29 September 2011 - 6:45 pm

When they get away

Warning: potential spoilers here. If you haven’t read (up to and including) this week’s Starwalker post, go catch up quick!

So, this week’s Starwalker post went a little sideways on me while I was writing it. Which is not to say that it went badly – on the contrary, the reactions have been very positive! It just wound up not being what I intended.

I’ve got a little list of the stuff that I need to cover in order to get the story to where it needs to be for the end of Book 2. Next in line was a discussion about the implications of time travel, but somehow, the characters didn’t want to talk about that. No, they decided that they’d get hung up on the issue of legally changing the starship’s ownership to escape prosecution.

As I was writing the scene, it reminded me of at the end of Book 1, in which the crew had to decide whether to stay on board or not. This week’s post came down to the same question, for a different reason. I’m not a fan of repetition but it was difficult to get away from – the decision had to be made in order for them to be able to move forward, and while the captain could have made it on their behalf, that’s not the sort of person he is. Not to mention that having a pissed-off crew would have caused more and different problems down the track.

Perhaps it’s a happy symmetry, instead. Both books have come to a point where the crew have to weigh up just how much they want to stay, points of no return for them to step over. Thinking about the projected arc of the third book, it’s likely that there’ll be a moment like that towards the end there as well (again, for a different reason).

 I suspect that when it comes to editing the Starwalker books (into ebooks or for submission to traditional publishers), I’ll either shine them up into a more pleasing symmetry, or take one of them out. Having just got done with editing the first book of the Apocalypse Blog, the chances of me taking something out are fairly slim (I hate throwing stuff away).

There’s definite scope for improvement in there, though, once I can see the bigger picture. Writing the way that I do, it’s sometimes hard to keep the big picture in mind, especially as deep into the story as I am right now. I’m pretty determined that I won’t start editing this story until I have all three books written, so I can get that 1,000-foot view of the story as a whole.

Back to this week’s post, it wound up completely missing out on what I originally set out to achieve. I had written in the talk about time travel at the end, but that not only added almost 1,000 words to the post (and they’re getting way too long lately!); it also changed the tone of the post entirely. Starry’s giddy moment was quashed by the seriousness of what followed and wound up getting lost.

The more I looked at the post, the more it felt crammed and trying to do too much. It wound up muddled, particularly in terms of the emotions running through it. And, hell, I’m not tied to any particular deadline for the end of Book 2, so why rush it? So the serious bit at the end has been pulled out (and will be filled out/polished for next week’s post) and it just focusses on the crew’s deliberations and decisions.

I tend to write for and from character, and I’ve grown to love writing the conversations in Starwalker. The transcript-style format is fun to play with, and I enjoy the rapid back-and-forth nature of it. My cast have such different voices to play with, and often their perspectives surprise me.

I had expected Cameron to be the one to be most disturbed by the captain’s proposed course of action (due to the legal violations involved), but she was very calm and pragmatic about it. Elliott was quiet, which makes a change from his usual mouthiness, but he already knew about the proposal. Rosie got to be the outraged one for the most part, which amuses me because she’s also the one most likely to smack someone in the face.

Of all of them, Lang Lang was the biggest surprise. When I started the conversation, I wasn’t sure how she would react, but when it came time for her to speak, she knew exactly what she wanted to say.  That was one of the easiest bits of the post for me to write (and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make me a little emotional!).

I think it was Lang Lang’s statement that determined the subject of the post. Her quiet declaration and its affect on Starry fitted so beautifully into the starship’s evolution that I wanted to hug them both. Starry’s going through so many changes lately, stamping around in her processors like a rebellious teenager, and she needed this little gem to alter her perspective slightly.

Through much of this book, Starry has been a kid trying to work out who she wants to grow up to be. She has been searching for so many things, like safety, security, and belonging. Her homecoming and Is-Tech’s rejection damaged her more than she realises – they’re her parental substitutes – but it also gave her the strength to try to stand on her own. Lang Lang’s statement helped with that too, but in a more positive way.

I bandied names for the books around a while ago, and have roughly settled on Identity for Book 1, and Ownership for Book 2. The story is taking that idea into places I hadn’t originally planned, just like this week’s post didn’t quite turn out the way I had intended. But I’m far from complaining: I love where this is going. It’s so much fun to write!

Can’t wait to share it all with you. 🙂

What do you think of this post?
  • Awesome (1)
  • Interesting (1)
  • Useful (1)
  • More pls (2)

Comments are closed!