Knowing Characters And Project Apollo Update

When me and Owen were writing Project Phoenix we were writing by the seat of our pants. Owen wanted to get character profiles written and plot outlines and so on but I had no idea how to do those things. If I’m honest I was blagging the active writing of the book.
Since then I have written ten short stories and a couple of novella length stories that are still in progress so I have a few stories under my belt, which means a lot of characters.

One of the problems with Project Apollo is the characters are not well thought through. I thought they were but as I’ve been making notes I can see that they are not and I’ve lost track with whose who in the story, we’ve got two different characters working in one job. Now with Project Phoenix the characters may not have been well thought through but I did not confuse any of them. I knew each of about ten major characters and another thirty support cast and I’m wondering if the confusion I’ve had with some of the Project Apollo characters is partly that I’ve now got a lot more characters and stories that I’ve written behind me, but as I’ve written that I’ve thought ‘no that should have just made me better at remember these things’ :-/ so I’m now thinking that its more of a case that we were not prepared well enough.

I had a night off from it last night but I’ll be getting back into it tonight. I’m pretty much going back to the start of this. I’m going to try to write a detailed outline of the plot but I’m not there just yet. I’m currently looking at the characters and their backgrounds and making notes on the universe. I’ve spoken about that before, this stories universe, but we’ve not got much written down for it so I’m correcting that.
I’ve finally got around to watching The Tribal Eye and although I would have preferred to have spent that time 100% on planning I have learnt a few things which I’m hoping will help with parts of Project Apollo and the stories in its universe.

Creating Different Cultures

One of the things I’ve noticed since I’ve been reading/listening to Scott Sigler is how different he makes his cultures from our own. Particularly in Sigler’s Galactic Football League series we see a lot of different aliens, and they are alien. They are not just humans with a little make up on but proper aliens with alien cultures and these vary strongly from humanity. It has even made me realise how little we see of alien cultures in movies like Star Wars (I wonder what the extended fiction of Star Wars is like?). I am going to write a lot of science fiction, a lot, and I need to look at what Sigler is doing, and find other books, TV shows, movies and video games and see how other people build alien cultures.

I also need to look at different human cultures, I’ve got a DVD series about Tribes, The Tribal Eye I think it’s called, which I’ve got to watch. I can’t afford to go around the world and see with my own eyes the various cultural differences but I do have the Internet which will have to do.

Imagination can only go so far and ideas breed, good ideas especially.