What’s Really Hard

I’ve discovered something about writing today.  I’ve discovered what’s really hard.  Especially when you are not in a contemporary setting, but instead creating a future world.  If you’re writing a historical you can  research and there are answers to tiny niggling questions.  You don’t get to do that in your own future history.  You have to make it up whole cloth, and damn it slows you down.

I’m working on my space opera and the first book is set at the League’s military academy, The High Ground.  I had to decide the who would serve as drill sergeants — third year students?  Enlisted spacers?  It was silly but it had me pacing for some period of time while I analyzed all the ramifications and made the decision.  And there are just going to be more of these as I go forward.  Since this is the first book in the series I have a lot of these kind of decisions to make.  I’m hoping that once they are made and the societal and military structure is in place it will get easier.

Or maybe not.  Writing is hard.  That’s the bottom line.  I love it, but it’s hard.

5 Responses to What’s Really Hard

  • Melinda Snodgrass says:

    One other point I meant to make. Big plot points are easy for me. I know the major tent pole scenes that propel a book forward. It’s the little stuff between the poles that drives you crazy.

  • Georgino Ludwig says:

    I understand on an intellectual basis about the smaller details of writing. If only from having studied so many different works over the years and contemplating how I would teach those works. But just because your creating something new doesn’t mean you can’t look at past examples for an answer. I know you’ve got your answer in your head by now about how it should be structured but current and past models of military structure say that it would be taught by a mix of civilian experts and NCOs. Drill Sgts for example have a specialized school they must go to in the US Army. because they must learn not only the physical but the psychological aspects to training and how to best employ them.

    A Drill Sgt is often a very hated person who will push you to your limits physically and mentally. But they are also very observant and know when not to push someone and when to compliment them.

    also can’t wait to read it when your done

    • Melinda Snodgrass says:

      Thanks, Georgino. That’s very helpful. That’s what I ended up doing. I read up about training methods for the navy and the army and went with a title from the navy. I just think a Space Command would be based more on the navy than anything else. I looked at the air force, but Military Instructor didn’t have quite the ring as Recruit Commander.

  • wolflahti says:

    It always bugged me that Star Trek based it pseudo-military structure on the Navy rather than the Air Force. It’s true that the Navy has in place the protocols for long-term missions, but it was the Air Force that initiated nearly all the advances in aerospace technology and exploration. This is why my space-based stories involve flight decks rather than bridges.

    • Melinda Snodgrass says:

      Good points. I think I went with Navy because so many of the astronauts have been Navy fliers. And after all those years of playing Privateers and Gentlemen with Walter Jon Williams I have this fondness for the navy. The character is Imperials is loosely based on the character I created for P&G.

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I suspect that religion was some random by-product of mammalian reproduction… a necessary evil in the childhood of our species… but why was it more evil than necessary? Isn’t killing people in the name of God a pretty good definition of insanity? — Arthur C. Clarke (1917 – 2008)

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