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Old July 24 2010, 10:43 AM   #570
Deranged Nasat
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Bravo, Nerys. That was wonderful! It was well worth waiting for this. I was eager to see your take on a Cardassian memorial, and as usual the work you've put into the representation - both in your writing and in the world-building - is really admirable. I wish I had your skill, I really do. The Thirteenth Order (all your Cardassian work for that matter) really comes across as a piece of creativity you have a real investment in. I must have said this before, but you are very skilled at creating an emotional "atmosphere" with your writing. I'm just sorry it took me so long to get round to posting this reply!

I'm not too good at explaining my meaning, so please excuse any confusing metaphors, odd word choices, or generally tortured expressions here . This scene's writing was very strongly emotional- and in a very subtle way, too. I really do think your finest gift as a writer is the ability to "build" these emotional nuances into your writing; they are always strong, yet never too strong. Your writing is never flat, but it also doesn't throw emotion in your face. Instead, the emotion is just...there; naturally, as though it should be. It's woven into the scene. Maybe you're a Hamalki as well as a Cardassian? And I think you capture what I can only describe as the inherent dignity of beings very well; your characters have a presence. That's something a lot of writers don't catch- but you do. You write people as though they are alive.

I also really loved how you balanced the solemn nature of the events with the flow of your writing. The juxtaposition was never an issue, and I really did get a sense of a solemn dignity, of a (here's where my vocabulary fails somwhat)...a quiet strength? a "sharply peaceful" certainty?, of the focused, ordered but not rigid (not in the case of these characters) Cardassian mind and worldview - and that underneath the flow of the writing. The scene was very...still..still but not rigid. Focused and strong but relaxed in a sense. Like a quiet moment in a conversation- not one where the silence means the talk has fettered out, but when you're sharing a moment of emotional strength.

The funeral customs and memorial traditions were captured really well, too- as some of the others here have said already. They really felt Cardassian, too; shades of old, spiritual Cardassia, new ultra-militant Cardassia, and the Cardassia that the 13th Order represents, as well. I guess I'm saying they felt complete- the product of a complete culture, with many threads and influences. I suppose that's a further sign of the work you put into your world-building.

Oh, and I loved your the use of "...for Cardassia" to finish Daro's opening speech. A familiar declaration, but used differently here. Not as a shout or battle-cry as we heard it onscreen, but as a calmer, quietely powerful statement. Sure of itself, but not in an arrogant way. In a genuinely knowing way. Justified pride, not hubris or desperation. I really felt the assurance, the honour, of the declaration.

Thank you for sharing your writing with us, NG. I'm glad I've gotten to know it.

..................................

PS: Once Thor Damar gets his half done, I'll post my first fan-fic to flounder like a diseased blowfish alongside your graceful manta ray of a story... LOL
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