Saturday, January 14, 2017


So these aren’t going as well as I’d hoped. I started writing short fiction not really knowing how short is short, and how short is too short. The early ones are the shortest, but grew longer the more I wrote, and I ended up settling into a range of about 300 to 500 words. I know that length isn’t supposed to be all that important, but look at one next to the other, and the story with only 150 words just doesn’t look right on the screen. It looks like I didn’t have much to say. And that’s always true. The length is always a decent indicator of how great of a hold I have on the material. But as you may have noticed, these are sort of danglers. I like my series to be grouped in nice and large chunks. I’ve been thinking of the Headlines series a lot more than these Personalities, and have even written a few of them already, so they are just naturally bound to be better.

As I’ve said, I identify most with the Counselor personality type, but it’s not what you think. Real Counselors derive satisfaction out of helping others. It’s never done that for me, though. Community service, holding doors open for people, making sure to accommodate everyone around me are just things that I do. You see, the real world doesn’t interest me all that much, or rather it’s hard for me to be too invested in it. The imaginary mind palace I’ve created for myself is no less vivid than my desk that’s in front of me right now. I can always and no matter what, about as close to literally as possible, escape to another world. These can have been created by others, or by me. I can jump into Fillory, take a Nexus to Ceres, then stroll down the block in Wayward Pines, before relaxing on Tribulation Island. When I’m here, in the real world, I ultimately don’t need all that much. So when someone wants something out life, the only thing I need to get past before helping them with that is my physical indolence. Real Counselors really want to help, and they get something out of that.
The Counselor in my story is the same way. He’s a diplomat from a recently deveiled planet. For reference, a veiled planet is one that exists without any knowledge or witting interaction with people from elsewhere. My characters operate under what are called The Priorities. Priority Two is like the Prime Directive in the Star Trek franchise...except not...because it’s the exact opposite. When you go out into space and find a veiled culture, there’s this unwritten rule that you share with them everything you know. Allowing war, disease, and other horrors found in underdeveloped civilizations when you have the power to stop it is considered by most people who contribute positively to society to be immoral. The Counselor knows very little about interplanetary relations, and galactic conflicts. He is not officially a member of the team, because he literally didn’t sign up for this, but everyone accepts him just the same. His life is in constant danger for his frequent attempts to have civil audience with a threat, and everyone is always having to protect him. As he becomes more jaded, however, he eventually learns to protect himself.

The Counselor likes learning about other people, and tries to figure out their motivations so that he can make everyone as happy as possible. He knows intellectually that you often can’t give someone what they feel they need without taking something away from someone else, but he doesn’t want to. He always tries to look for the solution that pleases everyone, and even though the team’s enemies treat him as an enemy as well, they have a level of respect for him, and tend to give him the benefit of the doubt. Though he does learn to adopt certain military values, and even develops some violent tendencies, he never lets go of his diplomatic leanings. At one time, he becomes a powerful force in the galaxy as the leading negotiator. There’s no telling how many conflicts he’s ended or prevented, along with his own team of counselors.

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