The Story's Story - Dramatic Solution
Here's the second post about how one of my stories came to be. This time I'll talk about one of the Frigate Victory stories, Dramatic Solution.
The Victory stories began as my effort to create something in the vein of Star Trek or Babylon 5. I wanted my stories to be more grounded. There would be no grand myths, and the duties of the ship and crew would be clearly defined.
The first Victory story written was actually a film script. It was the crew's first adventure together, and involved an encounter with a pirate. That's all I remember of the script. The pirate captain character was interesting; he's one of the elements that I brought in for this story. A second element ended up being hinted at: Captain Ayers uses a bit of deception to capture the pirate's ship.
Another element that drove Dramatic Solution was the idea that Victory had to protect a planet of low-tech colonists from the danger of pirates. The problems were that Victory (nor any other warship of the Terran Federal Republic) could remain in orbit, nor could Captain Ayers build some sort of automated satellite to do the job. I think the idea Fournier comes up with to protect the colony is quite clever.
In this story, the main battle takes place off-stage. While writing the story I realized that describing the battle would only take up space. The battle wasn't important to the plot. What was important was that the pirate ship that Victory bests is one of several under the command of the pirate captain. Adding to the complication was why that one ship was in orbit around that particular planet.
Battle scenes can be exciting. But in a short story, you only have so many pages to tell the tale. A battle that isn't absolutely essential to the plot wastes space. Wasting space will waste the reader's time.
I hope this gives you more insight into this story, and in how I write. If you like these posts, please let me know. Thanks!