The finish is in sight!

I interrupt this extended blog neglect to say that I am just two chapters away from finishing the first draft of a book I have been working on for over a year!!   Hence my absence from the internet.  I'm focused, people! Focused I tell you.  Characters need to get injured and healed and be heroes and die.  This is the point in every book I write where I begin to feel like the master of the universe I've created. (It goes to my head, a little.) I walk around the house with my hands on my hips and bellow, "I am the CREATOR!!! Worlds begin and end at the behest of my keyboard." At least I bellow in my mind.

The Zombie Apacalypse *contains spoilers*

Apparently everyone is feeling a little extra protective of their brains these days.  There is so much talk of the impending zombie apocalypse that I thought maybe I should prepare myself. 

This is what I came up with (thank you random person for modeling my zombie defense gear).

I posed this idea to some of my brilliant friends (read: appetizer,bait,deterrent).  They suggested my preparation may be a bit short sighted (read: idiotic, naive).  Here's what they came up with instead...

Jenn has already thought this through and a has a zombie-defense closet in her panic room. She says if I want to model her plan, I'll  need a bank vault, a garden hose, steak knife, underwater river, and garlic. It all seems so clear when you lay it out like that.

Renee has outlined a schedule for the event (the main item being the end where we all form a human ring around her).  She even proposes we have a party to celebrate our imminent deaths. I admire her devil-may-care style of dealing with the end of the world.  Well played, Ren. Well played.  
     Side note:  Before agreeing to Ren's plan Jenn feels it is important to know if it will be preceded by an impromptu dance party. That's why I love Jenn; she always knows the right questions to ask.

Chantele is all for the party and even suggested we dress like zombies.'s an oldy, but goody.  You can't disregard the tried and true war tactics when the end of the world in marching slowly toward you with it's hand outstretched.  If this doesn't work, she will throw in the towel and just go with the flow.  The old "if you can't beat em, join em" tactic.  I like Chantele's retro style.

Kasie is low on ideas right now (this may or may not have to do with the fact that her brain is completely wrapped up by the impending doom of her two book deal with Harper Collins which will never come to pass if the world ends).  This probably explains her assertion that "we are all going to die."  

In the end Jenn summed up the situation well when she tweeted: <--ruthless leader of the revolution <--first victim <--have popcorn

She then invited us all to her panic room.  She then uninvited us all to her panic room (true friend).  Which led me to the final conclusion of the zombie apocalypse: <-- last human alive.

A Message to Kasie West from THOR, God of Thunder

"This book, I like it! ANOTHER!!!!!"

 "I must return to my own planet to save my father and do many other Norse-godly things, but I swear to you I will return to read the sequel!"

"The pen is mightier than the hammer, and this book is mightier than them both!"

Wow, Thor sounds just like Harper Teen!  They must've heard how much he loved Kasie West's book and decided to buy it and the sequel. 

Thanks, Thor.

A Character Developing Mother's Day

This year for Mother's Day my son brought home a handmade booklet from school in which he filled in all kinds of information about me. He was right on the basics: eye color, hair color, age (okay, so he said I'm twenty-one, but he's within a dozen years of right). What really cracked me up about this document were all the things he filled in about my favorites, because they were actually all his favorites. It tickled me that he thought McDonalds was my favorite restaurant and Star Wars was my favorite movie.

I do go to McDonalds and I do watch Star Wars, so he definitely knows me, but what he doesn't realize yet is that I do those things for him. This really got me thinking about my characters. I wondered how often I only look at their actions without taking time to develop an understanding of their character.

Sometimes I think I understand a character without developing their backstory (because it never directly comes into the book), but inevitably I reach a point in the story where I need to know that backstory because it affects that character's decisions, outlook, actions, speech, well basically everything. I can't skip character development even when I think it doesn't matter.

I once hear JK Rowling talk about Seamus from Harry Potter. She knew everything about his family and loved his story, though she never put any of it into her books. I also loved that Neville's story was so beautifully woven into the series and just as tragic and triumphant as Harry's, though he was a more minor character.

What do you think? Is it important to know all your character's stories? What about minor characters, do you know theirs too?