Thursday, February 11, 2016

Making it up as you go along

(c) Stock Unlimited
Okay so I've started a new story. I told you about that last week. But where to go from there? Plot, Outline? To be very truthful, I had no real idea where this story was going to take me. I'm very conscious of the fact that I write space opera, so I can't just have a scifi mystery set in the future on some planet. There have to be spaceships. There have to be greater odds than just that somebody was murdered. Or even a serial killer. That can be part of the plot. But not the whole thing. Besides, even in our own age it's getting pretty hard for people to get away with much, what with DNA testing, spy satellites and the like.

Space Opera is what I write. Personal stories set in a greater, sweeping saga. And what I think people expect from one of my books. Am I writing to my audience? I suppose so. But I'm also writing what I'm comfortable with. It seems that history degree has had its value because I quite often find myself delving into my universe's history. Things that have been lost, and should never be found again. Forgotten pasts. The legacy of mythology. Ancient, ingrained beliefs.

So I find myself taking Brent and Tian down a road of discovery. They've found a symbol scratched on a wall. It's Yrmak, but what does it mean? And where will it take them?

Tell you what. I'll let you know when I work it out. But here's a teaser.

"Have you seen this around?" Tian used the table controls to draw three concentric circles with eight rays crossing over the center and directed the image to a screen.

Brent considered the design, his lower lip jutting. "Looks a bit like a spoke." His brow wrinkled. "Yeah, I have. But it was a graffiti on a wall down in Lizardville at Semla." The Yrmak sector of any space port was always called Lizardville by the human pilots. But then, the Yrmaks called the human sector Apetown. 

"Is that where you delivered the… ah… tractor parts?"

"Yeah." He cleared his throat. "What's it mean? I figured it was just kids leaving their mark, you know?"

"We're hearing rumors of a new church in the Yrmak heartlands. You know they think the constellation…. Well, no, you wouldn't. From Pok Yaavan, which is their world of origin, you can see a constellation they call the Mother." Tian brought up the view from Pok Yaavan, then used lines to join the outline of the mythical figure on the starscape.

"Huh. Doesn't look like my mother. And anyway, how can space-faring species believe that crap?"

"Well, they do." Tian requested an image of the Mother as represented in art, a female Yrmak carrying a tree branch in her right hand. "Here she is. This is a statue in the Temple of the Mother in Nambor space station's Yrmak district."

Ooooh - religion. Always starting wars. Let's see where this takes me. 


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