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Starships and schoolgirls

Not to be confused with "School Girls and Mobile Suits", the seminar about anime going on at MCAD this weekend.

Blathering about writing follows...

I haven't felt very inspired to write lately, what with being ill, though I have managed to do a little work on Blood Red Skies every day of this past fortnight. Some of it's fairly trivial stuff - sticking all the scattered bits into the main narrative, writing down the titles of all 26 chapters, thinking about more of the underlying history...things that don't seem to contribute much to the word total, though when all is said and done they'll actually make the writing flow easier since I'll have a better idea of what my characters would say and do. If nothing else, it has brought home to me how little I've actually written of this novel...the page count comes to 25 single-spaced pages in Word, which isn't even enough to make a decent novella.

For a while I was wrestling with the character of Tetsuko, Reiko's little sister. Tetsuko has problems, since she decides on impulse to follow her older sister into the Fleet and realizes too late that unlike her sister, she doesn't have anything like the training and discipline that made Reiko so successful. By then, of course, it's too late: she's just good enough to make it through training, but not good enough to fill her sister's shoes. The weight of others' expectations doesn't help, and for a while I was considering writing her as if she was Nanami Kiryuu, but that particular shoe doesn't really fit too well. Part of what's been blocking me is that I was seeing Tetsuko as a whiny, petty brat, and I hate writing about those as much as I hate listening to them, so that wasn't going anywhere. What I need to do is sit down and work through Tetsuko's personality, because I have the feeling I'm not being fair to her, and until I figure her out I won't be able to do anything with her. Reiko and Julie are a lot easier to deal with, as are the supporting characters, so if nothing else I can peck away at their scenes and build them up into chapters.