Glenn

The Fan Trek Mutual Assistance Helpline

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Glenn   

I was just researching something for Star Trek: Discovery and had an idea for this. It's probably been done, and if so I apologise for the duplicate, but still... worth a shot.

THE FAN TREK MUTUAL ASSISTANCE HELPLINE is a service whereby regular Fan Trek contributors can post their problems, queries or questions and get help from your fellow creative posters. For example, if researching dangerous spacial anomalies, and you can't quite remember what one is called or which episode it's from, etc. etc. post here and someone might have the answer for you! Or, if you want to be broad, you can ask fans of your work for advice about where to go next: eg, "I've written this scene, how will they escape?" or "I've got this picture of Janeway but don't know what to do with it. What would you recommend?"

Speaking of Janeway, I think this sort of community helpline "should increase performance and maximise efficiency" (quote from "Prime Factors" [VGR], in case the reference was lost)! What say you?

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trekfan   

Sure. I mean, we all need help at some point. Be a great place to bat ideas around.

I'm in.

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Sabra   

Sounds great :) You were talking about writing, but can we also post questions/answers about fan art? Or should we start a seperate thread for that?

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Glenn   
Sounds great :) You were talking about writing, but can we also post questions/answers about fan art? Or should we start a seperate thread for that?

I mentioned fan art in the opening post with that example of asking about a Janeway picture! Absolutely! :thumbsup2:

Jolly good to see people on board! I guess we're just waiting on the first question now, then... and to be honest, I hope there isn't one, as it would mean people are stuck/have problems!

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trekfan   
I mentioned fan art in the opening post with that example of asking about a Janeway picture! Absolutely! :thumbsup2:

Jolly good to see people on board! I guess we're just waiting on the first question now, then... and to be honest, I hope there isn't one, as it would mean people are stuck/have problems!

Alas, everyone has problems.

Which brings me to mine.

Sadly, I'm kinda battling with myself about a character I want to introduce in my current writings (the Pearl of course). See, there is now a void in the XO position (I refer you to ch. 6 of book 2) and I want a character that kinda blends with the crew.,

But at the same time, I'd like someone who completly stands out. Now, I've already determined that the new XO will be female, but exactly what she is all about is the question.

After watching Beverly Hills Cop last night (Love that movie) I noticed that the guy who plays Jellico (and the disgruntled Lieutenant of the BH force in the movie) always seems to pla that tough guy, by the book role (even in Stargate SG-1).

And I just kinda wondered what, if anything, a character like that would add/subtract to the mix of the Pearl's crew. I'd like to have a kinda tough, hardnose character, but so far it seems that I write a lot of the older characters that way (namely the admirals) and I really was considering having a female hardnose as the XO.

yet, on the other hand, I really hate writing hard noses (unless I can totally make them look like jerks) and I would hate to write in an XO like that and have her be nothing more than a "hated" character.

At the same time, having an XO who's lax and is just as relaxed as the rest of the crew is would kinda be just another face in the crowd.

Then of course there's always that delicate balance I have to maintain with the crew dynamic.

So, really, I'm kinda stuck.

My question is, should I try for a hard nose, tough character, someone whose kinda laid back, or someone inbetween?

Or should I try for something else completly different?

Ideas anyone?

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Terilynn   

OK - Here's my issue again (Ijust wrote about this in my thread - but having a communcal forum is much better because I want more than just a couple of opinions!)

I'm currently finishing a flashback scene with Riker and his 12-yr old son. (For those of you who haven't read my Heritage stuff - suffice it to say it's my project of love, and by no means is to be taken utterly seriously) BUT I lovin' it.

Now I've written the scene - told from Riker's perspective - because it deals with his internal thought process about his father and their horrible relationship. When I finished the scene I was happy with it. But a few hours later I began to worry that the scene should be written from Bill's POV, because it is after all, Bill's "book." So I wrote the scene again (almost done) from Bill's POV.

Bill can hear Riker's thought process through dialogue and that's ok. And because Bill's empathic - he can also sense what Riker's feeling, but now his actual thoughts.

As a reader, what's more compelling for you? Hearing what Bill might think about his dad or Hearing what Riker has to say about both his son and his father?

