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Who Are You People and Where Is My Horse?

Happy Blog Day, everyone. I'm alabaster, and unless you frequent our IRC channel, you probably have no idea who I am. I'm a writer on Missing Stars. Nice to meet you.

If you're wondering why you haven't seen my name yet or, more to the point, why I haven't revealed my character yet, there's a good reason. We have enough already...

Actually, my role here is a bit different from my fellow writers. In part, I'm sort of like the team putty, stuffed into any and all gaps that materialize. I primarily write scenes that don't fall under the purview of the main writers – essentially, the scenes that don't involve any of the main path girls – and I do a fair share of editing too, wherever it's needed.

That's not to say that I don't have a character of my own. In fact, I have two. I'm responsible for Missing Stars' two big side characters. It may seem odd to give these characters their own writer, but I think it speaks to the way we're treating our cast of characters. Let me explain.

I feared early on that we might develop a sort of tunnel-vision when it came to our characters – that each writer would focus on their one character and one story and neglect the world as a whole: how that writer's character affects and is affected by those around her. Just because certain characters aren't dateable doesn't mean they're not vital to the world. These secondary characters don't exist solely as a source of exposition, for instance, or to be the token jerk, or the comic relief, even if one of them does fit that last role pretty comfortably. They are three-dimensional people and deserve as much attention as any other. After all my time spent nagging the writers for more cross-route connectivity, I guess this was my punishment: write the two characters who weave their way in and out of every story we have to tell.

Since the beginning of the project, I've been convinced these characters were crucial to the world of Missing Stars. We're writing a fiction, of course, but as artists we want this world to feel as real as we can make it. It's the reason we took on consultants to advise us on the elements of the setting we weren't familiar with. And it's the reason we strive to make the setting feel connected, dynamic, alive. In real life, no person's story is self-contained. Lives intersect. People collide. Your future changes because of one chance meeting.

St. Dymphna's is full of interesting, odd, lovable characters. Some of them are selfless, kind souls who guide Erik along the way. Some are infuriating critics who belittle him for every mistake he makes. All of them are people, and they have an effect on the world and on the people around them. Even the characters somehow immune to Erik's impossibly good looks – they may not get a story all their own, but they're sometimes the most important of all.

Despite my fears, there's no tunnel-vision here. The communication between writers is always present. Ideas fly back and forth, criticism is welcome, and problems are solved with help, if you want it, from an enormously talented group of peers. The writers, just like the characters themselves, are continually effected and changed by the people around them. Storytelling in Missing Stars is a communal thing, and I don't know why I ever doubted it would be.


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