Monday, September 21, 2009


The other day I had a bit of caffeine.
And I went bonkers.
I usually don't have caffeine so it really buzzed me.

Then I attempted to write a character dossier for one of my MCs. She lives on an alien planet so when I got to the third question which was "What is his/her birth date?" I got stuck.
Then I went crazy.

I spent the next 4 hours figuring out an alien solar system, how two moons on a planet affects the inhabitants time keeping systems, developed an alien calendar, and measured how events and years there would match up with Earth's time system. Then I finally had a date for when she was born, and was able to notate it in both Earth time and the alien planet's time.

I thought, "Whew! Got that question good. The rest should be easy."
Then it asked what her nationality is.

So I started making family trees, creating new characters for her lineage, and developing a political system for the entire planet! At this point, I contacted my cousin and said "Help!" She got me to slow down and refocus on the character dossier without creating new, interesting and completely unnecessary details.

To those addicted to Too Much Information syndrome, (or WBD, World-Builder's Syndrome)my heart goes out to you. Please find help before your novel becomes a beast. (This is sometimes also known as Tolkien's Syndrome, in case you didn't know. He was never cured. But he was creative enough to get people to not pay attention to his, er, excessive display of a world he knew way too much about.)

So can I label myself as an extraterrestrial astrophysical chronologist? Ever since reading the first page of The Color of Magic, I've wanted to be able to use a title as cool as astrozoologist.


  1. Tolkien's condition was really only noticeable in The Silmarillion, a novel that read like a boring history text book...

    Oh, and you won my contest! I have already emailed you the prize...

  2. I agree with CKHB; the Silmarillion was hard to wade through. There've been a couple since, written by his son (I can't remember the titles) that give a history of Gondor, and I'm sure only us die hard LOTR fans made it through the entire novel.

    But, I loved the post, though I'm commenting very late. I liked it so much I did a post on my own blog ( about it. Check it out if you want.