Sunday, February 24, 2013

Notes on how the follow-on stories are written

There are multiple ways to approach a complex topic of what happens after the M-5 story as it leaves many, many pathways to go down.

One path would be to follow the USS Grant, a traditional approach of Star Trek which is to stick with a Fleet ship.  Yet the M-5 story concentrates not on a ship and, truly, not on an individual even though there are people who are of note driving it forward.  Maybe I'll get back to Capt. Lothar Hampton and the Grant some day, but that ship is not the center of what will be going on and so that first of the new M-5 systems gets moved off to the side.

The path of Enid Daystrom remains the overall driver behind events and yet she is waylaid by legalities.  There is an entire story there of just how complex the Federation actually is in regards to its members, non-members, and the volume of space that is occupied by it.  I've actually written the bare-bones to that, but a courtroom procedural going through multiple courts is, perhaps, just a bit too dull to be noteworthy for a story.  Parts of what goes on from that will be referenced as the subtle changes become a hard force all its own in the future.  For all that I like the character of Enid Daystrom, she not only gets waylaid but then moves off-stage for awhile.  That means she can't be the focus of the next suite of stories.

This leaves the most complex set of stories to tell: the return of Daystrom Industries in a way unlike anything that has gone on with Star Trek.  That means following the intertwining stories of new individuals doing new things in a different way, and peeling back layers of the Federation and Star Fleet, plus the Independents and the non-agreement regions of Earth.  Plus cashing in on those areas in more ways than one.  This is the vital and immediate path forward.

To write these stories I needed to create the initial narrative and begin by putting scenes together in a timeline.  That barebones multi-path set of scenes help to flesh out who comes from where, what they are doing and why.  As these stories are written scenes from that outline will appear in each story as they are nexus points of personnel and events.  These scenes serve as touchstones so that the reader can have a set of common reference points to understand what the timing of events are and how they interplay with each other.  A common theme will show up and it is the standing up of Daystrom Industries by finding people who stand out and are willing to risk their lives to advance their new careers.

This leaves open a broad swath of stories that also includes Star Fleet Command and the Federation Council as the larger course of external events start to put into question just how stable the Federation actually is.

My original idea was to shake up the underpinnings and assumptions of Star Trek and to remove from it decades of thought that had become clouded by the adoration of the characters in the various series.  Once those characters get stripped out, the ships moved to a wider perspective and the actual events also put into that perspective the underpinnings of the Star Trek Universe are exposed.  Confidence in the strength of individuals remains in my stories, written for my own entertainment, yes.  It is our same confidence that is tinged with uncertainties and knowing we are mortal and fallible, beings within Nature and liable to its faults.  This is true of the lowest of creatures and the highest of most advanced beings, and these stories start to show just what that means and how fallible the great are and how strong the weak can be when other creatures of Nature with different understanding shake up everything.

Thus the universe changes hard and fast when this happens, and that will happen on the timeframe of others who are doing what they would do in their own way.  We can never truly understand the Alien perspective, but by isolating them and creating their own circumstances and outlook, one can start to get a chilling view of just how they can see our complex world as simple, and they will act with that knowledge and their own abilities.  That is not that easy to think about, but relatively easy to write up to the point where my mind tells me to go a certain way and I have no idea why.  That is when I know I have the Alien perspective to work with.

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