Monday, 16 July 2012

How Did We Get to the Beginning?

You have read a novel, enjoyed the scenes, got involved with the characters, shared their sorrows and joys and then when you close it you wonder: How do these people come up with this stuff?
Well here today on my blog to enlighten you to the process of how he comes up with his story and characters is the talented science fiction author Raymond Frazee. Raymond is also one of my colleagues on the story blog StorytimeTrsyts and is featured every Monday.
So, sit back and about Raymond Frazee process of writing and creating characters:

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How did we get to the Beginning?
by Raymond Frazee

Characters and novels.  Jeez, not too much to deal with, is it?  Well, I’m a wordy guy, so hang on as I tear up the countryside to talk about my biggest, but as yet unpublished novel . . .

When I started writing Transporting, I had a very nebulous concept:  guy gets kidnapped to the future, something happens to him, gets über psychic powers, falls in love, goes back in time to see aliens, fights to save them.  There is it:  that’s the story.

 I had a core of four characters—well, five, but you gotta see how I did that.  So, where to start?  How about characters, and how I came up with them?  Sure, you got it.

 First, let’s look at the kidnappers.  As I have in my novel’s notes, here is one of my main female characters, Cytheria:

Her Grace Lady Cytheria Lakshanya Warington, Duchess of Scoth, Marchioness of Windslade, Countess of Magdalen ("Cy") (29)

Born Scoth, May 7, 3153 (GS)

Daughter of Duke Scoth, Jeremy (60), Deputy First Speaker for the Council of Lords, New London, and Duchess Scoth, Amishi (deceased). Lady of the Royal Courts of New London, Scoth and University, OHE, CH, PC, FRS. Matriculated Lady Margaret Hall, (3171) with BA in History-Sociology.

Diagnosed as a controlling Talent, 3164. Diagnosed with controllable multiple psychic abilities, 3166. Diagnosed as "psychic twin" (PT) candidate, 3169. Registered with Security Service (MI5) Department of Extraordinary Government Assets (DEGA) (Gifted Beings Division) and Ministry of Science Advanced Psychic Abilities Division (APA) as an Aptitude A-3 Psycho-Manipulative Individual (PMI), 3172. Rating upgraded by DEGA/APA to Aptitude A-1A (Classification Special, PT-Transient) Psycho-Manipulative Individual (PMI), 3177 (GS).

Minor Fellow of Magdalen College (New Oxford). On extended research sabbatical attached to the Quantum Studies Department, Magdalen College, New Oxford, University.

Now, when I started thinking of her back in the late 1980’s, I imagined her as this short, curly-haired woman with a demanding aura, and just a bit on the snooty side.  The person I saw her as—at that time—was Sarah Sutton, who isn’t very well known in the U.S., but is better known as having played Nyssa on Doctor Who.

By the time I started editing the novel in the early 2000’s, I saw her moving away from being small and demanding, and a little more—I guess you could say real looking.  I began envisioning her as being taller and far more curvaceous, as one might hope that twelve hundred years down the time line, society isn’t going to continue perpetuate the Death Camp Survivor look for women, and let people be people.  I still wanted her to have a certain air about her, one that said, “My family has been noble born for 12 generations,” but not so haughty that she’d end that statement with, “Suck on it, commoners.”

 But when it came time to finish the novel, I was struck with something else, something that I hadn’t considered when I started writing the novel over twenty years ago.  After twelve hundred years, humanity would become pretty crossed up, ethnicity-wise, with dozens of generations of intermingling.  One of the major things I changed was Cytheria’s mother, who was a descendent of generations of Indian/Hindustani culture.  So now Cytheria was not only a lovely, curvy, full-figured woman, but one with darker eyes, hair, and skin, than her original concept.  Which is how she remains today.  Still a bit haughty, though:  make certain when you address her, you know you’re speaking with a duchess . . .

Now, for the guy who pilots the time machine:

 Sir Dr. Thomas McCrimmon ("Tommy") (34)

Born Aberdeen, 6 March, 3148 (Galactic Standard [GS])

Director of the Theoretical Sciences ("Quantum Studies") Department, Magdalen College, New Oxford, University. Schrödinger and Hawking Chair (New Oxford), Honorary Lucasian and Newton chair (Cambridge Intergalactic), Knight of the Realm, MHE, PC, FRS, Fellow of Magdalen College (New Oxford), Fellow of Darwin College (Cambridge Intergalactic), Nobel Prize for Physics (3177), Schrödinger/Hawking Medallion for Practical Quantum Applications (3175), Einstein Prize for Physics (3174), Copley Medal (3173).

