Why “The Love Interest” Is a Boring Character

Do I hate love? Am I cold, dark hearted person?

Or is it that the “love interest” is a boring character in fiction? Specifically, the “Satellite Love Interest” trope is a character who exists solely in reference to another character as a cherished love object. In fact, the “Satellite Love Interest” could often be replaced with a bag of flavor blasted goldfish and the plot wouldn’t be affected much. This is similar to the sexy lamp test.

A satellite character is one whose sole purpose revolves around another more interesting, more significant character.

Does this mean that I am saying romance shouldn’t be a part of fiction? Absolutely not. What I am saying is that a character is more interesting if they are well developed and complex in their own right, and don’t depend on another character for their relevance.

EXAMPLES OF SATELLITE LOVE INTERESTS:

[Spoilers Included. If I list something you haven’t watched/read yet, feel free to skip past to avoid spoilers.]

[Disclaimer: The critique of the characters in the live action shows and movies mentioned is not a critique of the actors who play these characters. I’m sure these actors are all fine people.]

The Prince from Snow White:

This dude shows up at the beginning of the film to be all pretty and charming. That’s about it. Then he disappears for most of the film and returns at the opportune moment to wake Snow White up from her poison apple induced food coma. Rumor has it that Prince Charming had a larger role originally, but the animators were struggling with animating a human male.

Bella Swan from Twilight:

Bella Swan is a unusual example of the Satellite Love Interest being the main character of her own story. We don’t learn much about what her life was like before she moved away from sunny Arizona to rainy, emo Washington state: a place full of foggy montages and sparkly forests that echo with the sounds of early 2000s indie rock. That’s because all that matters is Edward, the most handsome vampire who ever handsomely handsomed into existence.

Bella easily makes friends at the beginning of the novel (because everyone loves her for inexplicable reasons), but then she dumps them all to be with the only person in the universe who matters—Eddie Pants. Her entire life soon revolves around Edward, to the point where she goes catatonic when he leaves her. She jumps between being Edward or Jacob’s satellite love interest throughout the series. Edward and Jacob could easily have been fighting over a bag of flavor blasted goldfish, because Bella had that special blood that made her a delicious snack.

Luke Bankole from The Handmaid’s Tale TV Show

Luke Bankole is the husband of the main character, Offred. He escapes Gilead and makes it to Canada. There he pretty much exists to pine for Offred, to be in her flashbacks, and to flail around (like one of those car dealership blowing floppy guys) in multiple attempts to be helpful that don’t end up panning out.

When Shows Try to Keep An Unnecessary Love Interest Character…

Laurel Lance/Black Canary from the show, Arrow:

In Arrow, we see Oliver Queen pining for Laurel while he’s stuck on the island (he’s stuck so long on that island). However, in season 3, the show writers make a sudden, and unexpected shift to the “Olicity” track, where they ship Oliver away from Laurel to the quirky, perky, blonde and nerdy Felicity Smoak. Many people believe that this was fan service, as fans found Felicity more interesting than Laurel.

After shipping Felicity with Oliver, it seemed the show writers didn’t have much they could do with the character of Laurel/Black Canary, since her original purpose was to be a love interest. So they kept finding contrived reasons to keep her relevant, including having Laurel die but then come back as an evil version of herself from another universe (I’m not even making this up).

However, I will say, some fans grew to like Black Canary in later seasons as the writers attempted to develop her into a more complex character. I stopped watching by season 6 because the show writers kept turning everyone Oliver met into a superhero. That boy had a superhero STI that affected everyone he touched, but that’s a story for another post.

Iris West Allen from the show, The Flash:

If you look on Reddit and Quora, there’s a lot of people who were not a fan of Iris West Allen, the love interest of Barry Allen/The Flash. In a show full of super heroes and super geniuses, Iris West Allen doesn’t really seem like she has a reason to be there. What makes her special? She writes an online blog?

Some people might say a character can still be interesting even without super powers and super intellect. And that is true for her father, Joe West. He’s likeable in the sense that he has life wisdom, street smarts and a sense of humor that dissolves tension. But unfortunately for Iris West Allen, she’s not even likeable.

Her catchphrase, “We are the Flash,” is cringey and reeks of entitlement. She routinely insists that she’s always right (when she happens to be in a room full of geniuses with super powers and multiple PHDs). Many people believe the writers put her into the position of authority over Team Flash simply because they had nothing else to do with her.

