Of Androids

Not too long ago, I created a character for my Apocalypse story who was an old Android. Built in the 1930s, he had become a private detective, with all the standard fashion choices that go along with that line of work. And he was blue. I named him Asta, after the little dog in the Thin Man.

I liked the character, and everyone who read the story seemed to like him. But I’m cutting him out of the story as I’m revising it. He ended up being a plot device as much as anything else, and the story is pretty complex as it is, so I feel like cutting him out is probably the best thing for that particular story.

But, as I said, I really like the character and the concept. He’s been around virtually unchanged for decades, and he’s steeped in the paranormal just enough that I can tell pretty much any story I want with him. I’m aiming for a Wolverine or Conan effect, whereby you can tell any kind of story you want, any time period, with what is essentially the same character. Just think about those characters a bit and it makes sense. They were crafted to be always commercially viable. Need to tell a pirate story? Guess what, Conan was a pirate for a few years before he became a general, then he was a mercenary, then a ranger on the frontier, and then he was a king. Robert Howard did a great job ensuring that he’d always be able to use Conan if he needed, depending on the theme of the magazine where he wanted to publish. Wolverine has the same deal going for him. He was a special ops soldier, a ninja, a samurai, a space-faring super hero, bar room brawler, or anything else you need. And since his age is largely indeterminate, you can jump around in time without losing believability.

Anyway, I’m still working on getting Asta’s voice and personality down, so when given this exercise, I used it to write a little Asta story.

The exercise: Use the following words in your story–project, sit, red, camera, start, change, nothing, fly, table, danger, see, left, care Continue reading Of Androids

Floren Avenue

This wasn’t particularly original on my part, but it was a lot of fun to write. Back when I worked at the Denton Record-Chronicle, we always had a blast mocking the realtors for whom we had to make so many ads. Now the realtor character has become one of my favorites to parody. If you like this you’ll love Kris Straub’s Ichor Falls webcomic over at Halfpixel.

The exercise was: Use these three things in your short story or scene: a young woman, a silver chain, terror.

Continue reading Floren Avenue

a writing sketchbook