Developed and constructed Quantum Extra-Dimensional Conveyance (QEDC) ("Q-Scape") 3173-3176. First quantum dimensional transposition: 12 April, 3176 (GS).

 I made him Scottish because—why not?  I liked it, so never the mind.

When I put him together, I imagined Tommy looking a little like Peter Davison.  Why not?  Since Peter worked with Sarah, no reason why he couldn’t work with Cytheria.  His home planet, Aberdeen, was founded by a lot of people from Scotland, but that doesn’t mean Tommy is this pasty-skinned egghead.  He’s got a bit of a tan because, once again, finding someone who’s really light-skinned takes some doing.  (Oh, I have someone like that in a later story—it’s because she comes from a planet that goes around an orange sun.  And she’s somewhat Welsh.  Go figure.)

Tommy is smart:  he’s considered one of the most intelligent individuals of this era in history.  He lives simple.  He doesn’t like to put on airs.  He doesn’t suffer fools, but he’s not completely arrogant.  He actually comes to like the guy they kidnapped, Albert, because he knows, as big of a screw up as Albert can be, he’s also a bright guy who only needs a guidance.  A lot of guidance, but guidance nonetheless.

He’s also a guy who remains calm through most everything—even a discussion about an accident that could be more powerful than several supernovas going off at once, and wiping out all life within dozen of parsecs.  Why?  Science!  That’s why!

Lets bring in another doctor—the Psychic Doctor:

 Dr. Lynette Wesley (41) (GS)

 Born Tsavo, June 4, 3141

Director of Special Talents Development and Psychological Studies, Magdalen College, New Oxford, University. Rhine Chair (New Oxford), MHE, CH, FRS, Fellow of Magdalen College (New Oxford). Randi Emeritus Award (3165).

Doctor Wesley is a person who, when I started developing her, really didn’t have much of a personality.  She was the head of the department where all the shiny Talents when to learn their new-found abilities.  She set up the tests; she helped teach everyone; she kept everyone safe.  And if a Talent ever got out of line, she might just have to drop a dime on their ass and call in the SAS to smoke them.  Because her duty is to Empire and Queen first, the local citizenry second, and to crazy, fire-ball throwing Talents last.

Lynette is a very dark woman, the results of many generations of marriage between people of central and southern African heritage.  Her home world, Tsavo, also revolves around a star that is hotter and brighter than our Sun, and that helps darken her just a little more.  She’s tall and willowy, though “willowy” in the 32nd Century is a lot different concept than willowy these days.  She’s not rail-thin, but compared to what would be the norm for women in this future, she’s a bit thinner—and this is something that often bothers her.  Oh, if only she could somehow gain those last five kilos . . .

And lets look at the guy who started all this stuff:  Albert Dahl.

Albert was from the 1980’s.  He was working in Chicago as a computer programmer.  He was alone, he was depressed a lot, he was bi-polar.  He had no one in his life, and he didn’t think he’d ever have one, so there came a day when he decided to end it all.

While hanging out at Navy Pier, he was nabbed by Cytheria . . . and as they used to say at Torchwood, Cardiff, that’s when everything changed.

See, when Cytheria was back in the 1980’s, checking on a bit of history, she felt something, and she followed that feeling to Chicago.  She found Albert, and she kidnapped him so she—with Tommy’s help—could have him tested by Lynette.  Never mind that what Cytheria thought about Albert being special was impossible, the feeling was still there.

 What no one knew was that Albert was special . . . because without him, there would have never been Audrey.

 Who is Audrey?  Audrey is Albert.  Or, I should say, she’s what Albert would have been had he been born a girl.  As quantum physics dictates, with unseen events, there are always both possibilities in existence until the event is observed.  So, in the case of birth, there is always a male and female baby until observation—at which point you could have a quantum wave collapse and two universes are created.  One universe had Albert, the other Audrey.