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SLWalker   

I would say something in between, TF. Maybe instead of making her a hardass, just make her very military. Disciplined, focused and with a lot of gravity about her position on the crew. That gives you some room for both conflict and sympathy -- maybe she learned this during the war, and it kept her alive. It doesn't have to be major conflict, either; perhaps her presence and bearing can offer the Pearl's crew a bit of a sense of security as well, once they get used to her -- she's competent and can act in a more military manner when they need that.

That help any?

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Terilynn   
My question is, should I try for a hard nose, tough character, someone whose kinda laid back, or someone inbetween?

Or should I try for something else completly different?

Ideas anyone?

tf - Ronnie Cox is such a great actor too!

The one thing about Jellico that has ALWAYS stood out for me? In the end? He was RIGHT. He was damn good at what he did - and just because he had a different hard-nosed style didn't mean he didn't care. He just expressed his passions strongly. That's why I think he and Riker conflicted, because in his own way Riker was a lot like him. It was a great tension between the two characters and something that really shook up the crew. It was great drama!

So your hard-nosed character doesn't have to be a b*tch, she can just be really, really, REALLY good at what she does and doesn't need to get or give kudos all the time. :)

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trekfan   
I would say something in between, TF. Maybe instead of making her a hardass, just make her very military. Disciplined, focused and with a lot of gravity about her position on the crew. That gives you some room for both conflict and sympathy -- maybe she learned this during the war, and it kept her alive. It doesn't have to be major conflict, either; perhaps her presence and bearing can offer the Pearl's crew a bit of a sense of security as well, once they get used to her -- she's competent and can act in a more military manner when they need that.

That help any?

Hmmm...That could work. Military. I could see that.

Actually, that very well could work.

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Sabra   

Yeah, I like the military suggestion too, it leaves room for different personal trades. Especially the conflict one, that always ensures good dialogue and plots twist.

Terilynn, I'm gonna have to give yours some thought after I read it.

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Terilynn   
Yeah, I like the military suggestion too, it leaves room for different personal trades. Especially the conflict one, that always ensures good dialogue and plots twist.

Terilynn, I'm gonna have to give yours some thought after I read it.

I might post both and let you guys vote. ;)

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trekfan   
tf - Ronnie Cox is such a great actor too!

The one thing about Jellico that has ALWAYS stood out for me? In the end? He was RIGHT. He was damn good at what he did - and just because he had a different hard-nosed style didn't mean he didn't care. He just expressed his passions strongly. That's why I think he and Riker conflicted, because in his own way Riker was a lot like him. It was a great tension between the two characters and something that really shook up the crew. It was great drama!

So your hard-nosed character doesn't have to be a b*tch, she can just be really, really, REALLY good at what she does and doesn't need to get or give kudos all the time. :)

I just saw this!

yeah, seriously, Ronnie Cox is a great actor. I can watch almost anything he's in.

But you make a very good point.

This thread is pretty good at helping. Awesome.

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Glenn   
As a reader, what's more compelling for you? Hearing what Bill might think about his dad or Hearing what Riker has to say about both his son and his father?

Hearing it from Bill's perspective would be more interesting and more sci-fi. It's a great concept, to hear someone's perspective through somebody else's perspective... kinda like a Russian doll, the person within the person within the person, y'know? It's science fiction, it's new stuff, therefore my vote is for the former option.

trekfan, I think your question's been answered. :thumbsup2:

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Terilynn   

Thanks CA - usually my gut tells me when something's not right and you've helped quite a bit....

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SLWalker   

Okay, I'll give this a try. The story I'm trying to work on involves some rather traumatic happenings; first, the initial 'triggering' trauma (which is bad enough), but then also the 'flashback' trauma that's very much like PTSD. This is hard enough to write when you have a main character who is actually good at thinking even in this kind of bad situation, but the problem is... I don't.

I did manage to knock out the Prologue and a little of the first chapter, but it's been a very hard struggle. Mostly because trying to write Scott in any shape is usually some work; trying to write him when he's in survival mode, though, is next to impossible. The little SOB does not think in words, in actual patterns, but acts/reacts primarily by instinct -- of course, in a lot of situations this would be a good trait to have, but in trying to write that down?

