This is just nice.
This is good.
This is Gordon Ramsay at his best.
Hey! He didn't speak English!
* * *
Had to wash dishes, so I plugged in the portable CD player and listened to Kerry Livgren's Seeds of Change while I did. Very nice.
When I look at the science fiction I've written, I have to shake my head, because Kerry Livgren's music turns out to have had a GIGANTIC effect on it. I'll be listening to this or that song, and suddenly I'll realize, "Holy shit, so that's where I got that idea...!" The final book set in that universe makes it obvious by taking the title of a Kansas song, almost verbatim--I did decide that I'd change the preposition, though only recently, from "of" to "in". Even so.
Really trying to kick back into writing mode, because I want to get AV done, so I can get to work on rewriting Book #3. But I find myself wanting to reread it, again and again.
When I think about writing, and storytelling, I don't really think about having dynamic characters. Some stories need their characters to change during them; but by and large SF doesn't seem to work that that--at least, the stuff I read doesn't feature them. The characters don't change.
How, for example, does Harry Dresden change over the course of Storm Front or Winter Knight? Over the course of the series he changes, of course, and the Dresden of the former novel is not the Dresden of the latter--but he does not change in single novels, not much. And the characters in Heinlein's novels don't even change that much. The Lazarus Long in Methuselah's Children is the same character in Time Enough For Love.
In general, a lot of these characters undergo external changes. Louis Wu gets turned into a Protector, then gets turned back by an almost-magical nanotechnological autodoc that was invented by his grandfather, Carlos. But Louis Wu himself doesn't change; he doesn't grow or become wiser or anything--he's the same Louis Wu he was at the beginning of Ringworld.
And there's nothing wrong with that. People do not readily or easily change.
In $Release_Candidate_One the main character changes over the course of the story. The change is gradual and he doesn't notice it, but when he finally returns to his homeworld, he's a different person than he was when he left, and I try to make sure that the reader understands that change by then. It was necessary. A guy who's been wandering around on planets with fusion-age technology suddenly thrust back to a world that runs on steam--there will be a bit of culture shock even if (or maybe especially if) that's where he started out.
In AV, none of the characters are dynamic...except one, and it wasn't until my most recent read-through that it occurred to me what was going on with her. So, score one for me, I suppose, though I didn't do it on purpose.
#3's main character will be dynamic, and not just due to external things. He needs to start out cynical, but gradually recall his faith as the story progresses, so that at the end his actions make sense. At the same time there are other factors that need to balance correctly; and there's some useless shit that needs to be chopped right out of the thing. It's not going to be easy to write, for a whole slew of reasons.
But that's later. First up is finishing AV; and I need to get after that, dang it.
If I can just get myself kickstarted....