I started blogging as a writing discipline--a way to make myself write on a regular basis, even if the end result was crap--and for a long while, it worked.
However, though I passed along "tags" to a few other bloggers after I was tagged, all the tagging and memes left the taste of spam in my mouth. (pun intended) And after seeing the proliferation of invented blogging awards and reading obviously self-conscious essays meant to showcase a blogger's way with words--and I've written my share of "Oh, look at me! I'm a great writer!" posts--I'm just not as enamored of the blogging process as I once was.
Oh, I'll stick around--I have a piece of fiction to finish and post, just in case anyone's still reading--but the mode of writing discipline has changed. A few posts back, I mentioned trying to finish the next episode in a series. Serial fiction and a deadline, one either self-imposed or set by an editor, are excellent motivators.
That episode is finally finished, in the sense that it has a beginning, a middle, and an end. It was written in fits and starts, and scenes were added then deleted then added again, rearranged, shortened, extended, turned on their heads. But the episode is done. Now it's being edited and tweaked, and should be ready to submit in a couple of days. Whoo Hoo!
Sometimes, even though a writer has written inside a particular form on many occasions, he needs to go back and relearn how to do it. Ever look at "dog" or "small", or even "the", and wonder if you spelled it right? Well, that's a bit like what this episode has been for me.
I had to go back and relearn how to structure a story, how to cut from scene to scene, how to cut between the story's present and a flashback/memory. In order to help me get into that mode, I've been watching television serials on DVD. At the moment, a rented copy of Battlestar Gallactica, third season, is in the player.
The episode is still missing a necessary spark, but perhaps I can find it in the editing process.
Meantime, here's a scene that was added late on Saturday:
Curses and threats following her down the corridor, Captain Iona Zoltana scanned her dogtags across the security scan, the brig doors slid open, and she and her crew stepped into the holding zone between the cells and the entry. The doors closed with a hiss as the air pressure changed. Prisoners were given less oxygen—just under normal levels—than free citizens. Marty and his pirates could whinge at the top of their lungs all the planetary day long, but they’d just wear themselves down.
“Don’t they ever shut up?” Ensign Gaines scowled back down the corridor.
“A sleepy prisoner is a happy prisoner.”
Zoltana smiled slightly—“Mind the gap”—and gripped the handrail.
The holding zone shot sideways, and Gaines tottered into the wall and dropped his rifle. It skittered across the floor. The rest of the escort squad grinned or chuckled as Gaines righted himself, red-faced and scowling, and grabbed the rail.
At the guard station, a man in a standard dark blue uniform saluted. The gold wings of the government fleet marked his right sleeve. “Captain Zoltana.”
She returned the salute.
“I’m Liaison Officer Krieger. I’ve been sent to escort you to the admiralty, captain. Your detail is free to accompany us.”
“Officer Krieger.” Zoltana shook his hand then strode toward the exit. “Anything you can tell me on the way?”
“I don’t have the details, captain.”
“Then give me the scuttlebutt.”
Krieger waved his ID at the scanner, and the exterior door opened. “There’s been some chatter about Governor Bat’Alon’s daughter being aboard the freighter Martina Vega. Possible kidnapping.”
He looked puzzled when Zoltana laughed.
c. 2008, Keanan Brand