Workshop Episode 28 (Guest Host: Alicia E. Goranson)

The Roundtable Podcast, Workshop Episode 28, with Alicia E. Goranson and Tony SunderlandAlicia E. Goranson – playwright, author, and creator of the Parsec Award winning “The Mask of Inanna” – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to help us workshop a tale offered up by Anthony Sunderland. Assisted by the ever-dapper Doc Coleman, we dive in to Tony’s story of alien conspiracy, genetic hybrids, and clandestine government operations. It’s like a cross between Buffy and X-Files and everyone is soon in search of the elusive Literary Gold! (and make sure you swing back around to hear Alicia’s Showcase Episode!)

PROMO: The StarshipSofa Podcast

Workshop Episode 28 (Guest Host: Alicia E. Goranson)

[caution: mature language – listener discretion is advised]

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So much Awesomeness on the Calendar for Alicia…


From Tony Sunderland…

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Comments (5)

There were many fine ideas mentioned, considered and discussed in this episode, however I do feel there are some possible pitfalls which did not get mentioned but should be considered:

1. Make sure protagonist is not a “Mary Sue”.
So far Dawn has been described as a 15 year old in the body of a 23 old, she is a deadly warrior, a genius scientist, she has exceptional senses and is a telepath. Her only limitations are that she is not good at human interaction, she is impulsive, and she shouldn’t (can’t?) have sex with humans. Admittedly “kick-ass” female heroes are becoming more popular these days but there should be some scenes/situations where she is not able to solve everything by herself. Having the hero challenged is what makes a good story, if they always succeed at everything they do there is no challenge.

2. Likeability issue.
If readers are going to be hoping for Dawn to win, then at least some of the time the readers will be against the humans. Since your readers are humans then you need to be sure that they have very good reasons to be on Dawn’s side. Dan Wells dealt with this issue in his John Cleaver trilogy, making sure that John Cleaver was a likeable potential serial killer. Not only do you need Dawn to be likeable but you need at least one full blooded alien to be likeable. The idea that Dawn is deceiving humans for “the good of her people” is a bit too abstract for sympathy. You need to put a likeable face on “Her People”. Dawn is deceiving humans so that “Bobby the cute, innocent, young, alien” can have a home somewhere, someday, is more sympathetic and makes Dawn more likeable.

I swear I wrote this comment before I heard David D. Levine’s “20(ish) minutes with episode”, where mention most of what I say, but he explains it better.

Great minds, Peter… great minds. 😀

Excellent points, Peter… especially #2. It didn’t occur to me during the episode, but you’re absolutely right… Dawn is not a particularly sympathetic character.

It seems to be that she could be positioned as a balance point between a lot of different factions: the aliens and humanity (of course) AND the humans as they are and the humans as they COULD be.

Her perceptions of human culture, psyche, and existence are such that she could see the great potential we as a species have and fall in love with what we COULD be (maybe something that her people haven’t managed to achieve with all their history and technology). That could make her a more approachable character.

It would be a fine line to walk between heart-felt and sappy/preachy, but it could work.

Hi Dave, apologies for not getting back and replying sooner. I’ve tried to make Dawn a sympathetic character, one who’s conflicted about the deceptions, especially to those she regards as friends and allies.
The series does give me many great opportunities to show her learning more about humans and more importantly, herself. The readers will see her being manipulated by her own side and having some tough decisions to make. Readers won’t always agree with them but I hope they’ll at least understand why she had to do certain things.
There’s also some dark, and seemingly blind avenues we’ll go down. I know I’ve got to give people just enough insight and intrigue to follow me (Dawn) and trust that those journeys will be rewarding, if not entirely what they expect.
I’ll have done a lousy job if the outcomes don’t surprise, and shock, people.

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