• It's hard to write a book on planets when astronomers keep learning new stuff about them! Some of the details in the story had to be re-written when new scientific knowledge came to light. For example, Pluto originally said that Makemake was made fun of for being a large, bright KBO who happened to be "moonless." This had to be changed when it came out in early 2016 that a moon for Makemake had been discovered. Makemake's moon was written into the story and a cartoon was created in response to the new information.

  • Astronomy is complex! It was sometimes hard to get the facts straight. Different sources would give conflicting information about the planets. Sometimes information was outdated or incorrect; other times, it was accurate but oversimplified, making it difficult to draw deeper conclusions. A lot of research was necessary to try to make sense of it all and develop a story around the most up-to-date scientific information.

  • It took about 8 months of writing nearly every day to complete the first draft of "The Pluto Diaries" including several months of straight research and much more research along the way. It took more time to make revisions and direct the art for the story.

 

  • The planet characters' personalities were developed based on the real planets' physical attributes and other known properties. For example, Pluto is a nice guy because he is the planet with a distinct heart shape on his surface.  (The planet "with a heart.") The Neptune character hoards diamonds and catapults other characters into outer space because the planet Neptune produces diamond and has a strong gravitational force. Other characters were developed based on the real-life storyline of Pluto's demotion. For example, the character Eris became a troublemaker because of the role the dwarf planet played in getting Pluto demoted.

 

  • Eris was originally envisioned as a male character because I had temporarily forgotten that Eris was a Greek "goddess." When I did remember that Eris' namesake was female, I decided I didn't want to make the Eris character a female for a variety of reasons. His female name worked out well in the end, though; it became just another one of those things in the story that the astronomers "got wrong" because they did not intimately understand the planets they studied and were intent on naming space objects as they saw fit.

  • Part of my research was learning a lot about what non-scientists thought about Pluto's demotion to dwarf planet.  I trolled message boards and comment sections in scientific articles to determine how "regular"people felt and understand the arguments they gave. I decided everybody's point of view mattered.

  • Dysnomia is Eris' moon, but it is also a medical condition that causes some people to forget names. This is the reason that Eris' moon forgets his name in one of the cartoons.

Fun Facts about the Creation of The Pluto Diaries

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