EXAMPLES OF INTERESTING LOVE INTERESTS:

I don’t want to be only negative, so I’ll try to point out some interesting love interests as well. I think the reason why the following love interests below work is because they are an integral part of the story, and couldn’t easily be replaced with a bag of flavor blasted goldfish.

MJ (played by Zendaya) in MCU’s Spiderman

MJ overall received positive reviews as a a strong, supporting character. She’s smart, snarky and interesting whenever she’s on the screen. She also helps Peter, Ned and Doctor Strange capture multiple super villains. She’s intelligent enough to feel like an organic part of the team (she is a soon to be student at MIT after all) and she has personality quirks that make her unique and yet sympathetic. She struggles with disappointment, and often avoids getting excited or happy about things so she won’t end up disappointed. I think many people can relate to that (myself included). And importantly, she is likeable!

All of the Love Interests in the show, Ms. Marvel

Ms. Marvel has received overwhelmingly positive reviews so far. It is a light-hearted, fun show about a teenage, Muslim, Pakistani super hero. She actually has multiple love interests in the show (which seems normal for a teenage girl).

First, there’s her loyal, nerdy sidekick Bruno. While Bruno obviously has feelings for Kamala Khan, she is oblivious to his attractions. This is a tale as old as time. Bruno is stuck knee deep into the friendzone. But he still tries to help her when he can with his technological innovations and moral support.

Then enters the tall, dark and handsome Kamran as the new kid at school. Kamala immediately becomes interested in him (why wouldn’t she?). He’s even willing to offer her driving lessons, which is a plus. But soon it becomes clear that he’s giving her attention because he wants her to help his mom, who happens to be a jinn. I think more than being handsome, he has an interesting background story and ends up being likeable. He takes a moral stand against his jinn mother, who is trying to make a portal that could destroy life on Earth.

The next potential love interest we meet is Kareem, a masked fighter who is a legacy crime fighter associated with The Red Dagger. So far he seems mysterious, and I definitely want to learn more about Kareem as the show progresses.

Mike in Stranger Things

Mike is Eleven’s love interest in Stranger Things. Yet more than being a guy she pines for, he is “the heart” of the team as Will states in a platonic (but not so platonic) speech about Mike in Season 4.

Mike is likeable as a loyal friend and a loyal boyfriend. He experiences some doubts about himself from time to time, but ultimately pulls through at the end of the day to help his friends.

Links

Sexy Lamp Test

Satellite Love Interest (TV Tropes)

Predictions for Stranger Things Season 5

Stranger Things season 4 has broken several Netflix records. It was the biggest premiere weekend ever for an English-language TV show on Netflix with 286.79 million hours viewed. It was the first season to reach #1 in 83 countries on the Netflix Top 10.

Season 4 (in my humble opinion) was the best Stranger Things season, and perhaps even one of the best shows currently on television. Each episode (which was over one hour long) was like it’s own movie. And the final episode, being 2.5 hours, was really a feature length film.

And now, of course, there is much excitement about what’s coming next.

See some predictions below.

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VECNA IS INJURED BUT NOT DEAD

A concrete law of any death on television is that if the body is missing, the person is not really dead.

In the “final” showdown between Vecna and the Steve/Nancy/Robin teenage trio, Nancy takes a shot at Vecna with her sawed off shotgun and blasts him through the attic window of the Creel house to the ground below. However, when the kids all run outside, Vecna’s body is missing.

It was also established in season 4 that Vecna was ultimately the puppet master in control of the Upside Down (so Eddie playing Metallica’s Master of Puppets on guitar was a nice tie in). Once Will realizes that One/Henry/Vecna is in control of the Upside Down, he says that he can feel Vecna’s presence. He feels this presence toward the end of the season 4 finale, when they discover rotting flowers and a strange dust filling the air.

It is most likely that Vecna is injured, but not dead. He’s biding his time in recovery before he sends his armies through the cracks he created between the Upside Down and the regular world.

EDDIE COMES BACK AS A VAMPIRE

A community manager for Wizards of the Coast made a very well written post on Reddit about the striking parallels between the plot of Stranger Things and the story canon of the D&D universe. Henry/One/Vecna of Stranger Things follows much of the storyline about Vecna from D&D, including the fact that he knows peoples’ darkest secrets.

Thus by following D&D lore, one may be able to predict the plot of what is to come in Stranger Things season 5.

There is a popular theory proliferating on the internet that Eddie is going to come back as a vampire.

In the D&D universe, Vecna has a resurrected vampire lieutenant named “Kas” who ultimately betrays him in the end.

