SFR Brigade Blog Hop: Rachel's Alien Planet

Welcome to the second midsummer blog hop hosted by the members of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade! The bottom of this post contains the links to the rest of the blogs. Don't be shy! We have some great prizes. Be sure to fill out the Rafflecopter form for your chance to win. The prizes are listed in the box at the bottom of this post.

When I saw the blog theme I decided to share about my alien planet, Lok'ma. It's the lost home of an enslaved humanoid alien race and most of the first book, My Name Is A'yen, takes place here.

About three years ago I found out about the Plitvice Lakes in Croatia and spent a couple hours looking at pictures. Back then I had no idea I would one day be writing science fiction.

When A'yen came to me and I found out they were looking for his planet, I knew the Plitvice Lakes had to make an appearance. I ended up building the entire planet around these lakes. They're gobsmackingly gorgeous, especially when they're frozen.

I also have a thing for autumn leaves. Except I live in Louisiana where there's basically no such thing. Lok'ma's trees come in many colors. All the time. I spent several more hours on Google one evening looking at fall foliage in the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains.

Lok'ma continues to be a work-in-progress. These two features are my favorites, and my characters' favorites.
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When plots change...

I write by the seat of my pants. When I stall out, as I did a few weeks ago, it means something is wrong. Really, really wrong.

Turns out I was so settled on making To Save A Life Ro's story that I ignored A'yen. At my own peril. I hit 29,000 and change on what is now the scrapped version and things shut down. Ro and Jasmyn stopped talking to me, and A'yen started chewing me out. I know that sounds weird to some people, but these characters are like real people to me.

I did what I always do and rambled at my CP, telling her I wasn't sure if this was me missing A'yen being my POV character or if he was telling me he legitimately hadn't dealt with all his issues yet. Turns out A'yen was right and I was wrong. He hasn't dealt with all his issues yet and has thrown me some curve balls. He's got a lot of bitterness to deal with and a few people to forgive. Probably not a coincidence he's mimicking where I was a couple years ago.

There were all these scenes in my head with A'yen, all kinds of stuff going on, and I couldn't figure out how to make it work with Ro as the lead. Note to future self: Listen to the characters and save yourself some grief! Now all those scenes work and I'm beyond excited about TSAL again.

To Save A Life has been re-started and in three weeks word count is almost back to where it was the first time. Part of that is because some of what I'd already written I got to keep, but the majority of it is new stuff.  All the snippets I've posted of To Save A Life no longer apply.

Taran still exists, but not as a major secondary character. All of his background is still important and he will still show up, but in a different way. He's been much more talkative than Ro ever has and I think Taran will be the hero of book four and let me finish building the Marcasian Empire and exploring the nanosteel alloy I've created. By that point A'yen will have dealt with the rest of his issues and be more secure on his throne. I hope.