31 January 2010 - 8:36 pm

Starwalker: starts tomorrow!

I can’t believe it’s February tomorrow. January has gone by so quickly, stuffed full of bits of this and that. I had hoped to have a rest, find my feet, and set myself up for the year’s challenges ahead. I think I’ve managed at least some of that. The rest is still a work in progress.

I’ve spent a lot of time doing background work for Starwalker. The nature of the new blogfic means that it requires a more solid setup than the Apocalypse Blog did – with AB, I had a lot more freedom to make stuff up on the fly. I also had a clearer idea about how the first couple of weeks of posts would go. Starwalker is different and, for me, harder.

I haven’t done a lot of hard scifi before. I’ve been reading books on astronomy and physics to try to get my head in the right place for this one. I don’t intend to put a lot of the science into it, but I do have to understand it! So far, it’s going good, and I’m gathering some interesting material.

I think the hardest part to put together has been the cast list. I had a couple of characters fairly solid in my head when the idea first formed, but fleshing out the rest of the crew of the Starwalker has been a challenge. I don’t usually do this much character prep! I’m more of a ‘toss them together and see what happens’ kind of writer when it comes to that. But as the blog takes place on board a spaceship, the crew and passengers are finite and fairly inflexible. Whatever I start with, I have to run with.

Thank goodness I took January off. I have the Cast page up now, with all the base stats of the story’s regular players. The About pages have been polished up for both the story and Starwalker. The Colonies page is there too, but I have yet to fill out the information on that one. That’ll probably be a work in progress for a little while as I tease out the details and feel the world out. I have a notebook full of notes that will eventually make it onto there. Some of it I don’t want to reveal yet!

I had hoped to have the first couple of weeks’ worth of posts written by now. As it stands, I have almost the first week done. I wound up with visitors and chores filling up yesterday, which was great fun (okay, the chores not so much, but the friends visiting, definitely). I don’t mind giving up writing time for that! Today, the CFS is biting hard, and I’ve been mostly resting and unable to focus enough to do something creative.

Instead, I edited the first post and got it scheduled up on the blog. It took me ages to format the damn thing – I have chosen an awkward format that requires some fiddling with code to make it look right. Hopefully it’ll publish the way I want it to, and it won’t be confusing (I’m going for clear and readable, not pretty). Luckily, there won’t be too many posts quite that heavy on the formatting (I won’t say why, but you’ll see in tomorrow’s post!).

I’m having fun with the setup of the SW fictional blog. There’ll be log entries from two or three of the crew (the chief engineer and the captain, and possibly one or two others) that Starwalker ‘peeks’ on, as well as the ship’s own logs. Conversations are going to be more like transcripts, done in script-format as if they’re recordings (I’m still toying with the style of that a bit).

It’s going to be different to anything I’ve written before. The more I think about it, the more I realise that this is a departure for me. AB was an experiment in discipline and a new format (blogfic), but a familiar way of storytelling. I hadn’t done a lot of first person before AB, but that’s not hard to fall into, especially when you’re doing it every day. For SW, I’m straying into hard scifi, a stricter setup, more characters to juggle, and a more rigid format.

The voice hasn’t come as easily as Faith’s did and getting the posts down has been a struggle. The 20-minute train commute isn’t long enough to get much of a flow going, especially with new characters, and a couple of times over the past couple of weeks, train system issues have meant that I haven’t been able to write on the commute at all. After I get home, I’m usually so tired that the last thing I want to do is write.

I think part of this year’s challenge is going to be getting past that hump. I should be able to get a post written every day, which will give me time to get other writing done as well. I have AB shorts to put together and a novel to edit. I think I need to set myself a schedule and be merciless about sticking to it. And kick this CFS in the ass, dammit.

9am tomorrow morning, Brisbane time, the first Starwalker post goes live. There’s no turning back then – I have to make it work! Head down, tail up, off we go.

I’m nervous about this one. With AB, I was exploring and excited. With SW, I have people waiting to read it, an audience I might disappoint, so the pressure is a lot higher. It’s fantastic and I’m lucky to have people who want to read my work! But I am nervous. Thank goodness WordPress is going to post it for me – at least I don’t have to push the button myself!

Fingers crossed! I hope you all like it. Onwards into the black, my friends!

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