At the end of season 4, Eddie gets bitten by demo-bats and dies. However, a vampire is technically dead themselves. They die before being resurrected back to life. So, there may be a chance that Vecna resurrects Eddie to serve in his army. And given the popularity of the character Eddie, the creators of the show may potentially resurrect him as fan service.

WILL HAS POWERS

While season 4 is arguably one of the strongest Stranger Things seasons yet, one complaint I saw among many fans was that Will was effectively side-lined this season.

However, I will say with all the different characters and plotlines going on, I think it would have been difficult to give Will more air time.

The show did heavily hint that Will had feelings for his friend Mike. This was very obviously suggested when he painted a picture of Mike, seemed embarrassed, and then said Eleven “basically commissioned it.” Yet, in the first episode of season 4, Eleven says that Will is painting something and she doesn’t know what he’s painting. There was also his speech he gave about what “Eleven” feels about Mike, which people are saying is what Will actually feels about Mike.

So there is much discussion over that plot element. However, something else that is interesting, but lesser discussed, is the theory that Will has powers. This theory is potentially supported by the fact that Will was stuck in the Upside Down for a week and survived without Vecna draining him and stealing his mind like he did to his other victims in season 4. There is also the fact that Will has a mental connection to Vecna.

There is also the interesting fact that the Upside Down resembles Hawkins from the day Will entered into it. One will notice in Henry/One/Vecna’s flashbacks about first entering the Upside Down, that it looks like a completely alien landscape with no resemblance to Hawkins. So there is a suggestion that Will actually changed the reality of the Upside Down and that he has the power to change reality. Some people say this is why Vecna didn’t treat Will like his other victims, he may have been scared of Will’s power.

VECNA WILL RE-ENTER THE WORLD THROUGH MAX

In the final episode of season 4, we see Max comatose in the hospital. Eleven tries to make mental contact with her, but when she enters Max’s mind, Max doesn’t seem present. Thus, there is a theory that Max will exist as an empty vessel for Vecna to enter into in season 5.

For more theories check out the link below:

Stranger Things: 10 Fan Theories About Season 5, According to Reddit (Screen Rant)

Is Vecna From Stranger Things Gay?

Vecna above having a hot ghoul summer.

For those of you watching Stranger Things Season 4, you’ll recognize Vecna above as the lich lord esque villain living in the Upside Down who causes his victims to go into a trance.

SPOILERS COMING! WATCH OUT!

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As the show progressed through Vecna’s background story, we discovered that he was actually One (or Henry), the original child involved in the clandestine experimental program for psychic children that Eleven was also part of as well.

As Henry is describing his childhood to Eleven, he told her that his parents saw him as “Broken,” and they kept trying to change and control him and couldn’t accept him for who he really was.

After murdering his family, Henry was sent away to a place that was specifically designed to experiment upon young kids and force them to suppress their instincts and conform to strict rules.

Vecna talks much about the oppressive norms of society, norms that try to bend people into something they are not.

Also, just in terms of the way that the actor Jamie Campbell Bower portrayed Henry, it seemed to me that there were subtle hints that he was gay. But maybe I am reading too much into his role?

However, I’m not the only one who thinks this.

Stranger Things’ Vecna is the queer icon you didn’t know you needed (Digital Spy, 7-5-22)

Is the Actor Who Plays Vecna Gay? (Netflixdeed, 7-8-22)

What’s Going to Happen in Stranger Things Next?

Predictions For Stranger Things Season 5 (Stories From Tomorrow)

New Guidelines to Join the SFWA

The SFWA has recently simplified their membership requirements. It seems they are trying to open up their resources to more writers.

Their old requirements involved pay rate, advance amount, and date of publication. They also kept track of markets that were recognized as paying appropriate rates. Previous sales requirements were at $3000 for a novel, or three or more short fiction pieces at 8¢ a word.

Now the new sales requirements are much simpler. One must earn $1000 or over on their work to be qualified for Full Membership. Or they must earn $100 or more to qualify for Associate Membership.

See the new requirements here.

SFWA: Tired Disability Tropes In SFF – Do Better

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association recently released an article about tired disability tropes. It’s a great resource for those who want to include disabled characters in their stories.

Why write about disabled characters? For for the same reason you would include any other character, because disabled people are a part of the world. Their experiences, their stories, and their representation matters.

However, there are many times people write about a disabled character who has a gift so powerful that their disability is functionally erased and they might as well not even be disabled at all. 