 Problem was, they were always connected.  Somehow—you know, those sub atomic physics are always an issue with me.  But there was some kind of connection there, and when Albert was removed from his environment, it caused things to—well, they got messed up.

As I say in the tale of the tape:

Albert/Audrey Dahl (29)

Born Earth (Terra), May 7, 1957 (GS)

 (Albert) Graduated Purdue University June 1982, with BS in Computer Science. Reported missing Chicago, IL, October 16, 1986. Case closed October 31, 2021, as unsolved. Date of Abduction October 13, 1986 (Monday) (October 11-12 was the date of second meetings between Reagan and Gorbochev.) Arrived New Oxford, University February 1, 3182 (Tuesday Local).

(Audrey) Much of her early history is currently unknown. Believed to have graduated Purdue University June 1982, with BA in Literature. Worked as copy editor, Entertainment Section, Chicago Sun Times, for unknown period of time. Date of disappearance unknown at time of this writing (3183 LS).

First Quantum Extra-Dimensional Transition (QET) occurred February 2, 3182 (Wednesday Local Standard). Second QET occurred May 13, 3182 (Saturday Local Standard). Registered with Security Service (MI5) Department of Extraordinary Government Assets (DEGA) (Gifted Beings Division) and Ministry of Science Advanced Psychic Abilities Division (APA) as an Aptitude A-1A (Classification Special, PT-Transient) Psycho-Manipulative Individual (PMI), 3179 (GS). Granted Extraordinary Duel Citizenship status by Royal Proclamation of Her Majesty Margaret II, Protector of the Interstellar Humanist Empire (IHE) and Defender of the Realm, August 23, 3182 (LS).

On extended attachment to the Quantum Studies Department, Magdalen College, New Oxford, University.

 Every twenty-five hundred hours, or so, Albert transitions into Audrey.  Everything in the physical body changes, but the mental part, the mind, the memories, that part all stays Albert—the rest is Audrey.  The upside to all of this is she links to Cytheria, and they become a very powerful entity:  Twins, who are like almost off the scale as far as abilities are concerned.  Not only that, but they’re mentally linked all the time:  they actually have to learn how to keep each other out, otherwise, they’re just chatting up a storm without ever physically saying a word.  Think of them as being like Jean Grey and Emma Frost if they both stopped trying to bang Scott, and decided to hook up and stay together.

It’s assumed the same thing is happening to the real Audrey, wherever she is, and that she’d going through a similar situation.  (Do I know, by the way?  Yes.  Am I telling?  Wait until that story comes out.)  And after twenty-five hundred, or so, hours, there is another transition, and it’s back to being Albert—and not having cool powers, not being connected to Cytheria.  But still having feelings for her, remembering how they were in their heads, how nice things could be . . .

So why the title Transporting?  It’s about change, about transition.  Going from being a no one to being someone.  To being powerless, to being a person that people will never want to mess with.  (I would love to get some artwork of Cytheria and Audrey together.  Cytheria knows cryokinesis and Audrey pryokinesis . . . Ice and Fire.  Yeah, I know:  been done.  But I still like them like that.)  It’s about feeling nothing, and being filled with desires and wants and needs.  It’s about having to deal with the idea that your life is always changing, and every time you turn around, something special—or horrible—may happen.

It’s also about the fact that at the end of the novel . . . you’re just going to have to wait until the novels—yes, the story is so big, it’s in three novels—are published.

And there you have it.  How my characters come to life, and how I do my titles.  At least that time around . . .


Raymond Frazee has been writing most of his life, but only in the last year has he seen success.  His first story, Kuntilanak, was self-published, September, 2011, and is available at Smashwords, Barns & Noble, and Amazon.  His second story, Captivate and Control, is published by Naughty Nights Press, May, 2012, and is also at Smashwords, Barns & Noble, and Amazon.

Raymond is currently in the process of trying to publish a novel, and is working very hard towards his dream of becoming a full-time writer.

Follow Raymond on:
His blog, Wide Awake But Dreaming

On Twiter

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So after reading this are you trying to figure out how your favourite characters or titles from your favourite books came to be? Are you a writer/author? Then share with us how your characters and titles come about, just leave a comment below. Let Raymond know what you think about his process and more. Don't be shy . . . ..

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