Collision Course -- the final title of my current novel -- now stands at 20,763 words. That count will most likely not change for a few weeks as I shift my focus from writing to finishing my website. Even though I've had a three-day weekend, I didn't get much writing done. When writing becomes too high of a priority, other projects begin to slip and all of a sudden you have so much to do besides writing that it's overwhelming. There are only so many hours available in a day.

This post will not be accompanied by my standard email. I've decided that if people want to read my blog, they will subscribe to it or see the post on Facebook, Google+, or Twitter. I am reserving the emails for important announcements only. In last week's email, I asked people for their opinion on this and received only one feedback. I can only conclude that people really don't read the emails because they are sent out every single week. That changes effective today.

Yesterday's author meeting was interesting even though we only had a group of four. I missed last month's meeting because I was at Launch Pad and I guess they had 16 people show up. I read a chapter from Collision Course and everyone asked if I planned on bringing back one of the characters in the chapter. I had not originally planned on doing so but after hearing the positive feedback on that particular character, I will be changing my mind. A good character, even a minor one, makes a story interesting.

The characters in a story should reflect the fact that society is not made up of people that are all alike. Even in a futuristic science fiction story like mine, people will be different. We all have varied personalities and each character in a story should be designed as a separate person different from all the others. Creating such characters is difficult because authors will be tempted to model many of their characters after themselves. Become an observer of people. Pick a public spot and just sit, watch, and listen to how the people around you behave. When you create a new character in your story, try to imagine how that character is different than all the others.

Collision Course is set in a future several decades from now. Humanity is actively interacting with several different species from multiple worlds. The character described above, is a Native American who is the captain of a starship. Even in the future, humans will remain a diverse people with many sub-cultures. Not everyone will be a white American. Your stories should include a diversity of characters from many cultures. But be careful! Don't rely on your culturally defined belief as to how a person from another culture would act. Seek out someone from that culture and talk to them. Open your mind to the fact that not everyone on this planet is like you.