Read the SFWA article here for more information

Twilight Batman Mostly Works – Review

You’ve seen goofy Batman (Adam West), sophisticated Batman (Michael Keaton), campy Batman (George Clooney), gritty Batman (Christian Bale), and grumpy Batman (Ben Affleck).

Now in 2022, director Matt Reeves brings us emo Batman!

When I first heard that Robert Pattinson of Twilight fame was going to play the Batman, I struggled with the announcement.

Apparently I wasn’t alone. The 2019 announcement of Robert Pattinson’s casting was met with a wave of criticism by franchise fans. Over 6,800 people went so far as to sign a petition urging Warner Brothers to reconsider. Others, including Jimmy Kimmel, jumped to his defense.

For me, it was difficult imagining Robert Pattinson in a role that wasn’t a tortured emo goth. And after watching 2022’s iteration of Batman, I came away saying, “Yup! He’s still a tortured emo goth! But you know what? Oddly enough, it kinda works.”

In the three hour slog of dimly lit darkness that was the darkest darkness that ever darked, I got strong Twilight vibes from Pattinson’s portrayal of a reclusive, brooding Bruce Wayne who shunned the limelight to skulk in the shadows—a Bruce Wayne with a guyliner heavy aesthetic the likes of Brandon Lee’s The Crow meets My Chemical Romance. But hey, Batman didn’t sparkle! So that’s something.

As someone who grew up watching the 1990s animated series, with a gothic, dark, somber, serious, tough and joyless Batman, Robert Pattinson’s portrayal more or less worked for me. Sure, this Batman was ’emo,’ but he was also menacing. He didn’t hold back his punches as Gotham’s ‘Vengeance.’ And the people he rescued seemed just as scared of him as the criminals he thwarted.

SPOILERS BELOW THIS LINE!

WATCH OUT!

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Paul Dano’s Incel Riddler:

Paul Dano’s portrayal of an internet troll Riddler with his own horde of online followers ready to commit violence was something fresh, creepy and yet relatable for our time. Far different from Jim Carrey prancing around in a lime green onesie in Batman Forever, Paul Dano wears thick glasses, a home made mask, and terrorizes the citizens of Gotham with his Tik Tok esque videos. His boyish face and genuine mental illness (the likes of 2019’s the Joker) adds a creepy realism to him that made my skin crawl.

Zoe Kravitz Nails it as Catwoman

Zoe Kravitz was originally denied the role of Catwoman in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises for being “too urban” — in other words, for having dark skin. That was definitely their loss!

Zoe Kravitz did a great job of bringing the dangerous, simmering sexuality of Selina Kyle to the screen. While she gets saved by the Batman once or twice, she’s definitely still capable of holding her own in a fight. And yes, she has lots of cats.

Some critics say there wasn’t much sexual chemistry between Catwoman and Batman. I didn’t mind. Batman doesn’t have to be sexy. He just has to be a somber, frowning, vengeance machine in a cape and cowl. He’s lowkey attracted to Catwoman. But it’s clear that crime fighting is his first love, so he doesn’t have much room in his life for sex or romance.

Thinly Veiled Allusions to Today’s Political Reality

In the Batman universe, you have a billionaire saving the day while the people who want to overthrow the corrupt elites are the extremist bad guys. Seems like quite the plutocratic message, no?

This was why The Joker made in 2019 was revolutionary. The Waynes are actually the antagonists, while Joaquin Phoenix’s emaciated and poverty riddled Joker is shown in a sympathetic light, even if he does end up going off the deep end.

Matt Reeves’ The Batman doesn’t go nearly as far as The Joker in showing Gotham’s wealthy elite in a critical light. But it does it more so than other Batman movies in the past. Catwoman states that Batman “must be rich,” because he moralizes to her from up high on his pedestal.

One thing that was interesting about this movie is that it takes a look at the corrupt actions of Bruce Wayne’s father, while past movies have largely shown the Wayne family in a positive light.

In the end of The Batman, the protagonists are people who are trying earnestly to do their best in a corrupt system, despite the fact that reform seems like it will never come. You see this with the Batman himself, along with police commissioner James Gordon, and Bella Reál, who is running for mayor with the slogan, “Change for Gotham.” I definitely got Obama vibes from her slogan. And I suppose that allusion to the Obamas was no accident, because the actress who plays Bella Reál, Jayme Lawson, was a young Michelle Obama in The First Lady.

