Tips for writing a great Star Trek fanfiction story or series.

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by surak-toc, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. surak-toc

    surak-toc Commander Red Shirt

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    Oops indeed, a great spoiler though, going to be interesting to see it progresses
     
  2. surak-toc

    surak-toc Commander Red Shirt

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    I want everyone's opinion on this idea, what would you think when I say instead of the setting for starfleet academy being earth bound how about on the new ships in later years there a whole deck that's fitted with classrooms, labs, computer or what goes for a computer suites, weapons training/engineering suites, rec areas, dorms and what every student of the academy would need, that's where ships that are dimensionally transendient are brought into the mix, the lecturers are holograms who represent the actual people from earth starfleet academy with the occasional guest from the past as they were, for students to get in to this hands on academy the students have to complete one year on earth starfleet then complete a placement test to decide if they get in or have to stay on earth, the right students for this are chosen, a hands on front line experience, tell me would this idea work with in a story or series setting.

    Additional - cadets have a the chance to choice 5 out of the 20 elective subjects
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014
  3. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Can you actually justify that, or is it being included just because it looks cool? A training ship that is "dimensionally transcendent"? What does that even mean? And isn't that like a university developing a particle accelerator just for the students to play with?
     
  4. surak-toc

    surak-toc Commander Red Shirt

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    Basically as it's but in doctor who it's bigger on the inside, the ships still massive though,
    the ship won't technically be a training ship, the academy only being on a single deck and the academy follows the same education structure as the earth base, being on a ship for some of the students is a hands on and more of a extra bit advanced part.
     
  5. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Honestly, it sounds like it's just there for the sake of being cool. Both the TARDIS stuff and the fact that it is on a ship. And why would the ship need to be massive if it can be any size on the inside? Why not just have a Galaxy-class size ship inside a shuttlecraft?

    And why do they need a training facility on a ship? If it's like a training vessel a la USS Valiant, then it's understandable (but would they really use this TARDIS technology on a ship like that?), but it sounds like it's just a ship they've decided to put a school in, and I've gotta wonder what the benefit of having a school that can fly is. Why not just have them going to the academy on Earth and when they need to be on a ship they can go on a dedicated training vessel?
     
  6. surak-toc

    surak-toc Commander Red Shirt

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    Where I am coming from is that the ship be a used for what it's supposed to be, the academy should I say only be on certain ships, only some will have that facility on then, I will scrap the bigger on the inside bit, but I think by have a starfleet academy deck with the above facilities means instead of being grounded and only going on training exercises and what not it's all upfront first hand experience for new cadets, all real stuff
     
  7. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Another thing I recognized upon watching Abramstrek 1... write the story for the real world first, and then translate it into space. If it makes sense in a real world scenario, it will make sense in sci fi as well.


    nuKirk's journey from cadet to captain is completely ridiculous if you apply it to the real world. A madman with his own ship (let's say a submarine), and an arsenal of nuclear weapons has destroyed a Navy ship, and killed cadet Kirk's father in the process. Years later, he shows up again, and attacks a major city. Naval cadet Kirk is suspended for cheating on a test, but illegally boards the aircraft carrier Enterprise which is sent to the rescue mission. He runs into the command center and confronts the commanding officer (Pike) with his hunch about how it's the madman. When the Enterprise arrives, the rest of the fleet is already destroyed. Pike promotes cadet Kirk to First Officer (!). To save the ship, Pike takes a helicopter to the madman's ship, but drops Kirk and a couple of others in diving suits into the water to stop the nuclear bomb. Pike gets captured, Kirk fails the mission, and the bomb goes off. The city is completely destroyed. The Enterprise could escape the blast zone just in time.

    Now, the actual First Officer (Spock) lost his mother in the explosion. He actually left his post (!), took a helicopter to rescue her, but she didn't make it. There is a heated confrontation with Kirk, who wants to go after the madman's submarine immediately. Spock exiles Kirk on a rescue boat on a deserted island (!), instead of putting him into the brig. The Enterprise heads off to meet up with the rest of the naval fleet.

