Where Reality Meets Fantasy

When it comes to research, experience is the key. But, how do you experience life on a starship? The simple answer is “you can’t.” So, this is where imagination and experience combine to create something wonderful. Let’s look at a starship about like a destroyer. In general, a destroyer is a hunter. She may have one or two cutters (rather like a “RIB” in today’s navy) but nothing like the kinds of craft available to a carrier. I think modeling her after an old Diesel submarine with a few modifications like some mass-driver turrets (kind of like an eight-inch gun), laser mounts, and missile tubes to replace the torpedo tubes. And, just for giggles, let’s say that it’s four reactor power plants (I use fusion plants, where the reactor creates a stabile micro-star in my stories) where there’s three required for power and one for failsafe. And it’s cramped. So cramped that you pretty much have breathing room only, with one shift racked, one shift either coming off or getting ready to go on, and one change at stations at all times, with almost zero privacy anywhere in the ship. Continue reading “Where Reality Meets Fantasy”

Time! Where’s the time!

Well, since it has been a while, let’s talk about the single worst enemy that faces a Writer with a Day Job. (That’s a good book but basically says what I’m going to say here.) So, here’s the deal, you work full time, come home to the kids and just don’t have time for anything. And, in my case, you’re a part-time student working on a bachelor’s of arts degree, too. When do you have time to work on your story? Well, the short answer is, you make it! Continue reading “Time! Where’s the time!”

Experience as Research

Previously, I talked about researching and creating a play book (or, perhaps, a set of universal laws for the universe you create).  Today, I’m going to mention a different form of research.  Not everything you can do can come from a book.  This is just the way it is.  For example, let’s take the killer in my current work.  She is so terribly afraid of getting caught that she can barely function.  But, how do I show this to the reader?  I mean, if I simply tell the reader she is, they won’t believe me.  I don’t believe it when I’m told it in the books I read.  I want to see it!  So, here is where I go: Experience! Continue reading “Experience as Research”