David Foster Wallace.  But apparently Wodehouse is not in the database.

Who do you write like?