    Kirk manages to reach the outpost on the island. He steals a helicopter together with another exiled dude (Scotty) on the outpost, and catches up with the Enterprise. When they are caught, they are taken to the command center. There, Kirk causes a serious meltdown in Spock. Now, the entire crew of the aircraft carrier is completely baffled, no command hierarchy exists (!), so Kirk takes command of the whole thing. And the other dude from the island outpost is promoted to chief engineer of the aircraft carrier (!).

    Eventually, Kirk and Spock do a sneak attack on the madman's ship before he can destroy yet another city, rescue Pike and detonate one of the nuclear bombs to destroy the ship.

    After that, Kirk is promoted to commanding officer of the aircraft carrier.


    This is an absolutely ridiculous story.
     
  8. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    It's helpful not to lose sight of the forest because of the trees, IMO. I think it's real easy to get so caught up in the technical aspects of the ship, Starfleet, etc., that the story and characters are drowning in them. Details are important, but too much detail can be as bad (if not worse) as not enough detail because it can bog down a story. Not everything requires a full page or even a full paragraph explanation.

    When I was writing fanfics (in ancient times), I tried to visualize them as 40-minute stories (an hour long episode without commercial breaks) and would read the dialogue of my characters aloud to see if the story was becoming too talky with exposition or if I was spending too much time describing things in the narrative and wasn't really moving the story or the characters along well.
     
  9. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Characters, characters, characters… never forget they’re the underpinning of any good story. The reader has to be drawn in to your characters, to their stories, their hopes, fears, failures and triumphs. All the cool space battles and super-starships in the cosmos won’t make a bit of difference if your characters are paper-thin and the reader can’t identify with them.
     
  10. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Sounds good to me. When I start to work on a new fanfic, I think of what ship I want (so I know what crew to assign, eg a Sabre-Class with 40 crew is doubtful to have a counsellor on board for patrol missions) then look at who those aboard are that I can tell fun/interesting stories with. Once I have them, then I go back and look at tech specs, bot mostly just the basics: warp capabilities, armament, dimensions, etc.

    The ship/station will be a part of your series, at times an important part, but don't get hung up on it. Also one ship doesn't have to do everything; if you want to do something with cadets, then make it a separate project, explore them away from space and adventure first, to see who they are and if they have the right stuff to make it in Starfleet, whilst on another ship entirely, the crew are off exploring.
     
  11. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Well characters are at the heart of any story, closely followed by story. You also want some limits on your tech, so sure you can have a supership that does everything but you don't want any obstacles to be too easily overcome or there could be a lack of drama.
     
  12. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But just write whatever the hell you want and apply criticism only in the second pass. It's fan fiction, so you have the luxury of time.
     
  13. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    True, you can always go back and change it. When i did PBEM's i used to through several drafts before I was happy enough to post.
     
  14. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Oh, I like that!
     
  15. GeorgeKirk

    GeorgeKirk Commodore Commodore

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    Exactly. In fact, Gene Roddenberry said as much in the original TOS Writers' Guide:

    It's amazing how many professional and fan writers ignore this very basic advice that's as old as Star Trek itself. It's one reason I think the TOS Writer's Guide should be required reading for anyone writing any kind of Star Trek story.
     
  16. Smokncatfood

    Smokncatfood Cadet Newbie

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    Something that I like to see in Star Trek, and that's fun to write into my own fiction are references to the present - like when Kirk was climbing El Capitan at Yosemite. Also, two of my own characters take shore leave in Santa Monica, and comment about the pier still being there after all those years. And I can't imagine a future without a Hard Rock Cafe on Risa! This shouldn't be over-done, of course, but it's fun to throw one of these in every now & then, and I think it gives the reader something more personal to relate to.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2014
  17. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Don't overdo that. I remember one TOS novel in which someone paid with American Express or something.
     
  18. Smokncatfood

    Smokncatfood Cadet Newbie

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    Oh, BTW - I'm glad I'm not the only one who, during the end credits of the first Abrams Trek movie, thought to myself, 'wait a minute!'...how much time just passed...was Kirk....did he even GRADUATE from the academy before he assumed command of the ENTERPRISE???
     
  19. surak-toc

    surak-toc Commander Red Shirt

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    Thank you one and all for the great advice so far
     
  20. Admiral2

    Admiral2 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    :wtf: Horseshit.

    Explain to me how some trek writer translated a real-world makes-sense situation into The Immunity Syndrome or Catspaw?