25 March 2010 - 3:43 pm

Fun with ships and pirates

Yesterday was not a good day for me. I was exhausted, right down to the bone, to the extent that I desperately wanted to fall asleep in the middle of my working day (which, despite the CFS, rarely happens to me), my brain ceased functioning for periods at a time, and sometimes I just sat and stared at the mountain of work I need to get through.

But it was a Wednesday, which meant that there was a Starwalker post to get up. Luckily, by the time I had got home and had dinner, I was feeling marginally more awake. Writing on the way home had energised me a bit, mostly because of the subject of the post. Space pirates! Crisis! And a mildly crazy ship.

Yesterday’s post has been coming for a long time. It’s one of those plot points that takes a lot of building up to – I love making my characters go ‘SPANG’, but I prefer to do it in a way that makes sense. Juggling all those pieces into the right place at the right time isn’t easy, but damn, it’s worth it.

I think I surprised myself with how little I had planned it all out. The write-by-the-seat-of-my-pants habit I got into with the Apocalypse Blog is continuing to work well for me as I write footloose and buffer-free. All I knew was the decision that had to be made and the ending of the post – the rest pretty much got made up as I wrote. I hadn’t planned to blow up half a moon – that grew out of the position the ship started out in, which only came about because I have that little positional information section at the top of the post. But it worked itself in surprisingly well. Don’t you just love it when a half-baked plan comes together?

Originally, I hadn’t wanted to leave it on a cliffhanger. I wanted to get right through to the end of the chase, partly for completeness but also because of the real-time aspect. But at the same time, the next portion of the chase deserves a good share of attention on its own – it’s a pivotal part of the story and seems only right to give it its own post. Plus, the damn posts are getting longer, hovering around 2,000 words each at the moment. Whoops. No wonder they’re taking me a couple of days to put together.

So, there you go. I wrote through exhaustion and confusion, got a little bit emotional in the middle of it (Starwalker breaks my heart), and wound up with something I was excited and terrified to post. That doesn’t happen often. I think the last time I felt that wound-up about a post was when I killed off Dillon in AB. Or maybe when Faith’s Dad said goodbye.

I’m glad to say that it was all worth it. I’ve had comments on it already, with exactly the kinds of reactions I was going for. Today, I am not quite as exhausted as I was yesterday, and a little bit elated at the feedback. One of the best things I did this time around was to turn comments on on the blogfic, because my readers are awesome.

I’ve been getting suggestions/requests to have some kind of discussion forum for SW, too. It’s not something I thought about before (or dreamed would actually be used/necessary!). But people seem to want it, so I shall look into it! Then readers can go and speculate about what’s happening in the story to their heart’s content.

But first, I need to get this next post written. Somehow, I have to follow up yesterday’s post with something that at least doesn’t suck. Wish me luck!

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