I do have Corry on the other part, but he's proving to be a pain-in-the-ass this time, too, because he's confused, worried half-senseless and overloaded with stuff.

So... any suggestions on how I deal with this writing conundrum?

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Terilynn   
Okay, I'll give this a try. The story I'm trying to work on involves some rather traumatic happenings; first, the initial 'triggering' trauma (which is bad enough), but then also the 'flashback' trauma that's very much like PTSD. This is hard enough to write when you have a main character who is actually good at thinking even in this kind of bad situation, but the problem is... I don't.

I did manage to knock out the Prologue and a little of the first chapter, but it's been a very hard struggle. Mostly because trying to write Scott in any shape is usually some work; trying to write him when he's in survival mode, though, is next to impossible. The little SOB does not think in words, in actual patterns, but acts/reacts primarily by instinct -- of course, in a lot of situations this would be a good trait to have, but in trying to write that down?

I do have Corry on the other part, but he's proving to be a pain-in-the-ass this time, too, because he's confused, worried half-senseless and overloaded with stuff.

So... any suggestions on how I deal with this writing conundrum?

OK - Now for my pathetic attempt at trying to help.

People in survival mode react the same way really - animalistically. You don't need to think in words per se - but how would the animal in the person react?.

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SLWalker   
OK - Now for my pathetic attempt at trying to help.

People in survival mode react the same way really - animalistically. You don't need to think in words per se - but how would the animal in the person react?.

::nods:: I know that part; it's how I can translate that to words while maintaining his POV that I'm struggling with. And if I decide instead to write Cor's more rational POV, how to avoid slipping into an expository information dump while still hitting the 'who, what, where, when, how and why'.

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Terilynn   
::nods:: I know that part; it's how I can translate that to words while maintaining his POV that I'm struggling with. And if I decide instead to write Cor's more rational POV, how to avoid slipping into an expository information dump while still hitting the 'who, what, where, when, how and why'.

Because it's really Scott's actions that are key? Whew. Ouch, now I see where you're coming from. What's with our POV issues Steff? Geez! ;) I'm like you, I like to have it one way or another -

Is it that using Cor's POV might not be able to give the reader the reasons behind Scott's actions? If so, you might actually have to let Scott be a little more linear in his reactions/thought processes than he normally would be... Is Scott flashing back to a prior trauma? (You mentioned the PTSD type scenario) or is he using that prior experience as a lesson and reacting differently because of it?

I say try Scott's POV if you can and allow him to think his reactions out. Cause and effect. What happens gives him a question or a puzzle that needs solving - his reaction - in linear form...with words. ie; fire explodes from a panel. Scott's not going to say "Oh look fire." He's going to know exactly what kind of fire that it is, what it's burning and what chemical retardant he'd need to extinguish it. Those thoughts can be words and very few of them I think. - Fire. EPS Conduit. No plasma involvement. Standard tank. Those heightened senses for him only clarify his thought processes.

But I may have my head shoved way up my butt.

You know this character so much better than any of us so if I've missed him completley, just roll your eyes and pat me on the head. It's cool! :)

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SLWalker   
Because it's really Scott's actions that are key? Whew. Ouch, now I see where you're coming from. What's with our POV issues Steff? Geez! ;) I'm like you, I like to have it one way or another -

Is it that using Cor's POV might not be able to give the reader the reasons behind Scott's actions? If so, you might actually have to let Scott be a little more linear in his reactions/thought processes than he normally would be... Is Scott flashing back to a prior trauma? (You mentioned the PTSD type scenario) or is he using that prior experience as a lesson and reacting differently because of it?

I say try Scott's POV if you can and allow him to think his reactions out. Cause and effect. What happens gives him a question or a puzzle that needs solving - his reaction - in linear form...with words. ie; fire explodes from a panel. Scott's not going to say "Oh look fire." He's going to know exactly what kind of fire that it is, what it's burning and what chemical retardant he'd need to extinguish it. Those thoughts can be words and very few of them I think. - Fire. EPS Conduit. No plasma involvement. Standard tank. Those heightened senses for him only clarify his thought processes.

