Relating To The Players

, , , , ,
kid stuff 1

When I was a kid, I always thought when I became an adult, I would be this all-knowing, mature, cool person. I imagined all the asshole-ness of my childhood would be gone because I would be mature. I thought the ‘underdog me’ and the ‘cool kids’ would finally be on the same playing field.

Adults are just big kids. We’ve learned from our mistakes. I think people learn to suppress past portions of their lives they’d rather not remember. So much suppression is going on in most adults, they actually cause themselves to forget where they came from. They forget the hurt. They forget the feelings of youthful rejection. They forget the innocence and the playfulness. There’s a line in a song by Bob Seger that says, “Wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.” The kid inside never really goes away – people just don’t know the kid any more.

Writing YA is a natural for this team because we remember what it’s like to be a kid. We remember the good, the bad, the hurt, the simple joy. We remember where we came from.

Creating and developing the players in Changers comes from remembering, from never letting go of the kid inside.

 

 

Why Punks?

, , ,
punk right

Why did we decide to use Punks in the story? Why are Punks one of the three main groups of players? Why Punks, of all the groups or cultures to choose from? Why choose Punks?

  • “They were smokers and non-smokers, shy and outgoing, tattooed and pierced…or not. They sat, stood, crouched and knelt on chairs, benches, tables and sidewalks. The group was a family of individuals. Each individual was his or her own person.”
  • “…the dress part is secondary. Punk is attitude. It’s a way of thinking, a frame of mind. Punk is about being an individual. It’s someone with a beef against the profit-driven world. It’s about not buying into society and the quest for money, just for the sake of having more than the next guy. It’s not just a different fad. It’s more like a culture. There’s a reason behind the culture. It’s specifically against doing things to be part of the average person’s idea of normal society. It’s an attitude that comes from inside a person. Dressing punk is a reflection of the attitude.”

That’s why.

A Fun Scene to Write

, ,
chair in the basement

Someone said, “We need to have a scene where Curtis is confronted by the cops.”

All righty then. Best get typing. The players in the Changers saga have to grow as the story progresses. Especially major players. Otherwise, they’d be boring. If Curtis started out as an insecure, weaselly, punk musician, and by the end of the book, he was an insecure, weaselly, punk musician, he’d be a boring player. But if he started out as an insecure, weaselly punk musician, and by the end of the story, he was a brave, confident punk musician, he’d be a badass.

Partway through the beginning of the story, Curtis is involved in two incidents that change his life. These incidents work to shape his thinking and his actions through the rest of the story. The scene mentioned above (where he’s questioned by the cops) takes place after Curtis’s ‘awakening’. An officer visits Curtis at his home and questions Curtis’s involvement in the disappearance of a local girl. In this scene, Curtis strays from what we thought was his comfort zone and makes a few wisecracks to the cop. His demeanor is less reserved, more confrontational. As the reader, you knew he had it in him, but it was repressed. In the scene, Curtis does lean on the security of his parents to a degree, so you can tell he’s not a completely changed person. That comes later.

That was a fun scene to write because we got to start shaping Curtis from nerdy geeky punk toward Curtis the badass. But that wasn’t the funnest scene to write.

Someone said, “We need to have a scene that shows Sol absorbing a human life while Sol is in his jacked up state.”

Oh, this was a fun scene to write. These two little squirrely guys become Changers and decide to cut out of The Underground City prematurely. They end up at Kutch’s house and are tasked with finding a human for Sol to absorb. These two guys, Zack and Rod, are dipshits. They can’t even do this right and they end up causing other problems. So when Rod is provided a human, courtesy of Kutch, to ‘feed’ to Sol, things get messy. After Rod pokes, prods and persuades the victim to get close enough for Sol to absorb, Rod’s task is fulfilled. Yeah, that was fun.

Even a dipshit has his day.

 

 

More Than One Main Character

, , ,
random characters

Can your book have more than one main character? That’s one of many questions we asked ourselves when writing Changers.

A lot happens in Changers. The story is deep. But Changers is not a complicated story. The main player has to make a decision whether to kill the person she loves to save her own life. Nice premise. Scary dilemma. But in Changers, there are other players (teenagers) who have been damaged in one way or another by the shenanigans of the Changers. These other players are trying to find out what happened to their loved ones. Like, why are they disappearing? Why are they still missing? Are they dead?

The teens are frustrated with the adult authorities and their lack of progress in investigating the disappearances. The authorities aren’t coming up with any definitive answers. So the teens decide to start their own investigation. Why not? This being the case, the investigating teens had to have names, personalities and depth. This brought us to our question: Can our book have more than one main character? We decided yes.

As the story progresses, certain players grow and come to the forefront. They take lead roles in their amateur sleuthing. They team with other players, they argue, they fight – anything to find out what happened to their family and friends. Specific players become leaders, and thus, main characters. It’s a nice bonus to the reader that as the story progresses, the teens’ investigation crosses over into the lives of the main character, and vice versa.

So yes, your book can have more than one main character. Changers does. And we’re good with that.

Time is on Our Side

, ,
Time

“He heard the knock on his bedroom door on Sunday morning. His parents didn’t care that he stumbled into bed at four-twenty or so Saturday morning.” Uh what? I thought we were talking about Sunday…

We need a timeline. A physical, drawn out, organized timeline of the happenings in Changers. Too much happens in the two-and-a-half-ish months of this story to not have some kind of timeline.

When you have a story with as many elements as this one has, the days must be correct, the events must happen in the right order, and most of all, THE TIMELINE HAS TO MAKE SENSE. I’ve read too many books that don’t have a clear-cut timeline and it is so confusing.

Luckily, the writers have my help. There hasn’t been a lot to correct but so far, I think I’ve done a pretty dang good job of finding the mistakes in *continuity* (although minor, they’re extremely important).

I swear they roll their eyes a little bit every time I bring something up. They’ll thank me later.

Getting it All Online

, ,
underground

Changers. The book.

We decided to go full force into our previous efforts to create an awesome story.

We’ve written so much that needs organizing. We’ve talked about this story till we’re some-color-other-than-blue (because blue’s so cliche) in the face.

So we have what we think is now a great story. If we didn’t think it was great we wouldn’t be telling it.

A while back, we decided to keep a journal of our progress. Although we’ve been doing that, now is the time to transfer all the time, energy and thoughts to this website/blog. We believe this will be something we look back on and say, “…oh yeah, remember when we wanted to do that?” Or “…uh-huh, that was a stupid idea…” Of course, the stupid ideas are all part of the process.

We hope you enjoy our experience as much as we do.