It's nice being committed to a novel again. I miss the long-term investment. Short stories definitely give you a quick feeling of accomplishment, but not always the lasting depth of creativity. They're kind of like hit and runs on the mind.
The characters for my sci-fi epic (still unnamed, double grrr) are becoming a lasting impression on me. Each one consciously and subconsciously are apart of my life experience. Of course, I've never been to space (sigh), but their characterization has been drawn from me.
I'm like Dr. Frankenstein creating his monster up in the tower. The sci-fi bits come from my childhood heart. The values are designed to enforce my upbringings, either through opposing consequence or positive emphasis. Their movements and reactions are bits and pieces of people I've either passed or met in my lifetime.
There...there's my current monster, the unnamed sci-fi epic. She's almost done. I just have a bit more grafting and electronic work. As soon as I zap her with lightning, I'll let ya know.
Good writing all!