But I may have my head shoved way up my butt.

You know this character so much better than any of us so if I've missed him completley, just roll your eyes and pat me on the head. It's cool! :)

The problem I ran into immediately going with the 'let him think his reactions out' is that... he doesn't. He acts, reacts and does all of this faster than his brain has a chance to put into words, at least in cases where it's down to raw survival. (There are a scattering of examples of this throughout the early Arc of the Wolf, before he starts calming down and settling and getting more steady -- Now, Junkyard Dogs, Torn, ONOW... well, a bunch of examples. Though, even in the actual original canon, Wolf in the Fold is a good example too -- Walking Wounded after that as well).

So, then when he does calm down, he could think through these things... but then he STILL doesn't. Scotty really is awful at putting things into context when it comes to his life, or any life really -- machines? Sure! Himself? Nu uh. He doesn't sit there, after the fact and think, "All right, I just had this massive panic attack... now, why did I?" He knows why, and then promptly tries to avoid even THINKING about it. And a whole lot of this takes place on instinctive levels, not on conscious ones.

I can write this, but only in short amounts. If I actually did write it strictly from his POV, this would be an absurdly fragmented story. Now is a good example of it; lots of immediacy and not much higher thinking. Torn is a more stream-of-consciousness look, and is very... looping, repetitive thoughts, and fragments of thoughts.

I suppose eventually I'll have no choice but to figure it out, even fragmented. The good point in trying to write at least half of it from Cor's POV is that it gives an outsight perspective with insight, though the stuff that happens in this story doesn't actually get explained for two whole bloody years...

...anyone confused yet?

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Sabra   

This may sound like an utterly lame suggestion but I'm no writer and it just sprang to mind. I have no idea how you'd write such a thing though. :blush:

Since he doesn't really reflect on his actions (i.e. the panic attack for example), can't you have him do something that might be his equivalent of 'thinking it over'. For instance, he has a panic attack, he knows it but doesn't know how to deal with it nor does he want to, so he goes fixing machines that don't really need fixing in the middle of the night. Or something...

Not very good, I know. You picked a hard one to write!

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SLWalker   

Sabra: That's pretty insightful psychology -- he does do that kind of thing. Though, he's always able to actually find something that needs repaired, or even just given some TLC, or outright redesigned... but yeah, I'm sure that'll come up in the aftermath.

I'm starting to get a kind of tentative path in mind, now.

Thanks for the help so far!

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Ael   

My turn!

I know most of you have read my first story, that was supposed to be small, but turned itno some 110 page monster...lol

Well, I am on my second part of whats going to be a series and I am a little stuck. I have written down some lines and scenes as they popped into my head and this one will be written in 1st and 3rd person POV this time. But anyways, things arent going to go very well for her this time, as just because Bochra accepts her, doesnt mean she is going to be well recieved once on the planet!

Long story short, she is taken into custody once on the planets surface. Tomalak has the authority to make them release her for the time being, but refuses to do it. Ael is knocked out after she wont stop struggling and running her mouth off and comes to in a small, cramped cell that is nearly pitch black, Think solitary confinment. She is chained to the floor and not understanding what is goin on.

After a while there where she first sees around herself, I am cutting to a scene where Bochra is alone in in his quarters and pacing restlessly, trying hard to think of a way out of this for Ael, when really there isnt a ton he can do.

Back to Ael again and now she is being taken for interrogation, as more then one believes she is nothing more then a spy with an elaborate story.

Much much later I have a few lines written between Tomalak and Bochra as they argue with each other over the situation. Tomalak is all like; Forget her. Along with; its her or your life. Bochra is pretty much like, F you (in not so many words!) and starts trying to think of a way to get his love back if she is unable to save herself.

Thats about all I have and I am stuck on if it will all come together. I think it should and I am not sure what I should stick in there, what she could do to 'win' etc. Hopeing to have the first chapter done soon and I am workin on it! I can show people what I have actually written so far if ya like. Glenn has already seen it :biggrin:

But yes, suggestions, ideas, anything is welcome!

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