Over the weekend I had a chance to have that "picnic" with the three characters I've been having the most problem fleshing out and getting to stand up on their own. Spent the most time with the antagonist, but I think I've got him and his motivations finally figured out in a systematic way, rather than vague notions of what drives him and what he really wants. This has been a problem for throughout the whole writing of the book, mostly because I've had a real hard time finding ways to make him stand out from the background of the system he is operating, in some ways the system had been the more important character than he was.
This, wasn't a fresh acquaintance, though. I think the biggest breakthroughs have come with two of the supporting characters and one of the main protagonists. I feel like I know them all as people now, rather than stand-ins or empty shells. This was surprising, really getting to know these men, and I feel like I've finally uncovered these spirits which have been hiding in the book all along. It's just shy of a eureka moment, really, to see what these folks have been trying to say to me. I say this, because the discovery of their personalities fits in perfectly with the world they are operating in and doesn't require any substantial story changes. I had them correct, I just didn't understand who they were in the first place, really. Sounds crazy, huh?
I've been creating a glossary so I can keep track of the tech, names, and slang which I've been using throughout the book. More for my own reference than something I'd intend to get into the final manuscript. It's been very helpful, though, sort of a cheat sheet for my short-term memory lapses and whatnot.