My DragonCon Friday

Yay for excellent artists being at Dragoncon!  Today’s big news: Dawnrigger Publishing will have a real logo soon, courtesy of the amazing Daniel Govar, and I’ll also be getting another artist’s take on Jack Coby of Mercury Battalion. (Adam Love. Also incredible talent.) Check back for progress updates. Meanwhile I set this post’s feature image to show off my new little purse with a phoenix loto!

Yes, today I took myself to Vendorland in the America’s Mart Building where I spent all my money. It only took a few hours. Before then, the day  was taken up with final touches on the Armory, my first shift watching over the exhibit & a lovely lunch with friends. After emptying my wallet, i crammed in a couple of panels.

Let’s Make A Hero program: Comfort Love, Adam Love (he’s drawing Jackass for me 🙂 ) and Bryan Glass. (Mouseguard) We started with definition of what makes a hero. Villains drive the plot, heroes drives the story. Heroes get the personal, emotional arc. Heart. Note: not all protagonists are heroes. Hero traits:

  • Relatability–why Sherlock has Watson. Spiderman is the most relatable guy ever. His life things are familiar & resonant.
  • Window to the fictional world— the reader rides along with the hero. various tropes: the outsider who knows nothing, the insider who know everything like Sherlock…can even be a little of both, depending on development. Harry Potter the outside Insider. Ripley the inside Outsider in Aliens.
  • Changes through plot: if there’s no growth, there’s no story-story. Daenarys, Prince Zuko in Avatar. Growth is relatable.
  • Challenged by plot: the more tests, the more growth (see above) tests must be tailored to hero’s strengths n weakness — mini bosses on the way to the big bossfight. Tailored — look at businessman Lex Luthor who can so easily foil omnipotent Superman by simply not breaking the law.

And then by crowd-sourcing, we created a hero’s story by combining all kinds of ideas. 

  • Setting: 80’s San Fran (there’s going to be coke) horror genre, female (why so many female horror protags? Audiences more sympathetic to women breaking down in fear than men)
  • Traits: stocky, stubborn, mathy, mom-purse wearing japanese-american vocation: programmer
  • Refine horror genre to type: revenge tragedy in a Axis-dominated alternate history

Discussion ensued, creating further refinements and brainstorming. Very fun, hard to annotate. 80’s hacker culture, Reagan as the face of the resistance to the oppressor culture, probability that the character would be married with children given Japanese patriarchal culture, political depths if the revenge against her evolves from her parent being one of the conquering generals and enemies are reaching for him through her… The picture Adam Love drew during the discussion was awesome. Takeaway: brainstorming is fun, and creative people are the BEST.

Military SF Tech: I attended mostly to see if there would be fun kvetching about how badly technology is handled in pop media SF, and the panel did not disappoint. Force Awakens received a legit/entertaining roast. However, the main focus on where tech may be going in the near future and what the authors felt would be big new things in specifically military tech . Robotics, automation, power defense systems. Non-lethal weapons. I won’t go into the super details. Big takeaway: tech is complicated, and people are too, and there will be conflicts and changes.

Writing tip for introducing tech into story: work its relevance into a cliffhanger action moment so reader has to absorb new info to get to the action resolution.

Today’s Pics: the cosplay backdrop, the line outside the vendor building (two floors, plus pop media/comics artists, arcade games etc) taken from a walkway bridge, views of the finished blade and firearms rooms.


And that’s the dispatch from Friday. If you’re enjoying these or hate them, remember I enjoy hear about it. I am a glutton for feedback. 

Oh, hey, by the way: I write books. I invite you to check them out.  See details below.