I was tagged by
oh no time to write about stuff1. Tell us about your favorite writing project/universe that you've worked with and why.
Currently Messenger/Follower, although I have some other writing projects on the side I pick at now and then. It's my favorite because it's my primary project, and I can (and have) spent a lot of time thinking about little details in the world and stuff like that. Whenever my mind tends to wander off at work or something, I'm usually thinking about something within that universe. 2. How many characters do you have? Do you prefer males or females?
I have a bunch, I don't think I could begin to count because I know I would leave someone out. I have no preference for male or female.3. How do you come up with names, for characters (and for places if you're writing about fictional places)?
I am bad at coming up with names so I usually pick one of two methods:
4. Tell us about one of your first stories/characters!
- Mash some sounds together until it sounds okay and name-y enough
- If I hear a name I like, I try to make note of it and save it for later
When I was little I used to write stories about talking animals in the forest. They went on adventures. 5. By age, who is your youngest character? Oldest? How about "youngest"?
Messenger has a weird timeline, but the youngest character in the story currently is probably Finn. The oldest is probably the old lady from Chapter 6. 6. Where are you most comfortable writing? At what time of day? Computer or good ol' pen and paper?
I like writing at a computer because I can type faster than I can write by hand, so it's a lot easier to get my ideas down more quickly. I feel like I think better late at night, when it's quiet and nothing is happening to distract me. 7. Do you listen to music while you write? What kind? Are there any songs you like to relate/apply to your characters?
I do listen to music while I write. It varies depending on what I'm writing, but I like to try and pick something that suits the mood of the current scene I'm working on. It helps me to block out whatever is going on around and visualize whatever I'm thinking of, kind of like a movie soundtrack. Sometimes I make playlists for a particular story or character, usually just songs that make me think of particular scenes or events in the story, and just let that play through while I'm working.8. What's your favorite genre to write? To read?
Probably sci-fi, to write and to read. I like to read fantasy sometimes, and sometimes I work tiny elements of it into my stories, but I'm very particular about it. I don't really love Tolkien and that kind of thing, it feels really heavy and overwrought to me sometimes, like "here is what an elf is, and you can never deviate from this idea." Conversely, I really like the A Song of Ice and Fire series, because it's sort of lighter on the magic and fantasy creatures and more about "this is what life is like in this world. It's hard and it sucks."
9. How do you get ideas for your characters? Describe the process of creating them.
I usually think of a scenario first, and then work out from there. How would different people react to this type of problem? What would be the most interesting? Then once I've figured that person out, other characters tend to just pop up around them. Once I have an idea of what the character's background and personality are like, their friends and family and other supporting cast kind of just logically fit around them. Sometimes I throw in a wildcard for fun, just some character who doesn't seem like they should fit in at all. Knowing what a character's personality is like is most important to me, I think, because it makes it easier to figure out what their reactions and motivations are.
10. What are some really weird situations your characters have been in? Everything from serious canon scenes to meme questions counts!
I can't talk about it because it hasn't happened in the comic yet. :3
11. Who is your favorite character to write? Least favorite?
Eldora is my current favorite because she has a drive to solve problems, so it's kind of like "go, go, go, get this thing done." Zavier is my least favorite because he's also very motivated but sort of on rails because he won't deviate from it.
12. In what story did you feel you did the best job of world building?
Although it's more of a joint project, I have a lot of writing/creative input on Follower. Delade and I have spent hours and hours and hours figuring out the world for this comic, and I hope it shows in the long run.
13. What's your favorite culture to write, fictional or not?
People on the wasteland after the end of the world. That's more or less what inspired both Messenger and Follower; what would you do if nothing worked anymore? If half the world was destroyed? If everything was in ruins? It's interesting to think about how someone would interpret things from our day and age if they don't have the same context we do, and how they'd solve problems without our basic conveniences.
14. How do you map out locations, if needed? Do you have any to show us?
Sometimes I doodle little maps on scrap paper, but usually I can keep it all in my head. For some of the scenes in Follower, I started building 3D models in Sketchup to use as references and background elements.
15. Mid way question! Tell us about a writer you admire, whether professional or not!
George R.R. Martin comes to mind first. His characters all feel like incredibly real people to me, enough that I think about them for days after I finish reading a chapter or whole book. This has been said all over the internet, but I also really like how he portrays women. They aren't just clever scenery for male main characters, their storylines are equally as important as anyone else's.
16. Do you write romantic relationships? How do you do with those, and how "far" are you willing to go in your writing?
Yes and no. I have characters who are in or are interested in romantic relationships, but it usually isn't the central point of any story for me. It's a background detail, or might be part of a motivation to get a character to do something, but it isn't the story itself. I am pretty lazy about writing this kind of thing, so it doesn't usually go much further than "yep, it's a thing."
17. Favorite protagonist and why!
At the moment? 23-3! We've planned the story for Follower so far ahead that it's exciting knowing what's coming. I can't talk about any of it, but it's been fun to work on, and I'm looking forward to seeing people's reactions to it.
18. Favorite antagonist and why!
As much as I said I don't like writing him a few questions back, Zavier! I have some interesting things in store for him later on in Messenger, which will hopefully be more fun to write when I get there.
19. Favorite minor that decided to shove themselves into the spotlight and why!
I can't say, because this character hasn't appeared yet! (Although they will soon.)
20. What are your favorite character interactions to write?
I like the sibling relationship between Eldora and Finn. It reminds me a lot of my brother and I. There's a lot of space for a range of emotions and interactions; family bonds, conflicts, friendship, and so on.
21. Do any of your characters have children? How well do you write them?
Not at the moment, so can't answer this one.
22. How long does it usually take you to complete an entire story—from planning to writing to posting (if you post your work)?
I originally wrote Messenger as a short novel, which took me around two weeks to do, writing a few pages every day. (Some days I wrote a lot more than others.) I had thought a lot about the story beforehand, so it was really easy to sit down and draft it quickly. If I were writing something of roughly the same length now, without having planned or thought about it as much, it would probably take quite a long time.
23. How willing are you to kill your characters if the plot so demands it? What's the most interesting way you've killed someone?
Messenger is an entire comic about people who are supposed to be dead and don't pass on to the afterlife for whatever reason, so I am willing to kill them off if the situation demands it. I already know who lives and dies, so it isn't really a random thing at all. No one dies in a particularly "interesting" way, at least so far. There are a lot of deaths in swordfights, or combat, or old age. Death happens.
24. Do any of your characters have pets? Tell us about them.
The old lady has Morris the cat.
25. Let's talk art! Do you draw your characters? Do others draw them? Pick one of your OCs and post your favorite picture of them!
I draw all of them because they all appear in my comics. I get tons and tons of drawings of Eldora because everyone loves her the best.
26. Along similar lines, do appearances play a big role in your stories? Tell us about them, or if not, how you go about designing your characters.
Since they're all comic characters, appearance is pretty important. I try to make them distinguishable from each other. There are also a lot of instances where there needs to be a little bit of similarity or family resemblance, which is tricky. I haven't always been the best at designing characters, but it's something I've put more work into in the past few years and I hope it shows.
27. Have you ever written a character with physical or mental disabilities? Describe them, and if there's nothing major to speak of, tell us a few smaller ones.
Hmm, I don't think I have anything that fits this.
28. Final question! Tag someone! And tell us what you like about that person as a writer and/or about one of his/her characters!
If you're reading this and you write at all, it is now your duty to fill out this meme. Enjoy!