Perhaps to try and stimulate some more discussion, I'll talk about an aspect of writing that really hit me in creating this episode more than it has previously - synchronicity. Maybe the other writers among you can relate?
For example, in episode 5 here, I initially mentioned the Kressari in the first scene in the Infirmary, purely as something that Bashir could have forgotten about, to demonstrate his failing mental faculties. I wanted a race we'd seen before on DS9. There was no greater intention to it than that.
It was only once it was already written that I realised what else I could do with it. How Kressari work with flowers, and flowers have been seen to have poisonous effects before (Garak used them on Romulus, for example), and that could be one of the things somebody could choose as a possible culprit for the dreams.
And then it was only after that, that I realised how the Kressari tied in even further through the already established character of Shing-Kur (from Fearful Symmetry and The Soul Key), who worked on messing with Taran'atar's head using dreams. And I could use that as a reason Cenn would distrust him - he was the one who interrogated Shing-Kur.
All of it just fell into place of its own accord, like the plot was writing itself. I love when that happens - when the stuff just works itself out if as it was meant to happen that way. It makes me feel like I'm really on the right track with things.
Does anyone else have a similar experience from their own writing?
Some friends and I were cowriting a Power Rangers fanseason (mock me if you must, but I loves me some cheesy sci fi/fantasy action). About halfway through, we had the main villain team up with a bit character and leave the main cast for a while. We fully planned on bringing him back, so one of us had the genius idea of having the hard-traveling duo star in the teasers for each upcoming episode. Like the teasers for Batman: The Brave and the Bold that were for the most part unrelated to the episode's overplot.
Later in the series, maybe four or five episodes later, I wanted to do an episode based around the traveling duo. However, we hadn't planned anything about their adventures other than making them funny, so I needed to find a way to tie them all together into a coherent narrative to feed into my new installment's plot.
The teasers involved things like aliens, mythological creatures, war diplomacy, and space travel. Just the most OUT THERE things we could think of.
Then came my episode.
I reread all the teasers, and completely randomly, there WAS a thread that tied them all together. Aliens, merfolk, space travel; even within the context of Power Rangers, this was all stuff that blurred the line between fiction and reality. So I made the episode's MacGuffin a mystical artifact which also blurred the lines between fiction and reality, and I used it to put a bunch of fanwanky stuff in the background in a way that was more organic than just doing it because it was fanfic and who cares.
And it WORKED.
I love synchronicity.