Bella Reál is running her campaign in a stadium that gets flooded by water (along with the rest of Gotham). The stadium becomes overtaken by the Riddlers’ army of masked internet dorks. They have given up on trying to attempt reform within the system. They just want to destroy Gotham and its elites overall, thinking it is too corrupt to be saved.

As Bella Reál’s campaign gets overtaken, you get the vibe that all hopes for reform are lost. But Batman of course triumphs. And then at the end of the movie, Batman stays in the city to help people recover from the damage. He says that he can no longer just be vengeance, but he must represent hope as well.

My Overall Rating of The Batman: B, 84%

(No, I’m not rating it ‘B’ for ‘Batman.’)

This movie did not have the stellar acting the likes of Heath Ledger or Joaquin Phoenix. So I can’t say that it was my favorite Batman. But not every movie has to be ground breaking. Overall, I did come away from it feeling entertained.

I enjoyed Robert Pattinson’s portrayal of Batman more than I expected.

I guess vampires can turn into bats after all.

Historical Fiction on Argentina’s Dirty War

One of the things I love about historical fiction is the genre’s capacity to teleport you back to a particular era of history. Mark Whittle’s The Jacarandas does precisely that with Argentina’s Dirty War, which took place between 1976-1983. This was a time when the country was ruled by a military dictatorship and right-wing death squads hunted down political dissidents believed to be associated with socialist, communist or anti government thought. 9,000-30,000 People were killed or “disappeared.”

Mark Whittle does a great job of depicting the confusion and moral ambiguity of this time. The story follows Daniel, a university student who joined the federal police force in order to serve his country and stop left-wing terrorism in Buenos Aires. Yet Daniel soon discovers that the moral boundaries of this conflict are much murkier than he originally thought. And that besides fitness and hate, the military regime requires loyalty, batons, and electric prods.

The novel is also based off a true story!

Below I have included an interview with Mark Whittle about his process for writing this book. I also have asked him about the self publishing process, for anyone who may be interested in pursuing that road.

JBJ: I see that The Jacarandas is a true story. How did you learn of this story?

MW: I met the real “Daniel” over 10 years ago when he was a guest speaker at a charity event focused on marginalized and underserved communities. Daniel works with prisoners and their families in Argentina. He told his story of joining the federal police as a young man during the Dirty War, and how he became extremely violent and just this whole awful experience he went through. His story haunted me for years. We became friends and have been so ever since. I had once lived in Argentina and knew quite well all about Argentina’s tragic history in the 1970s.

JBJ: Did the real Daniel get to read the book? What did he think?

MW: Great question! Well, the real Daniel speaks very poor English, but I wanted him to read a draft. So I knew it would be way too much work to translate the draft myself so I tried various automated translators and, in the end, selected Google Translate. I painfully entered page by page, copied it out and formatted it to send to him. He did read it. Even today, almost 50 years later, there are still some sensitive issues so he was looking out for that. But he enjoyed it a lot. It’s worth noting that The Jacarandas is not a biography but rather historical fiction where the real Daniel is the protagonist, but I wanted to include some other historical events and themes that were not part of his experience, but absolutely part of the Dirty War.

JBJ: Do you think Argentina today is still affected by the events of the Dirty War?

MW: Yes, it is. It’s a black stain on their past that they just never seem able to get away from. Argentina has had difficulty recovering and seems almost condemned to lurch from crisis to crisis. It’s the political class has failed Argentina. It’s such a rich nation in culture, intellect, education, and natural resources but politics have been ruinous. They just can’t find a good healthy balance.

JBJ: Tell me about your experience in Self-Publishing:

MW: Well, I don’t know any other kind, so I don’t know if it’s good or bad. The Jacarandas is the first novel I’ve written. I thought I would try to traditional route but after querying about 100 agents and getting little traction, I started exploring other options. I read about writers like Andy Weir (The Martian) who published on Amazon KDP. My writers’ critique group had a guest speaker who has made a living publishing on Amazon KDP. And then hearing the experience of some writers who have had less-than-optimal experiences with agents, I decided to give it a try. I found Amazon KDP extremely easy to use. I’ve been super happy with the process and the control I have.

JBJ: What have been your greatest challenges?

MW: Probably the whole marketing of my book. I don’t do a good job of social media presence. My advertising has been limited to trying KDP’s advertising, which I am still trying to learn and perfect. There’s been good word-of-mouth spreading of The Jacarandas, for sure, but getting it to the next level is a challenge with self-publishing. I’ve been told that the best marketing of your book is to write another book. Get that read-through rate. I would say a second challenge is getting those initial reviews on Amazon. Don’t underestimate the work involved with getting a core group of readers to read your book and post a review.

