What is Dave’s Religion

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This question has come up from several people reading the Dave Riggler stories. In one sense, it has an easy answer: Culturally, Dave comes from a Catholic family. In another sense, though, it’s not so simple. If you’ve read any of the Dave Riggler stories, you recognize that Dave isn’t a practicing Catholic, even in a casual sense. It also depends on what leg of Dave’s journey you meet him on. The Dave Riggler in “First Steps” is not the same person, emotionally, as you’ll read about in “The Fight”¬†or “Confirmed”. And none of these is the same, spiritually, as the person you’ll meet in “And Ye Shall Be Healed”.

In terms of how we see the world today, I would call Dave’s attitude in later stories atheistic, but not in the Richard Dawkins tradition. He doesn’t have that kind of certainty. He seems open — even hopeful — that his belief is incorrect. And his spirituality centers more around people he knows than it does spiritual leaders (a term I use broadly to encompass most modern religions).

If you really want to know what Dave’s spiritual beliefs are all about, “And Ye Shall Be Healed” is probably going to be your best indication. At least, until he evolves in later stories. ūüôā

First Draft of “New Year’s Eve” Finished

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I’ve just finished the first draft of “New Year’s Eve”. ¬†It’s shorter than most of the other stories (right now) in the collection, weighing in at just under 1,800 words. ¬†Chronologically, it’s the first “Tavia” story, of which I have three planned. ¬†There might end up being four, though. ¬†I’ll have to see.

One question I haven’t quite answered yet is, what structure will the Tavia stories take within¬†Long-Distance Dedications? ¬†I have two possible tracks in mind:

 

1)  Separate stories, all with individual dedications.

2)  A novelette within Long-Distance Dedications.

 

The advantage of the novelette idea is that it would avoid having multiple dedications all to the same character.  The disadvantage of it is that it might break up the flow of the book to have numerous smaller stories and one huge chunk in the middle.

If you’ve got an opinion, let me know in the comments! ūüôā

Another Story Added to Long-Distance Dedications

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Well, if you follow/friend/circle me on Twitter/Facebook/Google+, you know that I’ve just finished the first draft of “Confirmed”. ¬†As it stands right now, it’s one of the larger stories of¬†Long-Distance Dedications, although it’s not the longest. ¬†I mention this because of all the stories I’ve written for the book, this one has come together the quickest. ¬†(In first draft form, at least. ¬†I’m not convinced that I’m done, because there will undoubtedly be alpha and beta readers who say I ended the story too quickly, and I’ll have to give them due consideration.)

One of the things I personally found interesting about writing this piece is that it’s the first time (but not the last) that Dave makes a direct reference in a story in¬†Long-Distance Dedications¬†to¬†another¬†story in¬†the book. ¬†The other stories have objects, or maybe people, that are referenced from story to story, but this is the first time that a scene in one story ends ¬†up as a subject in another story. ¬† As I said, it won’t be the last time, so if you’re into that kind of thing, look for it in the book. ūüôā

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it when you read it. ¬†It should be out of beta form rather quickly, and then I’ll start deciding where to put it (either direct to Amazon or submitting to magazines).

 

The Mortality (or Lack Thereof) of Characters

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I was looking at Facebook tonight, and I came across a quote in an image.

 

“If a writer falls in love with you, you can never die.”

 

So… True or false? ¬†It depends.

 

I have to confess, there are certain characters (and if you’ve read through my stories, you might guess who they are) who I would be¬†very¬†reluctant to kill off. ¬†On the other hand, I have an aversion to saying something¬†can’t¬†happen in a story. ¬†There are times when, for the integrity of the story (e.g., to make the story flow correctly, or to be plausible) the character¬†should¬†die. ¬†If you have a character fall from 10,000 feet out of an airplane without a parachute, that character¬†better die. ¬†Otherwise, you’re not writing. ¬†You’re just stringing related sentences together on to a page.

The other issue is, ¬†your reader can’t come to¬†expect¬†characters to always live. ¬†Otherwise, you lose some of the drama. ¬†After you see Batman and Robin escape at the end of every episode, you catch on that they’re never going to be killed.

But as I said, it depends. ¬†One of the reasons you don’t see Batman or Robin die is that without them, there’s no show. ¬†If the Wiley Coyote catches the Road Runner, that’s the end of the cartoon. ¬†And if Dave Riggler dies, well, it’s kind of tough to write Dave Riggler stories after that.

But could someone Dave loves die? ¬†I think so. ¬†I can’t rule it out. ¬†Maybe not¬†everyone¬†Dave loves is vulnerable, but the story of Dave goes where it goes. ¬†Sometimes I’m just writing down what he tells me.