JBJ: What was the most rewarding about this experience?

MW: Definitely it’s having people tell you they loved your book – either through an email or social media or in person, or simply seeing a new review pop up on Amazon. Having people say how they’ve been impacted by what you wrote, and how they liked this scene or character or how I handled x or y. Very satisfying, to be honest.

JBJ: What would you tell other people who are looking to self publish?

MW: Read everything you can about it before deciding. And if you are going to do it, do it the best you possibly can. For example hire an editor. Hire a professional cover design artist. Polish and polish and polish your manuscript so it’s perfect.

Thank you, Mark Whittle!

For those interested in checking out his novel, buy it on Amazon at the link below.

The Jacarandas – Mark Whittle (Amazon)

Why I Won’t Rush The First Draft of My Next Novel

One of the conventional pieces of wisdom fiction writers hear is, “Write a quick and dirty first draft. You can always fix it later!” As someone who has been writing fiction since 2014, I have heard this advice a lot from both professionals and amateurs. It’s practically canon, up there with, “Show. Don’t Tell.”

I myself have cranked out a first draft for a 120,000 word cyberpunk novel in a mere two months. Many people use the month of November for this very purpose.

Now some people swear by this model. It may work great for many folks. But it doesn’t work great for everyone. For me, writing a first draft is like laying concrete for a sidewalk. Once the concrete dries, it’s difficult to go back and repave it later. A story evolves naturally from character motivations. If key components of your characters’ motivations have to be changed later, then you are going to have to do massive rewrites of the plot itself, practically writing a new book. It’s like building a road to one location and then discovering you are going to have to build a whole new road because the location has been changed.

And apparently I am not the only one who thinks this way. There are several other writing sites out there that explain the pitfalls of rushing a first draft, which I will link to at the end of this article.

Rushing a first draft may work very well if you are a planner. If you have all the key plot points, scenes, and character motivations written down in an outline or in your notes, then rushing the first draft itself could work very well for you. Things like setting and the choreography of action in a fight scene can always be improved upon later. However, if you are like me, and write things by the seat of your pants, you may end up with a manuscript that takes way too long to revise because you didn’t think through key story components beforehand. Much like building a house with faulty components, and then having to build over the weak material–which is often harder than just building a whole new house from scratch.

Things you should think about before you write your manuscript:

  • Main characters and their motivations.
  • What makes your characters likeable? What do they struggle with? Why should people want to read about them?
  • What is the arc of the characters?
  • What is the key conflict of the story?
  • What is the premise of the story?
  • Key plot points. “Tent pole scenes.”
  • Genre and conventions of the genre.
  • Research key components of world building.

Problems that can happen with rushing:

  • The rewrite process takes much longer than it should.
  • You may end up rushing your book to publishers before it’s ready.
  • You may lose interest and end up working on something else. If you wrote something that takes so much time to fix that you basically have to write a whole new novel on top of it, you may just prefer to write a whole new novel instead.
  • You have something that is fundamentally not marketable.

Anyways, that’s why I’m not going to rush my next first draft until I have key components of the story thought through. This will be difficult for me, because the writing process itself is what is fun for me, and not the planning process. But I think if I can force myself to do a little more planning beforehand next time, it will pay off in the long run.

And also, it’s OKAY to write something that doesn’t sell or get published. Ultimately doing something is better than not doing it at all. Perfection is the enemy of the good. However, as we evolve in our craft, we should also work at getting better with the planning process as well.

Why Fast First Drafts Aren’t for Everyone (The Write Practice)

3 Ways to Avoid Rushing Your Book (Writing Cooperative)

5 Pitfalls of Rushing Your First Draft (Script Wrecked)

Sufi Mystics On Mercury

There’s not an abundance of sci-fi stories written about Mercury.

So in conjunction with writing my guide to World Building on Mercury, I also wrote a short story.

I am fascinated with the Dan Brown style of combining two seemingly unlike things. For him it was the Vatican and CERN’s atom smasher. For me, it was spiritual mysticism and Mercury.

I was inspired by the Sufi wisdom in The Way of the Sufi Kindle by Idries Shah. So I wrote a story that encapsulated some of these lessons.

CHECK IT OUT HERE: The Blind Mystic in Vanishing Point Magazine